The Shortcut to Happiness
The next marathon. The perfect partner. The next rung. The perfect rug. ;)
All of this? It has the potential to create a feeling of lack.
Don’t have it yet. Aren’t there yet.
Can we truly be complete already while also wanting a greater set of tools through which to maximize our expression of our true selves?
More importantly, can we have everything we want with no time delay and little effort? ;)
We exist in a reality where dualism seems obsolete. On, off. Right, totally wrong. My way. The highway. It ends up making us feel like only one thing can exist at a time.
Yet it really doesn’t have to be this way. Life is full of a multitude of possibilities at a single instance in time. We will always be growing and expanding, reaching for the fulfillment of a new goal because all of these “aquisitions” whether material or status, should be a new means by which to express our true selves more fully. If we use a couple of tricks, we can merge the future into the present and FEEL like we imagine we will feel then now. We can, in essence, live in two places at once and feel good continuously if we take the good we plan to feel when we get the rug and the rung and feel it now.
By using our feelings to create a future state in the present, we eliminate the feeling of lack and the need to figure out how we will reach our latest goal because we have decided to feel like we have already reached it and that makes it part of our present life instead of out there wait to be sorted out.
The feeling of lack that comes in the growth process occurs when we observe the distance between where we are and where we want to be. It is normal. It comes when we take the goal, the dream, the vision and compare it to our reality now. We qualify it against where we are. You may wish to travel or get your dream job and the idea feels great until you notice that you have no idea how you will make the goal your reality when maybe you lack the money to travel or the experience to get the job. On a fairly regular basis, we taking perfectly great ideas and run them into the ground over the “how.” It’s a fatal flaw we have that sabotages our goals.
I am so analytical. Tell me one idea and I will have a minimum of 10 thoughts about it within 15 seconds. I will tell you all the options, the potential roadblocks, and the possible solutions to said roadblocks. It isn’t being negative really. But if you are like me, analysis is such a double-edged thing.
If we were to remove all mental gymnastics around the “how” we were going to make the goal happen, we would free ourselves from a lot of roadblocks, objections and doubts. When we pick a dream and then notice the lack of it, we get frustrated. Then we try to figure out how we could possibly get there and we get even more tied up. Worse yet, we take a perfectly perfect dream and limit it when we can’t sort out the path to reach it, so we make the dream smaller so that the path is clearer.
Are you still with me? I’m getting to the solution to the exhausting scenario I’ve highlighted above. :)
Here is the part we miss. When we set the goal or envision a different, better life in one area or another, we don’t even realize that the next rung on the work ladder or finding the perfect partner isn’t what we are really trying to get to. What we are really seeking is the feeling we imagine we will have when we arrive. And the feeling? We don’t need a detail-driven map of how we are going to get out of debt and into the new car to feeeeelllllll as good as we imagine we will feel when it happens. We can feel it any old time.
So, deep breath, we are spiritual beings having a human life. We seek anything that we believe will bring us joy, exhiliration, peace, contentment, happiness, fun, etc., and what we seek is as unique as we are. If we know what we are truly seeking is to be happy and use these acquisitions to express our unique joy further, the goals and objects become secondary and the feelings the primary goal.
If you get the new car, will you be excited? Of course. Will a bird still poop on it? Will it still get a flat tire? Yes. And yes. And you will be left having to focus on the amazing attributes of the car to keep it from feeling just like any. other. car. In this way, we return to the fact that it is really a feeling we truly seek and anything that blocks us from attaining the emotion is frustrating (as heck).
As I see so many friends exiting long-term marriages, I find myself wondering if in many cases it was merely a feeling they were chasing when the ended things. They were unhappy, tired, felt unappreciated and projected the solution to those feelings on the idea of ending their relationships. If, at the very least, they could create their comprehensive feeling of happiness within the relationship, would it have had to end? Maybe it would have, but the choice would come from a much more objective assessment of things than merely projecting negative feelings onto someone else.
If the feeling is all we are ever truly after, then couldn’t we apply the emotions associated with a future state to our present conditions? Could we then realize that there is no time in which we need to get “there”, that these achievements, acquisitions, and ideas have no true impact on us other than the impact that we apply to them?
The place, the partner, the job and the new rug can definitely help you feel something. But maybe if you feel the something now instead of waiting for your present conditions to change, you will be a lot happier and you will skip the torture of trying to figure out how to get from where you are to where you’d rather be. By feeling like that next cycle of expansion has already occurred, you will also skip lacking it, the noticing it isn’t here yet. Once you realize that all you really wanted was the feeling good in the first place and that all you have to do is feel good now to achieve any goal, you will shorten the distance between you and what you want to zero. From my experience, I can say that life becomes a lot simpler AND a lot more fun when you feel happy first.