Imagine that you had the power to satisfy all your wishes, to achieve all your dreams. What would this look like? Immeasurable wealth? Power? Beauty? Fantastic journeys? Now, why do you want these things? You want these things because you want happiness, joy, peace. All desires come back to a state of being. You want wealth to get happiness, not the other way around. So, it’s obvious that the happiness and peace are more important than any material possessions. The quality of your life is dependent not upon what you have, but upon how you are.
Consider this hypothetical situation. You’re hungry so you eat. Then you feel bloated so you go on a walk. Then you feel hot so you take a shower. Then you’re cold so you make some tea. Then you have a headache, so you take some aspirin. And on, and on, and on. Pause… where is that moment that you are looking for? Where is that experience you wish to savor in all of its sweetness? Why are you doing all these things? What are you going towards?
Many people live this life of constantly pursuing desires, without even thinking about it. People slave away at jobs, in the gym, constantly striving to make the external conditions of their life perfect. “Once I have X amount of money, once I lose X pounds, once I have that title, once I have that relationship, everything will be perfect, and finally, I will be able to live. Finally, I will have those juicy moments of perfect happiness.”
These poor people, they treat the present as an obstacle to be overcome. They are not free. They are slaves to the external. They don’t see that they are missing life.
You do not listen to a song for the last note. You do not eat your favorite snack so that it gets in your stomach. You do not watch a movie for the final scene. Life is like that. Happiness is not a destination! Life is not a destination! Happiness is a way of life. It is a journey. Life is a flow.
Recall that true happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
So, allow me to offer a better way of living out your existence. All you must do is simply say: “I 100% percent accept the way that things are right now.” The trick is that you have to actually mean it though, which isn’t always easy to do. If only for a moment, suspend all your desires and longings and cravings and even your lifelong dreams (give it a chance). Just let them drift out of your mind. If you can manage to fully clear your mind, if even for a fleeting second, you have achieved perfect harmony with the universe.
Life suddenly becomes deeply beautiful if you exist in the present without any motives at all. No reason to be doing anything, even mentally, besides just peacefully witnessing what’s going on.Life cannot get any better. That is it. You made it. Peace, joy, and the highest possible existence are readily available in each passing moment.
Jack Kornfield says it well: “[Many of us] simply go about a course of changing external conditions… but we know that whether an individual has a tremendous amount of resources or is just scraping to get by, the depth of freedom and happiness… in that individual is not really changed by the external circumstances anywhere near as much as by their level of wisdom and freedom and happiness in their own heart.”