My local gym pool had a clean recently. Nine people were crammed into the dry sauna while the staff hosed down the steam room. Instead of the usual British – we have to make skin/costume contact, but do not engage verbal contact as well – we actually decided to laugh at our sardine situation and talk to each other.
One guy in his late 20s was picking my brain for food information to build up his muscles to even bigger than they already are. My NLP training kicked in, and I was prepared to offer you’re fine as you are, really. You’re already taking up most of the bench with your muscle mass as body dysmorphia can be from a self esteem issue. He talked about his Irish wife’s anaemia, and then unexpectedly he said, “I was told that being married and having children would bring me the greatest happiness. I love my wife and kids, but…” and then he trailed off, with a sad look.
My NLP training definitely kicked in, as did my Buddhism readings. This was a classic case of doing what people expect of you, rather than following your heart. It leaves you hollow. Most commonly it’s in marriage and climbing a career ladder. You get married, or reach the top, but you’re still not satisfied. The promised happiness isn’t there. This guy worried too much about what other people wanted of him (manly muscles, wife and kids), and he was understandably unhappy. Happiness cannot come from an external source or reason, as that reason can be taken from you.
I know that I’m not marriage material. I was asked a question many years ago – if marriage didn’t exist, would you invent it? – and I said no. I began a sentence to show that there were alternatives to social expectations. If I hadn’t been interrupted, the sentence would have been, “I thought about getting married. It’s not for everyone.” Pick any point in that series of sounds to be cut off with:
You haven’t met the right man yet.