23rd July 2011, and British singer Amy Winehouse was found dead at her London home. Her downward spiral drives home something I have written about for years, and it can dramatically change your views on life…
The death of a celebrity is always a massive story in the media. In a week with British forces being killed in service, and nearly 100 people murdered by one man in Norway, the biggest front page photos are of Amy Winehouse.
Her addiction to drink and drugs was well documented, and the coverage of her death saw the usual ‘tragic’ sprinkled with ‘expected’ and ‘unsurprising’. I think the truth is that it was indeed unsurprising – it often ends badly for someone that clearly well down the slippery slope, seemingly unable or unwilling to reverse the trend.
27 years old when she died, she was rich and famous. At 19 she released her first album, which went platinum. At 22 she released her second album, which won 5 Grammy Awards. With 10 million record sales, the money and fame flowed – but did happiness…?
When she first burst onto the scene, she came across as quirky – bright and fresh. It didn’t take long though, particularly through live performances, for her image to change to one of surly abuse. The press latched to this and followed her relentlessly, never afraid to publish pictures of her snarling or making gestures.
She now came across not as a musical celebrity, but a celebrity drug addict, and the grip that drugs had on her was obvious to see.
It’s easy to think that fame and fortune would bring you happiness, but that clearly wasn’t the case with Winehouse, and it’s a direct lesson you can apply to your own life…
Do you think that your life will be better ‘if only?’ If only this, or if only that, then I’d be happy. Is it really true though?
It can actually make you unhappier when you think that something else will make you happier, because you are telling yourself that you aren’t happy now! In fact you can allow yourself to be happy anytime.
Ok, you may want to do different things, you may want any number of circumstances to be different, but it’s likely that if you are reading this, you have electricity. You probably have a roof over your head, you probably have food to eat, you probably don’t worry about being killed.
This is an abundance available to such a small percentage of the world’s population, yet it is taken so much for granted that it is regularly dismissed as not being good enough.
Think about it for a second. Consider all the people that strive for fame and fortune, and then when they get there find it does not bring them happiness. In fact it traps them in a unreal bubble with easy access to drugs, with all the consequences that brings.
Drugs can take anyone, it’s not just entertainers, but the tale of Amy Winehouse shows someone who was not happy, even though she had what most people think would guarantee happiness.
Consider if you really appreciate your abundance and ask whether money can’t buy you happiness, because happiness is a state of mind, and that’s free.