Are you Suffering From MMA?
We are constantly told that having lots of money, a good job, expensive car, big house or being famous means you are successful. But is this image of 'success' correct?
There are many people with lots of money who are depressed. There are people who have fast cars and big houses but commit suicide. There are music and film stars with alcohol and drug abuse problems. There is even a growing list of lottery winners who claim to have a worse life after their 'big win' than they had before it!
All of this goes to show that the things we are told to believe are successful may not be all that good for us.
I'm not saying that having or wanting these things is all bad. I could do with a new car and I would be very happy to get one but is spending my the large majority of my life trying to gather these objects really going to mean that I am successful and bring me all the happiness I want?
The modern day craving for what Chinese call ‘Face’ - the desire to look good in front of others – is fast becoming the world's greatest addiction. Damaging health and lives across the globe as the need to gather money for the sake of looking good is quickly becoming a 'life purpose'.
Although the companies and advertisers who spend billions a year convincing you that you must have the latest exotic holiday, new house or shiny car may disagree, there is an alternative and possibly more accurate description of being successful. Success is the ‘amount of happiness, love and personal satisfaction you have in your life’. Successful people are not stressed, short tempered, ill people who shun their friends and family and abuse their bodies for the sake of money.
My version of a successful person is someone who is healthy and relaxed but with a sense of boundless energy and fun. They care for themselves and others and are happy with their life.
Some questions you should ask yourself:
Are you confident and happy with yourself and what you have?
Are you proud of what you are doing and what you have achieved?
Are you doing what you believe in and enjoy?
If the answer to these questions is yes then you are successful in life, perhaps not in bank balance but that does not matter so much to you, does it!
Sadly, many people are not able to confidently answer yes to the questions above and it is the companies who prey on your fear of not having the latest upgrade or latest design who are making the most out of your hard earned cash.
Are you an advertisers dream?
Are you addicted to having the newest, fastest, shiniest item currently on offer? Are you sacrificing time at home with family and friends for a handbag or mobile phone? Is your self-worth so low that you feel you need these things to look and feel good.
When looking good in front of others and getting that promotion becomes an all-consuming passion above even your own health and happiness then you could be suffering from MMA.
What does MMA stand for?
Money Making Addiction.
The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines addiction as:
a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble);
an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something.
Do you recognize any of these symptoms?
Addiction is often linked to drugs and other substances but there are many more things you can be addicted to that give you a physical or mental change in state. The rush of having money or being the first to get the latest shiny thing can give the same type of internal pleasure response, so yes, you may have an addiction that is damaging your health and relationships.
You are not alone. There are many millions of people suffering from this addiction and by just stopping and thinking about what is truly important in your life and what makes you happy is a good place to start your road to recovery.
What can you do if you recognize someone with this addiction?
You will see people displaying MMA in most offices and workplaces across the globe. You know them because they have a harmful need to:
Regularly work late;
Take calls at any time of the day and night;
Answer emails all through the night;
Work on days off.
These are people who sacrifice family and friends for a late night telephone conference or other meeting or to finish off a report. They may be tired and sick from stress and overload but are refusing to give it up because they believe that they need the money to fund their home, car, monthly phone plan, parties, and latest clothes or perhaps they think it makes them look good in front of others.
As with any addiction, you can help them recognize that they have a problem but they may not agree and may not want to change what they are doing. This may be because of the consequences of not working all the hours available which may mean losing money, not getting the next contract or even losing their job.
Gain their trust not by nagging or trying to force them into change. This is important as they may feel that you are trying to control them and will naturally resist. Build on any trust that you have and communicate how their behavior may be a problem and how it may be effecting them and others. Only once a person understands that there may be a problem and are willing to make a change themselves can you start to look at ways to make realistic changes.
There may be ways to reduce some of the weekly costs so that they need to work less hours or alternative ways to provide income and support. Changing lifestyle habits downsizing or even applying for a different job may all be possible options.
They may be working all the hours due to a need to look good in front of others so make sure that they know that they are a great person in themselves and not just because of all the work that they do. Fear of a perceived loss of personal value can be a strong cause of over work and MMA.
With the right mind-set and support, anything is achievable.
Stay Clever, stay healthy and stay happy!
Author CW. Main image Pixabay dpkumarjt. Image 1 Pixabay MichaelGaida. Image 2 Pixabay Unsplash. Image 3 Pixabay Geralt. Image 4 Pixabay Peggy Marco.
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