Cutting Ties Isn’t Necessary As Long As You Understand You Are The Issue

I recently watched the movie "Up In The Air" starring the playboy himself, George Clooney. It’s not a new movie, coming out back in 2009, but nevertheless a decent one.

For those of you that have yet to watch it, no need to worry — I won’t be giving any important spoilers. In the movie Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a guy that gets hired to travel America and fire people from corporations when their bosses don’t have the gumption to do so themselves.

Bingham also gets hired once in a while to give talks to groups of people looking to better their lives — the kinds of talks that people like Tony Robbins give — seminars. During these seminars Bingham, Clooney, gives an interesting metaphor for a person’s life and all the things that make up a person’s life: the "Your Life As A Backpack Metaphor."

Bingham asks the crowd to close their eyes and imagine themselves wearing a backpack. Then, imagine that they are putting all the different things that they own and all the relationships that they have inside that backpack and imagine the tremendous weight of it all.

This weight symbolizes all of the things and people weighing us down everyday of our lives. He then asks the crowd to remove all of the items from the backpack, remove all of these things from their minds, and imagine how liberating it feels not to have to worry about any of that.

Clooney’s character believes that this unburdened freedom one can feel from removing all the things that tie us down to a place or situation is the key to happiness.

This idea is flawed, but nevertheless the metaphor brought a different thought to my mind: there is one way and one way only of knowing whether or not one is truly happy — if after removing all the"extra" stuff in your life, removing the toys, gadgets, cars, friends, mentors, lovers and whatever else, if after removing all of that and being left alone and bare, you are still happy — then congratulations, you truly are.

Not many of us are happy and all because we are not happy with ourselves. You may feel that you have a shitty job, a crap relationship and the tiniest apartment imaginable in the worst part of town, and think that this is what is making you unhappy.

I’m certain that your situation is not helping with your mood, but as far as your happiness goes — the only one to blame is yourself. It’s not the apartment, nor your wardrobe, nor your bank accountant nor your girlfriend that is the problem; the problem is your inability to make changes or to appreciate what you have.

Your problem is — to put it simply — you. If this is the case, then no tangible item itself will make you happy. Only changing whatever fundamental issue you have with yourself will change your life from being viewed as awful and dreary to being viewed as beautiful and exciting.

It’s better to be broke and happy than to be rich and miserable. Money isn’t worth anything if you can’t enjoy anything.

This is not to say, however, that having "stuff" is a bad thing. Many people will read this and automatically think that they need to cut everything out of their lives in order to better themselves. This may very well be the case, but I would refrain — in the very least — from cutting your ties and relationships with other people.

You may need to spend some time in complete isolation, but maybe you don’t need to. Maybe understanding that you are the problem and not your friends, not your family, not your partner is enough to get you heading in the right direction.

Bingham recommends removing all the items from the backpack and burning them — letting go from everything. I would recommend holding onto whatever luxury you can afford to hold onto — it may not be worth anything to you as of right now, but once you get to the actual root of the problem and address the issue, you’ll want to have some of those unnecessary pleasures.

If you are content at your core, then just about anything else positive will only add to your happiness. We can live a life of simplicity if we decide that that is the most personal enjoyable way for us to live, but it won’t be for everyone.

Don’t feel bad because you enjoy pampering yourself from time to time and treating yourself. But don’t blame outside factors on your inner happiness either. I myself have fallen for the con that is blaming the world for my own failures.

I have cut ties, broken relationships and changed locations. For me it was a path that I needed to take — but that was mainly because no one was there to help me see the error of my ways. If I knew what the real issue was, what was really bothering me and eating away at me, then I could have saved myself the trouble and the heartache of loss.

If you have to let things go or, more importantly, let people go, make sure that it is something that you must to do. Once you cut ties, relationships refuse mending. If you are not happy, not successful or not anything you want to be, then point a finger in the mirror and not at the world and people around you.

Paul Hudson | Elite.