Why so many people are lonely today

We are all living in silos that are outside the real world and in little cubicles that where we control everything.

At first, we thought it was a brilliant idea. Innovation that gives us everything we want, at our finger tips, when we want it and how we want it.

Until...

Many of us realise that our reliance on technology and a new way of living has made us incredibly isolated from our family, friends and the rest of the world.

Lonely at the top

They say as an entrepreneur, it's lonely at the top, particularly if you are there all by yourself. I can attest to this. Over the years I have learned that:

  • The only person you can rely on is yourself.
  • You cannot share what you are thinking on any occasion whether it's a success or failure, or anything in between.
  • You'll be damned if you do, and you will be damned if you don't.
  • There are a lot more screwed up people in the world that are pissed off at anyone reaching the top, wanting to reach the top or that have a better station in life than them.
  • Charity is only for the select few, and others may use it to improve their status, as a tax deduction or to get an Order of Australia as part of their greater ambitions. Look beyond what you see promoted and see the people behind the scenes who really are charitable. Giving up their time and money without looking for recognition. They are the people who are truly charitable. 
  • Mean spirited people never change. Anyone that does something that is plain nasty, keep your distance.
  • You cannot share how you are feeling with your colleagues, friends or family. Your colleagues will feel that you should be 'lucky' to have what you have, your friends if you are more successful than them will sometimes think that you are 'rubbing your life' in their faces, and your family, well, we were all brought up to have a stiff upper lip or to not skite. 
  • Loneliness can be filled by checking out of the world we live in and going back 30 years to living a 'normal, healthy' life, dropping in on neighbours, enjoying family bbq's without checking your phone or watching television and going back out into the world.
  • Be prepared to hear people constantly say "I don't know how you live like you do". They are probably being nice and are concerned, but how it feels from the other side is different. When someone says this, I think to myself "I don't know how I do too, and I want to get off the roundabout but I have 50 people to consider, which means if I have any compassion, I would put them first.
  • Every time you have a challenge, you may find people who empathise, but at the end of the day, you are alone to face it.
  • The higher you climb, the more attractive you are, and if you happen to have intelligence on your side, the world will be a hell of a lot lonely unless you have people surrounding you that are richer, more attractive - and then it probably doesn't matter so much about the intelligence side of things.
  • Common sense isn't a given. When we were kids we were constantly told to use our common sense. Today, it's not asked for and if heaven forbid you do ask people to use it, then you are a terrible, terrible, condecending bitch.
  • If you are female and haven't married or had kids in your 40's, you are not only 'left on the shelf', you must have a heart of stone, be unloveable and so ambitious that you deserve to be lonely, old, wrinkled with no-one beside you.
Go back in time

If only we were like Michael J Fox and could go back in time. Maybe we would have thought things through differently. I have tried groups like entrepreneurs associations, and they are fabulous, but some people like me outgrow the day-to-day of these groups and want a real life apart from a bunch of 'new friends'. My old friends from school, my first jobs and life, are pretty awesome. They all went on to do things their way and I am proud of them. I love my family. They are grounding but also my biggest supporters in life. I have one brother that totally gets me. It's like looking at someone in the mirror most of the time. 

I work long hours these days to fill in the day, so I can go back to yet another hotel room and read a book. I have a goal in mind, because I am not stupid. I am not thinking that this is the way to live life and that happiness is about success or money. It's just something I have to do to finish off the business plan I wrote some years ago, and leave a legacy for the industry I work in. I also would like to set my team up for life in some way, because without them I would be nothing. 

I am happy 

But with all of this said, I am happy. I smile every day. I get to look at the most amazing views in every city that I travel to. My office in Sydney makes my heart sing. Looking out at Sydney harbour is a blessing. It gives me energy and always makes me smile. Knowing that my life will not always be long hours, and hotel rooms gives me a sense of knowing where I am going and how I am going to get there. Also, it reminds me of my purpose. That, and feeling comfortable in your own skin as I do, helps ensure that even though things in life may be challenging, you will always find happiness in what you do and the people around you.

If you are a lonely entrepreneur, find balance. Have a goal worth working towards and make sure it isn't just money or accolades. Both are replaceable and mean nothing other than to feed one's ego. Challenge yourself daily and have others that do the same around you. Step outside your comfort zone and do the things you are afraid to do. Last night a meeting cancelled, so I had dinner alone. Do you know that I would never do that? I would instead normally order takeout or room service rather than be seen sitting in a restaurant by myself. But I am changing, because I am mindful of these conversations that we have in our heads and what they actually mean in the greater scheme of things. 

Lonely. It's temporary, if you make it.


comments ( 9 )
  • Ashlee
    Ashlee
    20 Jul 2018

    I agree that technology advancements have been a blessing and a curse. However, they only take the time that you give them. We must remain diligent and I completely agree that balance is key to feeling happy.

    Reply
  • Megan
    Megan
    09 Jul 2018

    I love the honesty in this blog, my entire family (parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents) are self-employed entrepreneurs and I have been taught my entire life that in order to be successful you can't be working under somebody. For as long as I can remember being an entrepreneur was portrayed as a fantasy job with nothing but benefits, my dad would always tell myself and my 3 siblings that we wouldn't be able to have the vacations we have if he wasn't self employed. I've only been a witness to the benefits of success and obviously sheltered from the harsh realities of the lonely late nights, the jealousy and the inability to trust those around you. As a child I was only aware of the nice things we had and a fact of life was that dad was always out working and we weren't to disturb him unless it was an emergency, but when he was around for Saturday sport it was all happy family and great bonding time. This blog does give an insight to what those long weekday work trips were like for him.

    Reply
  • Tahlia
    Tahlia
    09 Jul 2018

    Great read and insight about technology these days and how so many people rely on it which makes them lonely

    Reply
  • Thomas
    Thomas
    06 Jul 2018

    I agree technology and social media has been a blessing and a curse. I also believe that personal fitness is also important to balancing a healthy lifestyle. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind and increases happiness. It also gives an individual a greater sense of self-confidence.

    Reply
  • Minh Nguyen
    Minh Nguyen
    06 Jul 2018

    I'm interested in the way you enjoy yourself at the restaurant. Sometimes, I choose to be alone not because I feel lonely, but I wanna refresh my energy, enjoy my introverted thoughts apart from the busy life.
    "Challenge yourself daily and have others that do the same around you. Step outside your comfort zone and do the things you are afraid to do". I did feel afraid of something before I read this sentence. And your saying motivated me to do what I'm afraid to do because there is no chance for a scared person.

    Reply
  • Rachel
    Rachel
    05 Jul 2018

    The blog started with telling the truth that all of us are lonely independents, no one will always be there to share your deepest feeling and you cannot trust others when you are at the top position. It is so true that everyone faces lonely moments and they have to go through them, I believe it is their attitude towards loneliness. Some love being in the crowd, if they are left alone, they would feel uncomfortable, do not want to dine out alone. Some love staying alone, if they are put in a group, they would feel uncomfortable too. I learnt to take balance between staying in a group and being alone. Enjoy the moments stay with friends and being alone to reflect what I have done before. Social media is a good way to connect with people, but at the same time it creates loneliness. Social media is all about virtual interactions, though you are surrounded by lots of information, distance is still existed and thus loneliness created. Learnt to take a balance between virtual and reality life is a good way to survive in current era.

    Reply
  • Rachel
    Rachel
    05 Jul 2018

    The blog started with telling the truth that all of us are lonely independents, no one will always be there to share your deepest feeling and you cannot trust others when you are at the top position. It is so true that everyone faces lonely moments and they have to go through them, I believe it is their attitude towards loneliness. Some love being in the crowd, if they are left alone, they would feel uncomfortable, do not want to dine out alone. Some love staying alone, if they are put in a group, they would feel uncomfortable too. I learnt to take balance between staying in a group and being alone. Enjoy the moments stay with friends and being alone to reflect what I have done before. Social media is a good way to connect with people, but at the same time it creates loneliness. Social media is all about virtual interactions, though you are surrounded by lots of information, distance is still existed and thus loneliness created. Learnt to take a balance between virtual and reality life is a good way to survive in current era.

    Reply
  • Cherry
    Cherry
    05 Jul 2018

    I agree that many people are so lonely today because they might only focus on technologies, and just surfing on the net instead of communicating with people. Once they put down their phone, they may think that they ‘re so lonely. Moreover, if you want to be on the top, you may ignore so many things around you. For me, as a a student, i put a lot of time in my studies to have a good result. I need to study alone. Sometimes, when i look back or at night, i feel that I am lonely sometimes because it seems like i don't have time to enjoy my life. However, his article reminds me to strike a balance between work and life.

    Reply
  • Cherry
    Cherry
    05 Jul 2018

    I agree that many people are so lonely today because they might only focus on technologies, and just surfing on the net instead of communicating with people. Once they put down their phone, they may think that they ‘re so lonely. Moreover, if you want to be on the top, you may ignore so many things around you. For me, as a a student, i put a lot of time in my studies to have a good result. I need to study alone. Sometimes, when i look back or at night, i feel that I am lonely sometimes because it seems like i don't have time to enjoy my life. However, his article reminds me to strike a balance between work and life.

    Reply

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