We live in a world that is so focused on “the next thing.”
We create lives that are excessively stimulating. We’re surrounded by noise, advertisements, and things. Just take a look at Times Square the next time you see it on TV. Can you imagine a place more overwhelming? And it’s a portrait of our culture.
We cannot possibly expect to sustain such nonsense. Would you leave your car running all night? And never stop to turn it off or gas it up? No. Because it would probably break down. And so will we. If you turn your life into a nonstop marathon, you’re going to break down, too.
We are not taught in school or elsewhere that there is such thing as “enough.” I don’t know of many people who always believe they are “good enough” and that they “have enough.” Most of us are always chasing more. (I am so guilty of this!) That varies from person to person, too. Some people chase more approval. Others seek drama. And for a lot of us, it’s these benchmarks we keep setting for ourselves. “When I have X, Y, and Z, then I will be happy.”
You can’t assign a certain achievement to a state of mind. That’s why successful people can be depressed and people who live with relatively less can be extremely content. Happiness is a way of life, not a place we can arrive. And we don’t need to exhaust ourselves to get there. Contentment does not have to be earned.
When we begin to simplify our lives, it becomes hard to ignore what’s really important. It’s not about what we’ve convinced ourselves matters anymore. When you reduce the clutter in your life, both physical and nonphysical, you have no choice but to confront what’s actually true and real. Above all, we have to be intentional. It’s when we’re completely unaware of our patterns that they become dangerous.
The next time you go to buy a new pair of shoes or take on another task, ask yourself if there’s something deeper going on. We tend to think our problems can be fixed by burying them in more things, but I assure you that’s only an illusion. It doesn’t work.
There is such thing as enough. So unplug yourself, recharge your batteries, and slow down. Happiness is only a smile away.
Thanks for reading!