↖ Life lessons

Status and Desire

22 lessons

Life lesson #8

”...just as early industrial capitalism moved the focus of existence from being to having, post-industrial culture has moved that focus from having to appearing.”

#8 · Guy Debord

Life lesson #9

A confident man doesn’t feel a need to prove that he’s confident. A rich woman doesn’t feel a need to convince anybody that she’s rich.

#9 · Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

Life lesson #10

Other people are probably so busy trying to impress you that they will, at best, not notice your efforts.


Life lesson #12

People buy luxury branded items to treat their insecurity, but it’s only a temporary numbness.


Life lesson #13

People don’t need enormous cars, they need respect. They don’t need closets full of clothes, they need to feel attractive and they need excitement and variety and beauty. People don’t need electronic equipment; they need something worthwhile to do with their lives.

#13 · Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, Your Money or Your Life

Life lesson #14

Desire is the source of all suffering.

#14 · Buddha

Life lesson #15

One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations. Once people get used to a certain luxury, they take it for granted. Then they begin to count on it. Finally they reach a point where they can’t live without it.

#15 · Yuval Harari

Life lesson #18

We are more interested in making others believe we are happy than in trying to be happy ourselves.

#18 · François de la Rochefoucauld

Life lesson #69

Musonius goes on to suggest that we would also be better off if, instead of working hard to become wealthy, we trained ourselves to be satisfied with what we have; if, instead of seeking fame, we overcame our craving for the admiration of others; if, instead of spending time scheming to harm someone we envy, we spent that time overcoming our feelings of envy; and if, instead of knocking ourselves out trying to become popular, we worked to maintain and improve our relationships with those we knew to be true friends.

#69 · William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life

Life lesson #74

We tend to grossly overestimate the pleasure brought forth by new experiences and underestimate the power of finding meaning in current ones.

#74 · Lawrence Yeo, Travel Is No Cure for the Mind

Life lesson #87

The Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving.

#87 · Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Life lesson #115

The more you desperately want to be rich, the more poor and unworthy you feel—regardless of how much money you actually make.

The more you desperately want to be sexy and desired, the uglier you come to see yourself, regardless of your actual physical appearance.

The more you desperately want to be happy and loved, the lonelier and more afraid you become, regardless of those who surround you.

#115 · Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

Life lesson #116

Once you’ve tasted living lavishly, it can be difficult to go back. Be careful about setting your standards too high.


Life lesson #117

Status is a zero-sum game: if someone is going to win, there also has to be a loser.


Life lesson #129

“When I obtain this or am free of that—then I will be okay.” This is the unconscious mindset that creates the illusion of salvation in the future.

#129 · Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Life lesson #130

When you are free of “becoming” as a psychological need, neither your happiness nor your sense of self depends on the outcome, and so there is freedom from fear.

#130 · Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Life lesson #190

We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.

#190 · Marcus Aurelius

Life lesson #199

Worker bees can leave, even drones can fly away. The queen is their slave.

#199 · Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Life lesson #204

He who knows he has enough is rich.

#204 · Lao Tzu

Life lesson #209

He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.

#209 · Socrates

Life lesson #231

One day, humanity will be destroyed, and it will be because we decided to film it instead of running away.


Life lesson #232

The ability to afford something is the luxury, not to not being able to afford it.

#232 · Kanye West