Not getting what you want doesn’t make you happy. Obviously. But neither does getting what you want.
It’s human nature to focus on the Next Big Thing. A wedding, a promotion, a cross-country move. You’re waiting for that thing to happen because then life will be better. And life probably will be better–for around six months. Then you’re back to your baseline, waiting for that Next Big Thing. Even the vast majority of lottery winners, within a year of winning big, say they are no happier than before. In fact, most lottery winners say they are less happy since they won.
You cling to the Next Big Thing because you want an escape plan. You want out of your present life moment. Here’s the irony. Because your only “way out” is through the Here and Now. This exact moment in your life may be far from ideal, but it’s the only moment you’ve got. Can you settle in and take a look around? However uncomfortable or indecisive you’ve been feeling, however restless or on the verge of meltdown, this is your only access point to the rest of your life. Tune in to the present, and notice what you are experiencing right now. What are you doing? What kind of thoughts are you thinking? What is your emotional state?
Simple non-judgmental awareness is the key to living at ease. Contentment is never a future proposition, because the future never arrives.
About the Author: James Robbins is a licensed professional counselor, published author and co-owner of Dallas Whole Life Counseling. He has over 15 years of experience helping people in various life stages that come from a wide variety of cultural, economic and family backgrounds. Learn more about his background by clicking here.