I was always working for something.
As a kid I worked to get an allowance, so I can buy something I wanted. Then I got a job so I could get a car. Then a better job so I could get a better car. I took guitar lessons because I wanted to be like Eric Clapton. I took piano lessons so I could be like Billy Joel. I went to the gym so I could look better, to get a better girlfriend.
Everything was a means to an end.
Happiness was always “out there” on the other side of the rainbow, and I thought all I had to do to get there was to work hard.
“Do these things”, then I get what I want. I assumed it was only a matter of working harder or finding the right strategy / secret.
For years, I never considered that there might be a flaw in my way of thinking. Until I got old enough and had sufficiently failed myself, that I stepped back and asked, “maybe I’m the problem?”
Instead of working to get something in the future, what if I put some of that energy into working on right now?
Is it possible to enjoy the moment I’m in, accepting things the way they are, and just stand there and smile? Can I find gratitude in the things I have instead of only focusing on what I don’t have?
It’s possible, but it takes work.
But I know how to work! I’ve worked hard at things all my life, so why not put some of that effort into being present? Practice keeping focus on whatever is right in front of you, being where your feet are, embracing whatever you’re feeling and not following the thoughts as they try to lead you somewhere else. Stay here for a while.
If you can make this shift, and adjust the way you operate – instead of looking for answers out there and in the future, look inside and in the now – it’s actually an easier, more enjoyable life.
Because the truth is, experience tells you that no matter how much you achieve, how much money you get, how good your body looks, as long as you’re looking for outside things to make you whole, you’ll never be happy. You might be for a while but it doesn’t last. Like a drug addict, you always need more.
Yet, ironically, if you focus on the inside first, not only do we experience true peace, joy and freedom, but we can still achieve outside success – because we want to, not because we have to.
Mindfulness, Music & Marketing. I’m obsessively curious about what makes people tick and what makes us all feel more connected.
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