The theory of relativity states that all things don’t have a definite value, they only have a value that comes from comparison. Basically, if I’m standing still, then i have a speed of zero. But that’s only relative to other things standing still on the earth. If we look at my speed relative to a point directly in the center of the earth then I’m spinning around that point at over a thousand miles per hour. And if we compare my speed to the position of the sun, then we have to factor in how fast the earth is orbiting the sun. In short, there is no one way to calculate speed.
I believe that we can apply this to life, and how we as humans live. Imagine life as a poor man. To a poor man, owning a Honda Civic and having a stable home in the suburbs is a miracle to them. That because, when they compare that life to the life they have at the moment, its wonderful. As you might expect, a rich man would look down upon that life in the suburbs as something worthless. This even applies to drug addicts. One amount of, say, cocaine would give them a rush. But once they get used to having it on a weekly basis, their point of comparison has shifted, and they have to take more to feel the same. This applies to all aspects of life. Imagine how good your favorite food tastes. It you had that every day, you would get sick of it. Because, your point of comparison, or expectation in this case, moves higher.
So what is the purpose of this strange theory? Well, let’s apply it to your future. Imagine the dream life that you’ve always wanted. A nice car, early retirement, lots of funding, etc. The thing we must understand is that once you achieve that goal, the happiness will naturally fade as you get accustomed to that lifestyle. Anyone who thinks they will be happy after retiring and having no work is expecting their standards to stay the same. So how do we combat the constant dissatisfaction of life? Its simple; lower your standards. Take a moment of your day to think about how much worse it can be. Think of all the things that could have gone wrong in your life. Think of all the good things that have brought you to where you are now. Think of people growing up in constant fear of their lives and smile that you are where you are. I’ve come to the conclusion that their are two ways to be successful in life. Either we increase our standards of living and constantly meet our expectations, or we try and lower our standards. It might not sound appealing to force yourself to be satisfied with how you live, but its worth a shot.