Do we expect too much from life?

moneymakingmom

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#1
Back in the old days, when people did not live very long, they didn't have very high expectations for their lives. Most just wanted to grow to adulthood, get married and have children and maybe farm a little patch of land or start a home crafting business or some other useful trade.

Then during the fifties and sixties many people were just happy to be employed, not wealthy, just with a job and family to come home to.

Today, we have better health care that means we can live longer, so we have more years to burn. Amazingly, I think high expectations comes from just having so much time to live. No one just wants a job anymore, they want a career, a life path, romantic and personal fulfillment and successful children. Enough is never enough, it seems. Or, is it?

Do you think it's normal to have such high expectations from life? Do you think it's fair that we get to expect more from life than our forefathers who came before? Are we building toward a better future with all our high expectations or simply being selfish and demanding too much from life?

How have your expectations for a better life increased over what your parents or grandparents expected for their own lives?
 
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#2
I don't think its true that people had no ambition back in the old days. There was plenty of ambition, just look at all the wars that were fought.
I don't think we expect too much from life. I think that the highest levels of success are rare, but we see and hear about them all the time on television, so we become discouraged when we don't achieve those levels of success.
 

moneymakingmom

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#3
I don't think its true that people had no ambition back in the old days. There was plenty of ambition, just look at all the wars that were fought.
I don't think we expect too much from life. I think that the highest levels of success are rare, but we see and hear about them all the time on television, so we become discouraged when we don't achieve those levels of success.
I didn't mean to give the impression that olden time folk didn't have ambition. But, they didn't EXPECT the excess from life that we do nowadays. Every kid wants a cell phone, mp3 player, Xbox 360 and assorted games to play. Back when, kids were lucky to have home sewn dolls and home made toys and spoons to dig in the dirt with. I've heard stories of olden time days and they never seemed like excessive people, in fact such people were often shunned or looked down upon. Of course, there was much excess in the higher parts of society with rich people, but the majority of people felt very blessed to have even the basics. It's not the same way these days. There is no gratitude for the basics, instead you get people griping constantly about not having this or that and not counting every little blessing and seeing it as a gift. That's what I was trying to say more than that they weren't motivated.
 
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#4
Well, they also didn't have the level of advertising we have. You need this, you need that, and if you don't have it, there must be something wrong with you. I think that's a big part of it. We are a disposable society, living off of credit, so its easier for people to get the things they've been brainwashed into thinking they need.
 

moneymakingmom

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#5
Well, they also didn't have the level of advertising we have. You need this, you need that, and if you don't have it, there must be something wrong with you. I think that's a big part of it. We are a disposable society, living off of credit, so its easier for people to get the things they've been brainwashed into thinking they need.
A very valid point about how they didn't have the 'free' money that we do these days. Of course, any sensible person knows that credit cards are not free money but often they are treated as such by people who would rather use a credit card to increase their lifestyle rather than get a second job.
 

MoreSuccess

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#6
How have your expectations for a better life increased over what your parents or grandparents expected for their own lives?
This definitely happened in the two generations before me. My grandparents didn't make much money and were content with very simple lives. However my father wanted to do much more and got into a profession that made him good money, and had a much better lifestyle. My father set the bar so high that I couldn't exceed him nor did I really feel the same drive to do so, therefore I ended up somewhere in the middle. At least he didn't spoil me, he made me work for most everything myself.

I think the longer life expectancy changed the concept of "retirement" for many, where they have so many plans to do things that it seems like they are waiting until they retire to begin their life. It seems kind of sad that some people have to put off what they really want to do until they are of retirement age. Now with the economy and people's retirement plans being hurt, I think they may have to take a more realistic point of view.
 

AmazingP

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#7
I think this is just an evolution of human needs and wants. The more wealth people have the more they will plan to acquire for more. Nothing satisfies because resting on one's laurels is something never encouraged. It is time to return to things that are truly beautiful and lasting.
 

moneymakingmom

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#8
I think the longer life expectancy changed the concept of "retirement" for many, where they have so many plans to do things that it seems like they are waiting until they retire to begin their life. It seems kind of sad that some people have to put off what they really want to do until they are of retirement age. Now with the economy and people's retirement plans being hurt, I think they may have to take a more realistic point of view.
It's a very scary and sad thought that many people had put off vacations and fun till retirement
and now their retirement money has been spent away cause of joblessness or trickery or scams.

Awhile back there was a huge corporate scandal where the employees pension money and retirement had
all been swindled away. Many had worked twenty plus years and had nothing to show for it when it came
to retirement.

Enron? I think that was the name of the place. They cooked the books big time.

So sad for all the employees who got scammed.
 

speedy

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#9
I guess it is normal that people expect much in life. It is a fact that people are not contented with life and want more and more. But I guess, the people in the old live longer than we had today....I am not sure, but that's my observation. Yes, I heard my grandfather told us before " You need to study, finish and have a good job in the future" that's it. That's all I wanted before to just finish my college and have a job. But everyday we encountered different experiences that make us curious what is behind these and that. So, we thrive and do our best to find it out. Also, the expectations of mankind depends on the trends of the world and technology. I grew up in the farm and all I wanted before is that I want to go to the city, then I lived in the city for 10 more than 10 years, after the city I want to go to other places in the Philippines and I did, afterwards, I want to go to other country and I did. As, soon as our dreams and visions fulfilled our expectation goes higher and higher. I guess, that's normal to an individual. Even the rich people are trying and wanting to get richer and richer.
 
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#10
I think we still have the same goals and expectations in life compared to my parents and/or grandparents. That's to create a happy, fulfilling life; to be able to achieve success and to share it with others. It's only the method that have changed, I guess but the essence is still the same.
 

moneymakingmom

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#11
I think we still have the same goals and expectations in life compared to my parents and/or grandparents. That's to create a happy, fulfilling life; to be able to achieve success and to share it with others. It's only the method that have changed, I guess but the essence is still the same.
To be happy is a lifelong goal. Not so many people get there. But, the journey is so worth making.

As, soon as our dreams and visions fulfilled our expectation goes higher and higher. I guess, that's normal to an individual. Even the rich people are trying and wanting to get richer and richer.
You've summed it up so perfectly. When we set a goal and achieve it, we can't just sit there and enjoy the fruits of our labors, but must move on. Though it is always nice to sit for awhile and look at what we have done, especially if it was a good thing. :)
 

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#12
We have come to expect that more things will make us happy. And living better than our next door neighbors, the "Jones" will make our lives so much better. Yet the United States has the largest usage of drugs than any nation on the planet. You would expect the nation that others are trying to emulate would be happier than most and would not need drugs to cope with everyday life. Apparently wealth and the accumulation of things and trying to be everything has caused people to step back and take a look at their lives. Especially now with the state of the economy people have no choice but to cut back and live a more simple and less complex life.

Don't get me wrong, achieving your goals and being successful is a good part of life. But what does success really mean? Is it a one size fits all perfect corporate job with a Mercedes in the driveway which comes after a four year degree or higher level of education. This is what we have been taught, or should I say brainwashed into believing. With the advent of todays technology it just means we have more distractions than our ancestors. Television commercials with wafer thin models tell young girls your not thin enough. We think we need the latest gadget or gizmo from Apple and there is a line around the block. Because of all of these electronic miracles that we adore it distracts us from the true source of individual success, which is to look inward and know thyself. This is the reason that millionaires want to be billionaires and billionaires want to be god!

If you were to look at the happiest people in the world you would find that indigenous people untouched by modern civilization truly know what happiness is by living a much simpler life that gives them a chance to look inside. They learn to live as a community and share with the tribe or group.

Less is actually more. It is not about obtaining more but sharing what we have. Until we learn this we are blind.
 

moneymakingmom

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#13
Money doesn't solve all our problems. But, there is talk of money at every turn, whether earning money or spending money. So then, it must be important to someone, right? Maybe WE the consumers are not benefiting from money, but the big companies are.
 

thorax11

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#14
Money doesn't solve all our problems. But, there is talk of money at every turn, whether earning money or spending money. So then, it must be important to someone, right? Maybe WE the consumers are not benefiting from money, but the big companies are.
As long as less than 10% of the population owns 90% percent of resources, money will always be important. The top tier don't want higher taxes, yet they pay less than they have in the past if you look at the tax rate at different periods. General Electric payed zero taxes last year and received a bailout from the government to keep GMAC solvent. The old add-age the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is so true. The gap between the rich and the poor is growing to a level that can't be sustained. Companies are hoarding approximately $2,000,000,000,000 in cash reserves and not hiring. When you look at Wall Street and the cause of the current economic collapse it could have been avoided. Goldman Sachs sold Credit Default Swaps and at the same time bought insurance that the swaps would become worthless unbeknown to the companies that purchased them. These swaps were the home loans of thousands of people that didn't really qualify under standard lending practices and were given easy money to purchase a home that they couldn't afford. When interest rates went up on these variable rate mortgages the housing bubble burst because people couldn't afford the higher interest rate.
 

moneymakingmom

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#15
And, this is what bothers me so much. I'm always hearing about these giant mega-corporations in America who have enacted hiring freezes and I'm wondering how they can be so unfair. Surely, they are experiencing a sales boom and could easily add on new employees without being too much inconvenienced. Yet, they choose to selfishly take more profits by putting the excess work on current employees and charging even more for goods and services. Somehow it doesn't seem right, especially when they are required to pay so little taxes.
 

thorax11

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#16
There is a solution to the problem of corporate greed and that is public outcry. If we as citizens would come together and say we won't buy your product unless you become more socially responsible this would definitely lower their bottom line. And we know that the bottom line is all they care about. That and bad publicity. We shouldn't need to shame any company into doing the right thing. But of course we don't live in a perfect world where we don't need to watch our backs from corporations trying to stab us with one hand and grab our wallet with the other.
 
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#17
Back in the old days, when people did not live very long, they didn't have very high expectations for their lives. Most just wanted to grow to adulthood, get married and have children and maybe farm a little patch of land or start a home crafting business or some other useful trade.

Then during the fifties and sixties many people were just happy to be employed, not wealthy, just with a job and family to come home to.

Today, we have better health care that means we can live longer, so we have more years to burn. Amazingly, I think high expectations comes from just having so much time to live. No one just wants a job anymore, they want a career, a life path, romantic and personal fulfillment and successful children. Enough is never enough, it seems. Or, is it?

Do you think it's normal to have such high expectations from life? Do you think it's fair that we get to expect more from life than our forefathers who came before? Are we building toward a better future with all our high expectations or simply being selfish and demanding too much from life?

How have your expectations for a better life increased over what your parents or grandparents expected for their own lives?
It may seem like a cop-out but this is only human nature. Of course we want more than the previous generations. We're already given more than previous generations. But this isn't a bad thing at all. This is what spurs on innovation and creativity. This is what brings out the greatness in people and what makes life interesting. Sure there will be some situations where this philosophy backfires, but you have to take the good with the bad. When you become satisfied in life, you stop moving forward. This is when you stop living and start existing. So, yes, we want more but that is what will continue to push the world forward--even if it seems like in some areas we are moving backward.
 

moneymakingmom

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#18
When you become satisfied in life, you stop moving forward. This is when you stop living and start existing. So, yes, we want more but that is what will continue to push the world forward--even if it seems like in some areas we are moving backward.
What you said about being satisfied in life and not moving forward makes sense. They used to talk about people who were resting on their laurels, being complacent, stuck in a rut or just meeting the status quo with no ambition. It's so easy to get caught in the habits of life and not strive to move forward.

But, what really concerns me is that we are all conditioned by television (shows, commercials, celebrities) to WANT more, even when we cannot afford it, so that we leverage ourselves into debt through loans, mortgages and credit cards. That can't be good. That's not a good kind of self improvement.
 
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#19
What you said about being satisfied in life and not moving forward makes sense. They used to talk about people who were resting on their laurels, being complacent, stuck in a rut or just meeting the status quo with no ambition. It's so easy to get caught in the habits of life and not strive to move forward.

But, what really concerns me is that we are all conditioned by television (shows, commercials, celebrities) to WANT more, even when we cannot afford it, so that we leverage ourselves into debt through loans, mortgages and credit cards. That can't be good. That's not a good kind of self improvement.
That's why there needs to be a separation between material gains and self improvement. To have true wealth we must focus on self and separate our true happiness from our possessions. This isn't easy and requires a lot of discipline. Sadly, most people will likely never get to this point.
 
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#20
Well sometimes I really am expecting a lot of change in my life, specially when I am experiencing financial problems. But there is nothing I can do, I just wait and do whatever I can do to earn online.
But nonetheless, I am usually contented with what I have, and I don't really care if others have their own houses or cars. I just dream and strive hard to achieve it.