Getting back into our usual routine, I’d like to present the 7th major theme of Irrational Health, misplaced value. The concept of independence and the self was one of the first concepts I brought up when I started this book. It is key to understanding the problem of bringing to light, the problem that is the sickness of Irrational Health in our modern culture, particularly in the west. I’ve brought that differentiation between western and eastern cultures up before. I’d like to clarify that Irrational Health is not an argument for why we should be more the east. It’s simply a distinction. The focus that we have on the self has lead to massive obfuscation of what’s of value. Further, it’s my belief that this misplaced value throughout one’s early years, leads to a great deal of difficulty in the future and like many other things I’ve discussed it is quite possibly one of the main causes of mid-life crisis.
If we were to take a survey of random sampling of people, we could very well predict before hand what the answers of most people would be when asked the question, “What is of the highest value to you?” What would those answers be? Well, people would say their family, their friends, their health, and their happiness. This is just to name of few of the usual suspects. You could very well argue differently. Here’s the catch. I don’t see anything wrong with these answers. So what’s the problem? Well, people say that these things are of value to them and yet, they don’t act in a way that actually values these things. Success is one thing that people value more than these other things as based by their actions. This is where the irrationality lies. Jobs are one of the things that people will in action value more than their family, their friends, and the many things that are of value to them, including their values. So the question if you value so many other things over a prospective job, then why would you sacrifice all of those things for that very job? We live in a society that is composed of individuals who are at the ready to hold their independent pursuits over the things that they say the value. Now you can make the argument that technology has eliminated in large part a lot of the constraints of distance, but as always a screen is never as good as the real thing. You might further say that when you’re young, it’s okay to pursue your life’s dreams even given a great deal of sacrifices, but like so many other irrationalities discussed here, there is always a limit, a line at which something has crossed over from truth into fiction.
Modern life often makes people feel like they’re a cog in a system, but I think that this feeling is also connected with what your actions say about what you value. If you embrace enough irrationalities, then it is easy to become someone who is fulfilling a function and living a life that lacks the kind of value that can give your life meaning… and further true happiness. Irrational Health does promote happiness whether that has come out or not. It just doesn’t support fabricated happiness. It doesn’t support the kind of happiness that comes easy or the course of action that bares the least resistance. If you truly value something or someone, then you should demonstrate that through your actions and if you don’t then you’re embracing the irrational. The value of money, commodities, and stocks are all numbers that change, but something a person truly values, never depreciates in value. Things that are fleeting shouldn’t be valued. Things that last should be. Misplaced value leads to fabricated happiness. Value placed and kept in the right places yields true happiness. From an investment standpoint, I would rather invest in the a sure thing then something of chance.