There is a little lie that we tell ourselves. It is a lie that helps us make it through the challenges of each day. It is a lie that keeps us focused on doing what it takes to get what we want. We tell ourselves that, if we could only get what we want in life, we would finally be happy and content. This isn't the full truth.
Nature has given us desire. Desire is what motivates us, drives us forward, and helps us cope with today's challenges. Chasing our desire is the process by which we get what we want. But getting what we want makes us happy only for a time. What once makes us completely happy soon gets old and dull. A child's enthusiasm for a slide decreases with each trip up the ladder. In our teenage years, we might fall in love with a band and play an album again and again. But, in time, all music becomes too familiar and we lose interest. In adulthood, we believe that we will be completed when we fall in love with and even marry that special someone. Yet, as the years go by in even the most ideal relationship, we discover that we need even so much more than this in life to stay happy and content. The same is true with respect to any material possession, any accomplishment, any amount of money, any level of fame, and any level of success. This is why a person can have it all and still be unhappy. A person is unhappy when he or she is not seeking or accomplishing something new!
There are no destinations in life. Life is a series of stages in which we continue to chase various goals, dreams, and desires. When we get what we want, we have fun and we are happy. Sometimes this lasts for an hour, sometimes a day, sometimes a month, sometimes a few years. But, in time, the positive effects of any destination begins to fade and we catch ourselves dreaming, planning, craving, and reaching for that next thing.
Happiness is to seek, to explore, to dream, to pursue, and to accomplish. Happiness comes from continued newness. Yet newness is fleeting, so we must always find new newness! But of course not all newness is good. I'm talking about newness that comes from seeking what we want and getting what we want. And how much of what we seek and what we get is actually what we want? How much of it comes from our deepest desires and is guided by our inner voices and how much of it is imposed upon us? How much of what we seek and what we get is a reflection of our authentic selves? In truth, you cannot find true happiness by chasing somebody else's dreams, by doing what somebody else expects, or by conforming to what society considers ideal or appropriate. It has to be what you want!
Living in allignment with our nature is what makes us happy! Your function in nature is to realize your potential as a unique genetic mutation. To pursue what you want and get what you want is the process by which your life is fulfilled. This is happiness.
Why should life be any different? Nature does not stand still. It does not leave us alone and does not give us a break because we have achieved something. Nature brings relentless change and, like any animal, we survive only if we can change with it. The urge we feel to get what we want is what helps us learn new skills and constantly improve. Without those urges, that drive, that desire, the processes of evolution would have killed us off long ago. This is how we're designed.
Despite what the external forces of conformity will tell you...to live in truth, rightness, and happiness is to live in accordance with your own nature. What's wrong with this world is not what's wrong with your nature. Quite the opposite: what's wrong with this world has to do with all of those external forces opposing your nature. More on that in future posts...