A sense of calm and contentment has descended upon me this week. How did I manage to attain this sought-after state? Easily.
Not long ago, somebody said to me that wanting more – a bigger house, a faster car, a better job, more money – is part of human nature. Defining things as ‘natural’ is dangerous, I feel, but I was assured that this claim could be supported with evidence. This got me thinking. Society depends upon people wanting more, consuming more. Advertising is based on making us desire things, crave things, that we are coerced into believing are lacking in our life. Their possession is the missing link in the chain of perfection. Maybe this is why wanting more is deemed to be natural. We accept it, go along with it, and don’t question why. Yet when you ask people what really makes them happy, it is not the accumulation of material possessions but simple pleasures such as smelling freshly cut grass, hearing the birds sing, watching a beautiful sunset, spending time with family and friends. The thrill of the latest gadget soon wears off, a few months down the line that must-have item is forgotten, and a new possession is hankered for. You know, the one that will make our life complete so that we are ready to get down to the business of living. And so it goes on… We continue to search for that elusive item.
But what if we stop this never-ending quest? What happens if we sit back and adopt a different outlook? This is what I did this week and I immediately felt completely different, calmer, more relaxed, more content, richer in so many different ways. I smelt the freshly cut grass, I listened to the birdsong, I rejoiced in the company of my family and friends, and I discovered that cloud formations have their own exquisite beauty. This week I stopped bolting from one place to another in an attempt to get more and more things done so that everything was ticked off the ‘To Do’ list and I could begin living. I let things take their natural time and the stress evaporated.
I don’t want a bigger house, a faster car, a better job, more money. I want to live, and this week I truly have.