July 3, 2018
We live in a time where there is so much “stuff” to buy. Keeping up with the Jones’ is beginning to consume many people’s lives. The internet may be influencing millennials to be more materialistic as well, or maybe even growing up without much makes us think that money and “stuff” is the answer to all our problems. It makes some people neglect things that are really important like building relationships, proper communication with others, spending time with the ones we love, and managing that money once we finally get it. My philosophy on money is that we never really want money, we just want what we can get with it.
In the song, “Imagine That” by J Rudely, he talks about how he got stuck in a materialistic mindset during a chapter of his life. He finally found a woman that he felt he truly loved, and he thought the way to her heart was with money. He began neglecting himself, his family, and even her to pursue goals revolving around making more and more money. This was destroying the beautiful romantic relationship because his woman did not feel she was getting what she wanted from him, which was just genuine love and time shared together. After long nights of arguments and tears, he finally realized what needed to happen for the relationship to work, but they had both grown so far apart on their paths in life that the relationship was so hard to salvage.
Although the couple was having their problems, their bond was still strong and they were on and off trying to make things work. Inbetween times when they were not talking, the artist was buying the attention of other woman and it was getting so old so fast that he would not even enjoy the time of the women he got after he had their attention. He said “If money doesn’t buy happiness then why do I work so much? For diamonds in my chain and a watch matte black, to pull another baddie that I would never text back. Imagine that.” (Rudely, J)
He still found peace in the woman he loved and he was trying to figure out how to love her in the right way but they both were not sure exactly what was needed. After he explained to her what was going through his mind on his end, his lady clarified that she never even cared about the money or expensive things. The whole dilemma was just a picture he had created on his own and it had caused heavy damage to their relationship.
He was changing and drifting from himself because of the money chase. He felt as if he was losing himself and the only thing that was still certain was his faith and relationship with God. He was still having a sense of losing touch with reality because the things that were constantly on his mind did not really have true importance in life. He never thought something like this would happen to him because he is always had a good head on his shoulders. This extreme shift in his mindset had gotten so bad mostly after he broke up with his last girlfriend. It made his heart jaded and he became consumed by pain, lust, and greed. When he spent time with his new girlfriend, he was always too tired or not in the moment, which would start more fights and problems.
In this situation, he was trying to solve a problem with another problem. He said “the baddest have the most baggage” (Rudely, J), meaning sometimes people with certain social status tend to have more psychological problems, according to his experiences. He took full responsibility for his actions and began attempting to correct his mistakes. He finally realized after a while that the money and the women were not making him truly happy like he thought it would and it was causing more problems than the joy it was bringing. He then quit his job that he hated and went back to school to pursue a career that he loved, but the relationship with the love of his life slowly dissolved.
We can quickly lose ourselves chasing the wrong things. It can cause turmoil in our lives, in our relationships, and change the direction that we are going. Then when we get what we were chasing, it doesn’t bring us the happiness that was predicted. It makes us feel like all that time was a waste and then the burned bridges, drama, stress, and all those negative things were unnecessary because creating positive things at the time in those moments would have been worth way more than the diamonds and gold that was being sought after.
After everything resolved, the artist realized that he should have showed gratitude for what he already had and enjoyed that with his lady. Gratitude is defined as a thankful appreciation for what has been received. In a related article, an author outlines the relationship between gratitude and true happiness. He even recommended keeping a journal to track progress and boost happiness. Frequently thinking about what you have overcome and what you already have can improve your life instantly. Your reality is shaped by what you focus on. “Being thankful for what you have right now can create happiness for you instantly, instead of you thinking happiness is coming to you in the future.” (Carr, A)
It is pretty obvious that toxic relationship can block out your happiness. Good solid friendships will improve your happiness and your life overall. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is the key. In the song the artist talks about how his drive for chasing money and material things was starting to make him neglect the people he loves. He says it was because the people he grew up with had lived a life a struggling and were not looking to improve. It was starting to weigh him down from his goals and what he thought was important. If there are people that you love and care about that are not on the same page, it may be helpful to learn how to be patient and learn how to help them want better for themselves. “Be cautious of the people you chose to be around” (Demir, M., Özdemir, M., Marum, K.)
True love is a powerful force that can really make people happy. Many people chase money and struggle with building healthy relationships. Relationships with gratitude, hope and zest are key in life. The artist was trying to use money to buy love and it never worked how he intended. His drive seemed selfish and inconsideration, even though his heart was in the right place. He was so focused on pleasing others, that he was not even completing the task. He needed to take a step back and realize what made himself happy so he could share that with others. Sharing happiness with others is how you create true happiness. “It may be hard to create happiness if you don’t know what works for you. Take time to learn about yourself.” (Foltz-Gray, D.) Focusing too hard on being happy can make you less happy. Setting goals that may be too hard to reach will also make you less happy. The artist had goals to make more money, but his goals were never specific or outlined, so he was just chasing a blurred vision that he never seemed to get closer to. Morris says “happiness should been found in everything you do if you try your best and you survive to the next day.” (Morris, L.)
True happiness can be found through a sense of purpose in life. In an article by Graves, she explains how it is easier to be focused and have more positive days after you know what you want to do with your life. In the song, the artist talks about how he would work long hours and he did not really enjoy the job. He was choosing the financial gain over actual satisfaction in life. A dream job can give you a strong sense of happiness and satisfaction. “Knowing what you truly want gives you positive motivation and drive to work hard and enjoy every day.” (Graves, S.)
The song is important to me and helps others because it teaches people to focus on the things right in front of you as often as you can. Although finances are very important in life, building healthy relationships should not rely on a foundation based on money. It makes some people forget the things that are really important, like building relationships, proper communication with others, spending time with the ones we love, and managing that money once we finally get it. My philosophy on money is that we never really want money, we just want what we can get with it. Sometimes we can get all of those things before we become financially wealthy. Taking the time to sit down and write what we truly want out of our lives can make things clear and more attainable. Less time will be wasted, hearts can go unbroken, and love & happiness can become a top priority. Imagine that.
Carr, A. (2011) Gratitude. Positive Psychology (2011). p16-18.
Demir, M., Özdemir, M., Marum, K. (2011) Perceived Autonomy Support, Friendship Maintenance, and Happiness. Journal of Psychology. Vol. 145 Issue 6, p537-571.
Foltz-Gray, D. (2006) What Really Makes Us Happy. Prevention. Vol. 58 Issue 2, p156-163.
Graves, S. (2013) Find Your Happiness. Prevention. Vol. 65 Issue 1, p104-105.
Morris, L. (2017) Why the Pursuit of Happiness Could Be Pointless Sunday Age, The (Melbourne).
Rudely, J (2017) Imagine That