We live in a world that values achievement more than inner peace.
There is a craziness I see in our modern culture. We are constantly receiving messages telling us that we’re not enough.
We are told that we can always do more, acquire more and create more. With this kind of thinking, people are never satisfied. They may think that if they can get 10 new clients, sell 100 more books or get a 5% raise that they will be content, but no sooner does that happen than they start to visualize a new goal to reach.
How do we feel good about ourselves and our lives when we keep thinking we should be doing better than we are?
I know people who make six figures who are still pushing for the next level. They want more business, a promotion or a new title in an endless climb up a mountain whose peak is always over the next pass. It’s nuts but they are responding to society’s expectations.
I think about this because all around me I see people who are stressed. They are living for the future, even when, for the most part, they already have really good lives. Another reason I am writing about this is because I get caught up in it, too.
Can you relate to this?
I have to stop myself and ask, “What’s really important?”
What’s really going to make us feel good isn’t reaching a greater threshold of success. It’s appreciating what we have in our lives right now.
We have to learn how to balance the stress that is part of life. And it’s not by obsessing on achievement.
This past month, not far from where I live, a fire in Northern California destroyed hundreds of homes devastating thousands of lives. I read daily about refugees, fleeing unbearable conditions, risking their lives in a challenging quest for survival, to find a place where they can belong and live in dignity. And internally, everyone I know is grappling with some kind of struggle.
So the question I have is, what can we be grateful for exactly the way things are right now? Whatever our circumstances. Whatever we have or don’t have. What is present, in this moment, that we can be grateful for? I suggest we take a moment to appreciate those things about our lives that are soul satisfying. The people we know who make us light up. When our work is appreciated. The uniqueness about where we live and everything in our lives that makes them valuable. Perhaps many of these are things we take for granted, focusing more on how to get that thing that is out of our reach.
We all have many things that are precious and worthy of our appreciation. And that, dear friend, is truly enough.