BUT DID THEY LIVE GREAT LIVES?
"'Tis not wise to give up one's life in order to seek greatness or power. Do not be lured into the trap, do not be deceived. Look, instead, at the true end purpose of life - and use that as the measure of each thing you do."
Note that all the people I list in the category of those whose lives I would want to live (or something similar to their lives) have all developed wisdom - and not just "accomplished" something in an area or two of life, in a narrow forcused, narrow visioned way that created disproportionate loss in other parts of their lives. The latter failed to live based on "Life Value"; those who learned wisdom lived exclusively on the basis of what really added the most true life value. .
BUT WHAT IS IT THAT REALLY MATTERS?
Unless we believe happiness comes from being admired, the lives of many great men seem not to be great lives.
It would seem to make sense to me that it is more important, much more so, to live a great life of much happiness than it is to be, or be considered to be, a "great man" (or woman).
Yes, these people often came through alot of "character forging" challenges, but I don't think I would want to live their lives, even though I admire what they did. There are a few who I admire for who they eventually became, not in terms of being a hero, but in terms of wisdom and character.
One of my most admired people is Jon Huntsman, Sr., (the father of the Presidential candidate). His character and perspective is shown in his actions, especially as delineated in his book Winners Never Cheat. My hat is off to you, sir!
I have mixed thoughts of Clinton. Yes, he goes into the column of "flawed" characters, but it appears that who he has become is, indeed, the kind of a man who is living a good life, of wisdom and not just power.
And, so it is that I go through the following exercise.
PEOPLE WHOSE LIVES I WOULD NOT WANT TO LIVE
One of the greatest mistakes in life is for a person to try to be a great man, using "greatness" as the criteria, and often giving up their lives for it - not in terms of death, but in terms of sacrificing their happiness. Please don't idolize the wrong objective. I believe the objective is to maximize your happiness, not to seek greatness!
Gandhi - Too much suffering for me, though I "see" that he achieve great value from holding to his values.
Keller - Not a good life at first, but she did become quite wise later on - and, I think, happy. I have three books on her. My page on Optimism - Helen Keller.
Kennedy - Great leader and inspirer, but a few moral lapses and weaknesses besmudged his life.
Martin Luther King - Incredibly committed, moral lapses, unbalanced life
Mandela - Again, his later life seems like a good one, and I admire his ability to see the truth in non-
blame, which is a significant piece of what I write about. His approach and eventual way of living does fit for me, however.
Lincoln - Not a happy man
PEOPLE WHO SEEM TO HAVE THEIR WISDOM TOGETHER
Those whose lives I think would be ok for me to live:
Stephen Covey - Lived a truly "effective" life (see his key books and videos) Tony Robbins - Originally on the "not sure about, but possible" list (below) Barry Neil Kaufman - Option Institute - Admirable lifestyle and accomplishments, while being very, very
"human", but powerfully living his life, without compromise. (Read his books, see the movie I linked to.)
Richard Carlson (I recommend some of his books. Read them. And understand, deeply, his "Don't Sweat
The Small Stuff book as it contains the key to what must be removed to live a good life!)
Norman Vincent Peale
Up there, but not quite a fit, perhaps: (but still some aspects to "model" in my life)
The Dalai Lama - Not exactly the lifestyle I'd like to lead, but it is the way I'd like to think (and have modelled as much as I can
Tom Hill - And his Tom Hill Institute and The Movement (consulting, with alot of experts provided); he is 77 (2008?), runs marathons, and completely devoting his life to helping others and he is also running the Eagle Foundation, with many successful participants.
Benjamin Franklin - I'll reverify this by rereading his autobriography.
Will Smith - Has a pretty fair amount of wisdom. See YouTube pieces.
Tom Hanks - Always admirable once he reached his "wisdom" stage.
Stephen Spielberg - Seems balanced
(Please make suggestions on who would fit on this list, if you will: Contact)
Not sure about, but possible: There are certainly some pieces of these people's lives that I might want to emulate, to some degree, if it fits with what works for happiness in my life.
Richard Branson - Read his book "Screw it, let's do it" or his latest (go to Amazon to see which one)
Ronald Reagan - Good life, but not quite wise enough for what I would want.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau
Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook, author of Lean In; a good female role model for at least some of her life;
pretty remarkable, but normal, human being!)
Tim Ferriss - A super type A person, who has learned to seek balance and become a leader in improving
people's lives, with millions of followers, living a very full life, but doing meditation, etc. and etc.
See others on my most admired lists, to model various aspects of.
PEOPLE LIVING HAPPY LIVES
The Happy Woman - A nickname for her, but a person who is not a hero per se (but then that is not a good criteria) but in my view a person who highly benefits others just by being with them. Read the pieces I have done on how she lives and see what you might want to emulate and do.
WHY DO I MAKE THIS REVISED LIST?
I make this revised list because the lives I want to learn from are from those people who lived the happiest lives. And I don't want to confuse greatness, power, or achievement with happiness. I don't want to be "driven" by seeking those goals - I want to, instead, be the "one who is driving", along the road of happiness.
I experience great sadness for the suffering I see of those I know who are seeking to be great contributors to the world who are often stuck in seeking that because they want to be "good people", prove their worth, be noble, etc. I see many of them as "being driven" by that, rather than being in charge of "driving" the life they would ideally live - if they were unconfused and clear on the purpose of life.
They often hurt themselves and frequently hurt others whom they care about (who are either deprived of their companionship and/or are saddened to seehim/her suffer from unnecessary fears and struggles based on unrealistic expectations of who they must be in life. Those expectations seem to be based not only on idealization, but also on trying to fill the role that others expect of them or which they believe is expected of them, in order to be loved and/or "good enough" - goals which can never be achieved in that way.
As I read the wisdom, and try to sort it out, I see the blatantly obvious misthinking and misbeliefs that people buy into in the cultural misbeliefs and myths. I only hope that I can contribute to others' straight thinking and to their becoming highly capable of creating great happiness. And, of course, I must follow that which I learn.
My current experience of life is one of awe and great satisfaction in living a life of such great times of reflection, looking ever deeper into humans and how they operate and how they can create much, much greater happiness. And, admittedly, sometimes I get caught up in not being far enough along, in not having it all together for the greatest impact - but then I catch myself and see that all too human lower-mind doing its thing, so I go back to appreciating it all. Indeed, I feel like I am living in" hog heaven", in deep satisfaction and gratitude, living my life authentically, doing that which I hold most precious!
SO, WOULD I PREFER TO HAVE LIVED ANY OF THOSE LIVES?
Through all of my misconceptions, traumas, and dramas, struggles, excessive achievement orientation, and many mistakes, I ask myself would I prefer to have lead the life of any other person.
Strangely enough, at this point in life, I would pick my own life. Part of that is based on how it set me up to do my explorations and learning at an even greater and deeper level - and I really love that and where I am in life. And, yes, it would have been better to have learned much of this earlier in life, but that is now not an option (obviously) - but it is my intention to have others learn as early as possible how to live very effective, happy lives, where they will greatly benefit others and have them, in turn, live such lives.
Is Ricard or the Dalai Lama living a better life?
I would guess that they probably are.
But I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's.
It was an "interesting" trip in life for me and I wouldn't give up these last few years of incredible discovery and learning. Further, I wouldn't give up the hopes and dreams I have for creating something that will have a great impact on mankind (or even on just a few people). I hope that I have the time and directed energy to create the manifestation of that vision - and meanwhile I'll just keep on living this wonderful life, no matter what happens, for I am committed in the depths of my "soul" to continually be creating that great life - and I don't give a hoot about anyone admiring me, as I am very proud of who I've become and what I have created so far - and that shall never be lost.
Yes, life is great!
I am in awe and wonder over the great ideas and practical insights that are available and I bathe in them, ever hoping to bring them all together in such a way as to have others live them and for them to be vastly happier, and to fully live and love their lives, with no fear and only appreciation of the abundance that is...