It is unlikely that you, or anyone you know, actually live in a constant mood of extreme bliss (I mean, really, can you imagine? You wouldn’t even know you were happy anymore!). On a less dramatic point — it is unlikely that you are constantly satisfied with all aspects of your life. Life is continual change, so while we might finally achieve satisfaction with the state of one part of our life, another part might be shifting and slipping.
Being attuned to the parts of your life that are shifting outside your satisfaction, and making sure to take care of those parts, is what prevents you from an emotional shutdown and unhappiness. Here are 3 quick tricks to bring your focus to problem areas and up your mood.
It may seem like this is a recipe for misery, but it is a crucial component in avoiding the pitfall of blaming your unhappiness on other things or other people. Own your life fully and you’ll be happier in every moment.
Ignoring when the engine light comes on in your car might make your today easier, but it’s a promise of trouble for tomorrow, or worse the next day. Your life is the same.
Love begets love. This is the reminder that I get when I’m at the supermarket, the airport, or just walking down the street. You know it too, it’s the difference between someone cutting you off in line, or waving you in front of them. Do your best to find it in yourself to be authentically nice to all the people you encounter.
These three steps alone will help you feel more energetic, joyful, and alive as you go through your life.
I love nice things. Especially, hand-crafted, beautiful, unique things. Whether I own them or not, I love being around them. I get bothered by paying a lot of money for something soulless because it is supposed to be a luxury brand. That is not my version of luxury.
Things that are luxurious to me are significant, that have weight, or depth or a certain feel. Some things clearly do have more value and pretending materialism is shallow and surrounding yourself with crap is no better than spending a lot of money on crap. Alan Watts said that we don’t live in a materialistic culture, actually it is the opposite, we horribly mistreat the material. I have to say I agree with him.
So what is this all about? Why do we work hard and try to keep up with the Jones’? Or why do we run away from it all and sneer at the the passersby headed to work while we clutch our poverty? Why is it that every last person I talk with is in some way conflicted about making a good living?
What is it that we are all looking for?
I belong to an industry that is selling the dream. The dream of the perfect life, the perfect work, unlimited happiness and money.
No matter what you are desiring for your work or personal life, something is driving you. Sometimes we can see something in ourselves or our life that we want to change. Sometimes we want to right an apparent wrong in the world. Sometimes we want to feel successful or be more comfortable. But no matter how you slice it, it is a ‘more’ or ‘better’ version that we are looking for.
The problem is that this drive is often so unconscious that we are compelled by it with out knowing what is compelling us. It guides our entire life and we don’t even know how it came to be inside of us. Next thing we know, we are taking another self help class. Or, dreaming of the next big step in our business. Or, or, or.
In and of itself this is not bad – wanting more for ourselves can be great. The problem is that when we live from dissatisfaction with what is, we never end up being satisfied. This means no matter what we get its not enough. This is definitely something to avoid.
The solution to this problem is not to avoid what is, or put it down for something better but rather to develop things out of love –to craft them, make them beautiful or poignant, or unique. This means that we strive for change because of deep love rather than a fear or dislike.
Being motivated by love rather than dissatisfaction changes the quality of our world for the better. It does not get rid of the quest for growth, but it allows us to embrace and appreciate ourselves and our lives in the present moment as well.