This is a classic case of one individual assuming that other individuals place the same value on the same things they do. They make that mistake the same way we do: because to them the sources of the value appear obvious. Yet, clearly one person can want to be the number one salesperson, while another person wants to be a good father, or someone else wants to work for a charity that prolonged a loved one’s life. These would all create different choices, priorities and paths through life.
There’s many things to value in life. But because our cultures have such an addiction to money, many capitalists assume that because they want to be rich and in charge, that we all want that too. So it’s assumed that if someone didn’t become a wealthy entrepreneur, that’s not because they didn’t want to, or that they had something more important to do —it’s assumed it was because they couldn’t.
Viewed from the perspective of those attached to external markers of success, those that chose simple and happy lives are people who gave up. Further, if we did that, then, in the ambitious person’s mental framework for reality, we appear to be inferior to those who chose ambition as their priority.
Of course, in a broader and more complete reality, we know that many of us simply aren’t interested in the hassles associated with being in charge, just like many of us aren’t interested in great wealth, celebrity or prestige. We have our pursuits and others have theirs. None are more important than others. The only success there is in life is the joy of being alive. Everything else is disappears.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.