Stop looking for something, and you find it.
Why does this happen? Why is it that once we give up, once it all seems hopeless, it happens? Our dreams come true. The opportunity to succeed seems to fall directly into our laps. Is it luck? A coincidence? It must be one of the two. After all, if we want something, we need to go out there are CHASE IT, right? Discipline, commitment, and hard work are the keys to achieving everything you want in life.
Well, what if this wasn’t the case? Yes, discipline and hard work are important, but what if there’s a piece missing from this puzzle? What if this missing piece is exactly what’s holding you back from your next-level life?
Our Quest for External Happiness
We’ve all had this experience… We want something. It could be a new pair of shoes, success in a business, or a person you have feelings for. Then, we do anything we can to get it. We work hard, think about it all the time, and convince ourselves that it will make us “happy”. Finally, boom, we get exactly what we want. We save up the money for the shoes, we get our first $10k month in our business, we build up the courage to ask that person out on a date. Whatever it is, we got it.
This is called life – the way most people live it at least. The desire, the chase, the success. Repeat that on a loop. It’s funny, we can all see the issue when a little kid wants more and more toys, yet we think it’s perfectly logical that we want more and more money, love, and friends. Although the object of desire may be different, the desire itself stays the same. And let me clarify that there’s nothing wrong with desire. It’s impossible for us to stop desire completely. That’s part of living a human life. Even if we try to stop desire, we still desire to NOT desire. You see the problem here?
There are different types of desire, though. Most people live in the form where they firmly believe that they will be happy once they achieve the object, person, career, etc. This type of desire is thick and all-consuming, like Jell-O. People are completely submerged in this Jell-O and they cannot move. This desire takes on a sense of urgency and fear because people believe that if they don’t get what they want, their lives will be worse. Of course, because they have this belief, it comes true. Their lives do become worse when they don’t get what they want, but it’s only because they believed that would happen.
It’s Ok To Desire… Just Don’t Take It Seriously
Another type of desire is the kind that’s like water. People who live in this state do not let their desire control them. They understand that desire is part of the fun of life, but they do not become afraid of not getting what they want. Like being submerged in water, these people can move around or even come up for air and see things from a different perspective. The water is clear, so their desire is not completely tainting their external world. The water flows, so these people do not feel trapped in their lives. They flow with the water and they enjoy the ride instead of fearing the destination.
The key to living this type of free, flowing life is to understand this:
Everything we want, we already have. Think about it…
What is it that you really want? You may say you want the material object, the lover, or the money. But, go further than that. You want these things because they have a certain meaning to you. Without a human point of view, nothing in this life has meaning. People are just people, things are just things. There are no “good things” and “bad things” in the universe, it’s us humans that label things that way. So, I’ll ask again. What is it that you really want? Because it’s not the thing or the person.
What you REALLY want is the feeling you get inside of yourself when you talk to the person or when you get the thing.
If you don’t think what I’m saying is true, then let me prove it to you.
What is one thing that you have been desiring recently? It could be the attention of a particular person, new clothes, an event, a changed body, or better test scores. Pick the first thing that comes into your mind. Now, I want you to close your eyes and imagine your desire becoming a reality. See it in front of you, feel it on your skin, and listen to what it sounds like. Next, feel whatever emotion comes up for you. Whether it’s excitement, satisfaction, love, or even calmness. Imagine that you are taking that feeling and amplifying it, so now you feel it throughout your entire body.
That is your proof that you do not NEED a certain thing to happen in order for you to feel the emotion you want to feel. We have access to these feelings whenever we want them. Emotion is an internal experience, and we can explore our entire range of emotions without relying on anything external.
Once you practice this, you will notice that the scenario you are imagining (going to the event, getting the clothes, talking to the person) starts to fade into a blur. All that remains is the emotion. You will start to see that the scenario you thought you needed wasn’t really all that important. The emotion will be easily accessible to you without you even needing to imagine the scenario.
The Game Of Desire
I am not saying that you should live your life with no ambition or drive. Nor am I saying that we should only ever imagine our desires instead of making them a reality. It’s fun to want things that we don’t currently have. It’s fun to chase after things, whether we fail or succeed in actually attaining them. It’s these ups and downs that make life, well, life.
However, as I’ve explained, when you become so attached to the outcome of an event, the ups of life become addicting and the lows become unbearable. Instead of a joyous dance, life becomes a tortuous rollercoaster. Like an addict, we crave the “highs” of life. Then, once we achieve the high, it satisfies us for just a moment until we need our next fix. This is how most people live their day-to-day lives, to varying intensities of course.
When you learn the rules of this game, you can finally play the right way. The “right way” is to see this game for what it is: a game. The game doesn’t NEED to be played. You see this because you know you already have all of the things the game offers you. Because you no longer have an excessive amount of fear over “losing” the game, it doesn’t have as much power over you. You can finally have fun when you play. It may still hurt when you lose, but you will begin to appreciate the “losses” just as much as the “wins”. When you don’t get what you desire, you will not throw a tantrum or be a “sore loser”.
After all, you really can’t have the highs without the lows.
Fall in love with LIFE
Falling in love with life is the most beautiful feeling. By “falling in love”, I mean true, unconditional love for everything life has to offer. The success, the loss, the heartbreak, the thrill, losing yourself, and finding yourself. This doesn’t mean you don’t feel pain, in fact, you may feel pain stronger than before. By loving something deeply, you are also giving it the power to hurt you deeply. This is why unconditional love is so hard to come by. People withhold their love when they feel they are about to be hurt. They want to have the love but avoid the pain. This is impossible because the only way to avoid the pain is to stop loving.
When you fall in love with life, you allow yourself to feel the pain just as deeply as the love. It hurts, and there are times when you really want it all to stop. But, deep deep down, you feel that love and appreciation even for the dark moments.
You appreciate it all. You love it all. This is a true love for life. And it can only be achieved once you realize that all the answers are within YOU.