‘Life is Good’ is a Radical Statement

by Scott London

A Harris poll found that a full 90 percent of Americans would change their lives dramatically if they could. The survey showed that most people don’t like the way they live now, but they simply don’t know how to change.

The statistic goes a long way toward explaining why advertising has become so heavily dominated by ads promising a better life. These days, a product, seminar or service has to hold out the hope of a vastly new and improved life to stand any chance to succeeding.

The publishing world is an especially egregious example of this. The industry is increasingly oriented toward how-to, self-help, and personal development literature (“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Changing Your Life,” etc.).

To say that something has changed one’s life used to actually mean something. Today it has become so banal as to be practically meaningless.

The most radical act we can commit today, I believe, is to say: “I’m happy, I don’t need to change my life.” It represents a powerful shift of attitude, one that begins with acceptance of what is and opens up a space for appreciating what we do have. From there, it’s not hard to focus in on the qualities we love and want more of. What it does is focus our attention on what is right and good with the world, which ultimately creates more of the same.

When we refuse to accept the idea that there is something wrong with the present situation and that we need to change our lives, paradoxically we create a state of mind where positive changes are possible — perhaps even inevitable.