“... there are two ways of being unhappy.
Not getting what you want is one.
Getting what you want is the other.”
I remember reading these words by Eckhart Tolle in his book "A New Earth" and recognising myself in both of these ways.
The first one seemed more obvious and something we might be more aware of already. Don't we all keep a list in our minds thinking "When I'll have _____, I'll be (more) happy"? Whether that's more money, or a new job, buying a house, finding a boyfriend, losing those few extra kilograms or something else. The list goes on. We imagine this is what stands in between us and our happiness.
The second one took me more by surprise and sounded a little counter-intuitive at first:
How can getting the things we want make us unhappy?
But I'm sure if you think about it, a few examples pop into your head as well. Maybe it was getting into that university, or getting that job/promotion you really wanted, or going on that holiday, or receiving the new pair of shoes you couldn't wait to have.
The moment we get them we feel happy, but quite often that feeling doesn't stay for long and gets replaced by slight confusion or maybe even sadness that we're not as happy as we should be. As we expected to be.
What happens then? Our mind jumps back to reason number 1 and finds something else that must be still missing, keeping our happiness out of reach.
Quite the lovely cycle, isn't it? We're unhappy because we don't have what we want, and we're unhappy (or not as happy) when we get what we want.
The problem with both, in my eyes, is that we keep looking for our happiness to be somewhere else except for where we are right now and except for what we already have in the present moment.
So no matter how good things can become in the future, what we may achieve or get, if our mind is used to looking for what's missing, it finds what it seeks. It will never feel enough.
What I took away from this quote is that our ability to enjoy life in the future will be defined by our ability to enjoy life in the present moment.
And what helps us find more joy, refocus our attention on what we have, count our blessings, appreciate what we may have taken for granted? The practice of gratitude.
As Brené Brown has put it "Twelve years of research, eleven thousand pieces of data, I did not come across a single person who described their lives as joyous who did not actively practice gratitude."
With this in mind, I would love to see you join me on the 7 days of Yoga Journey into Christmas next week. We will be starting with Gratitude 🧡
Mark the dates: 14th - 20th December, 2020
To join: Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
Help me spread the word: Invite your friends and family to share the journey
Join me and let me know how you get on.