Whatever the metric of success – social status and recognition, material and physical prosperity – once we see it in someone else we tell ourselves, if we only have that, we’ll be happy. Guru sales guys specialize in awakening your wants and desires so you’ll buy and buy and buy. Why shouldn’t you “have it all” right?
Thanksgiving Day is a time to be grateful. And today, I am especially grateful for something sort of unusual:
I am grateful for the growing belief that “genuine happiness lies in not wanting.”
Can you remember a moment when everything seemed perfect? Just for a moment? During that rare moment, did you want anything else?
But a short while later, the old wanting grinder starts up again…
No matter what (or who) it is we get, soon the happiness it provided wears off…we get unhappy again, want something or someone else, and well, you know the story. After all these years, I am learning that
“Endless wanting is a burden to the mind.” – Ani Tenzen Palmo.
That belief doesn’t mean you live in a hovel. Or have no rewards for what you do. Far from it. It’s about not hankering after the rewards of what you do. It’s in the hankering that the danger lies.
Who owns your happiness?
Are you unhappy unless you own what they tell you that you need to be happy? Have you fallen for that a little over the years, like I have?
Today I am grateful for not wanting, not hankering after rewards quite like before. It is both relieving and invigorating. The love of doing it rules. Not the (external) rewards of it.
P.S. In case you think the “not wanting” mindset is for sissies, don’t be fooled. In any negotiating session, the one who cares the least about the prize, wins. It is the one who hankers after it most who gives away the store – and often – her soul.