Joe is turning sixteen. All he wants in life is to have a car. He'd give anything for it. Sarah, who has a car, has never had a boyfriend. She's dying to have a boyfriend. Tracy has a boyfriend, and is about to have his baby. The kid was a mistake and she would do anything to turn back time and not conceive. Dale, who has no kids, just lost his job and desperately wants to make money. George, a billionaire, would give up his fortune to be young again, like Joe.
Right now there is someone who is going crazy wishing they could have something you have. Maybe it's your full head of hair, maybe it's your sneakers, or maybe it's your knowledge of cartography.
In fact, at this very moment every single thing about you is probably being coveted by someone else. How can you possibly be upset about anything when you realize that your entire life is being wished for in little pieces by millions of people all around the world?
Appreciating things is a lot easier when you don't have them anymore. I'm going on a cruise next week. I don't even think of the meals, the destinations, the pools, or anything else that the other passengers are looking forward to.
I'm looking forward to the tap water.
At the moment I'm in the Dominican Republic now, where the tap water isn't okay to drink. I can boil water, which makes it taste weird, or get water bottles. The grocery store isn't all that close, and I'm only so strong, so I can only carry so much water at a time. The result is that I don't drink quite enough. The thought of having a tap that has unlimited free water seems amazing.
I envy you because you probably have all the free clean water you want. I bet, like me two weeks ago, you never even considered how great it is to have drinkable tap water.
Think about the last time you had some sort of injury. You sprain your ankle, and only then do you realize how fantastic it is to have working, injury free, ankles.
There are an infinite amount of great things in your life. The trick is to appreciate them now while you still have them .
I actually had a similar experience with drinking fountains. I'm used to a desert climate, and when I went to college I was amazed that there were drinking fountains just sitting around everywhere. I think on my first day I stopped to take a drink from each one. ;D
Reminds me of the book "Stumbling on Happiness" by Daniel Gilbert. zeFrank did a vlog on the book a few years ago, which is how I found it.
You are so right... people always want what we can't/don't have... so we never feel happy..
If we just simple appreciate what we have in hands, we feel happy easier..For example, I love my morning coffee... not that I like drinking coffee but I like that peaceful time while I am drinking and some cool breeze..
Yep... I watched the Blueprint and loved it. I'll keep that in mind for future blog posts. Thanks for the suggestion!
Tynan, since you're good friends with Tyler D. I'm sure you've stumbled upon 'The Blueprint'. In it, he talks about feeling good at the core. How to shift your thinking and concentration inwards so that you're no longer thinking about what your needs and desires are, but just letting everything be and appreciating the moment. Even if the moment isn't all that great, just the fact that we have such a wonderful world around us and that you'll most likely get over what ever it is that is a hardship currently. I'm not sure if you've heard or read the Blueprint, but if you could expound on the idea of feeling good and being confident no matter the situation. Core confidence over situational. And un-conditional happiness. If you're having trouble thinking of what to write, I always enjoy the philosophical lessons people get out of everyday events. =)
Anthony interesting fact about boiled water I didn't know that.
I did a project for about a month during the weekdays where I listed 10 things I was thankful for and I was not allowed to repeat any ideas. It was an awesome experiment that increased my feeling of abundance.
I was in a car accident today. The other driver and I are fine, but both cars were totaled. It never really hit me until I went to my grandpa's house this evening and saw his two motorcycles... one is his, and one will be mine whenever we get around to fixing it up. As I looked at it, I thought about how I could have just as easily died today. Then, I thought about how I can't live my life in fear thinking about how I could have died each day.
Your last paragraph of this post said it all. Thanks, Ty.
If you want to totally screw up your life, here's my advice: cultivate some bad habits. That's how most people do it. Very few people screw up their lives by drinking once, but a lot of people screw it up by developing a drinking problem. I've never heard a story of someone who went to Vegas for the first time and lost his entire fortune, but I've heard plenty of stories of people with gambling addictions who have blackjacked their way to bankruptcy. Even breakups are far more likely to be caused by habitual bad behaviour than by a single action (even in the case of cheating, a lot of couples stay together).
This is because a single action doesn't have all that much leverage on your life. But habits, on the other hand, define us as people-- literally. What we do regularly becomes a label. Bob's an alcoholic. Tom is a cheater. Raymond is a gambler. Habits change ephemeral verbs (Tom cheated) to nouns. Once you're defined by your habits, it takes a lot to change that. If Bob doesn't drink for a night, he isn't magically changed into tee-totaler. You are your habits.
And that's why habits are my religion. I write about them all the time, from every single angle, and that's mostly a result of being fixated on habits in my own life. If you can change your habits, you can change who you are. So I pay very little attention to rare occurrences and work on my habits constantly.
Leo Babauta has inspired millions through his writing on Zen Habits, where he's shared his experiences in building up great habits, cutting clutter and junkfood from his life, learning about great parenting and building a wonderful family, eliminating debt, increasing his income and productivity, and living a life that's more happy through and through.
Leo is now graciously participating in GiveGetWin with a practical class on "action-oriented contentment", and he sat down with Sebastian Marshall to share his thoughts on what motivates him, around what contentment is, on trusting yourself, on being compassionate and compassion as an impetus for action, on self-compassion and treating yourself well, and happiness in general. Enjoy:
"Practical, Action-Oriented Contentment and Compassion" by Leo Babauta, as told to Sebastian Marshall