So it turns out that affluence and the (many) comforts of first-world living are no cure for the common mental disorder.
And when talking mental disorder, we’re not talking about a (very) serious mental disorder like schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s.
Ever watch Silver Linings Playbook?
Every character in that movie suffered from a minor mental disorder of their very own.
In other words, it was a great way to broach a touchy subject and point out how collectively neurotic we happen to be.
Just how insecure are men who are doing pretty well for themselves?
Well, in his book The Paradox of Choice, author Barry Schwartz quoted a study with very intriguing results.
Men were given the choice of earning $50,000 a year if everyone else around them was earning $25,000.
The other option was to earn $100,000 a year, but being surrounded by people earning $200,000.
The majority of the men in the study chose the option of earning $50,000.
It didn’t stop at money, either.
Those same men also had the option of having an IQ of 110 while the other dudes around them had an IQ of 90 or less.
Option two would see them having an IQ of 130 and being surrounded by those with a higher IQ of 150.
You can guess which option won out.
Crabs in a bucket?
A New Year’s Mental Shift Challenge For You
Ever hear of Social Comparison Disorder?
No, not social anxiety disorder, but comparison disorder.
If not, it’s all good – the term was coined in 2012, so it still has a ways to go before drumming up greater recognition in the realm of Bro Science.
However, you may have heard of this disorder under the tag of “compare and despair” syndrome.
For many, many moons, humans have had the tendency of measuring their self-worth according to how they stack up to others.
If notching up is part of your plan in the new year, but you fall short on a goal or two…
…here’s a list of men who succeeded later on in life for you to refer to before launching into a self-loathing session:
Ray Kroc, 52: Helped the McDonald’s brothers expand their existing restaurant into the mega-franchise we know it to be today.
Colonel Sanders, 60: After the interstate was moved away from his roadside diner, resulting in its closure, Colonel Sanders was in trouble.
However at age 60, Sanders drove around trying to license his secret blend of herbs and spices.
He even slept in the back of his car to make it happen. We all know how that story turned out.
Samuel L. Jackson, 40: Remember that crackhead robbing the fast food restaurant that Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall worked at in Coming to America?
Yup – that was Jackson and he was 40 when he landed that role and started on his ascension.
Morgan Freeman, 52: Freeman, better known as The Velvety Voice of God™ made appearances on the small screen for several years.
It wasn’t until he appeared in Driving Miss Daisy that Hollywood cast its big holy spotlight on him and took his career to the next level.
We could keep going, there are many examples, but we must trudge on…mush!
What’s Most Important
Does the name Frito Pendejo sound somewhat familiar?
If you need a reminder, he was the dimwitted co-lead portrayed by Dax Shepard in Mike Judge’s eerily brilliant Idiocracy.
If you know nothing of this cult film, it was just about the most accurate picture of a the future America is headed for.
The film’ unfortunate premise is becoming a reality 500 years too early.
More sad news – anyone of us can devolve into a Frito Pendejo.
Not what you want for yourself?
The secret to not becoming a Frito, is to train the ol’ brain (this can also help delay Alzheimer’s).
How To Sharpen Your Mind With Brain Exercises
Truth be told, there’s nothing really different about training your brain this year than in the past (save for a bit of technology), but we’ll go over the best ones now.
Brain Exercises #1 – Reading
This one is more crucial now than ever.
Social media is chewing through attention spans at such an accelerated rates, the minds behind Facebook are starting to poo-poo the negative impact of their product.
Reading your cousin’s passive-aggressive rants about preferential treatment at the office does not count as quality reading.
Time for you to either load your Kindle or visit the final remaining Chapters outlets out there and stocking up on tomes that contain words that were carefully assembled and stand to make your mind richer.
Need reading picks?
Brain Exercises #2 – Diet
The diet to brain-health correlation isn’t a fad.
There’s a great deal of truth to the fact that gassing your engine with vitamins and minerals will provide far better returns than stacking your poor system with complex carbs.
Anisa Purbasari Horton did a stellar job of reporting what happened when she loaded up on brain food (worthy read).
Brain Exercises #3 – Routine
Sure, you’ll have a few people who you’ll want to drizzle all over this one, but truth be told, routine has a way of tightening the brain and preventing you from missing targets via distraction.
Planning leads to consistency and consistency leads to the accomplishment of goals.
To show you just how effective and rewarding habit can be when applied to progressive growth, take a look at this.
Brain Exercises #4 – Challenge
Sure, the last tip was about building routine.
In the gym, routine leads to maintenance.
But by challenging yourself with new exercises, that you begin to build muscle in new areas and grow your overall strength.
Mushrooms For A Stronger Mind?
An honest and uncluttered mind makes for a stronger mind.
But then, there’s the grind – you know, that urban rhythm that sees far too many men living too fast or living existences that simply aren’t for them.
Example – how many times have you heard stories of people leaving successful careers in the corporate world to pursue a passion?
Those are the people you should be looking to – they managed to unshackle themselves from the opinions and norms of society to choose themselves first.
Not sure how to pursue your own path to doing what you really want and simply being honest with yourself about what you truly want and need in life.