Pay attention to your thoughts. Just because we have been conditioned to think a certain way does not mean it brings happiness. How many people around you are happy? It might be worth reconsidering. Who says we need all these “things?” You never see a U-haul behind a hearst…..
Polonious said, “Above all, to thine own self be true.” Be honest with yourself. Have the courage to change direction if something does not bring you happiness or joy (as written about below). We are the only one who can/does live the moments of our lives. There is no guarantee how long we will be here. Don’t waste time looking for others approval. Make it a mission to find joy and happiness. Each of us has our own recipe and purpose. Accomplishment is empty unless it brings you joy in the process. I can’t tell you how many people who are dying in Hospice look back on their lives and wish they would have lived completely differently; traveled, moved, divorced, married, had children, LIVED their lives.
LOVED their lives.
Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Motivation: by Anthony DeMello
Why do we do the things we do? Recall the feeling you have when someone praises you, when you are approved, accepted, and applauded. Contrast that feeling with the feeling that arises when you look at a sunset or sunrise, or nature in general, or when you read a good book, or watch a movie you thoroughly enjoy. Get a taste for the difference in these feelings and contrast it with the first. Understand that the first feeling comes from self-glorification, and self-promotion. It is a worldly feeling. The second comes from self-fulfillment, a soul feeling.
Here is another contrast: Recall the kind of feeling you have when you succeed when you have made it, when you get to the top, when you win a game, or a bet, or an argument. And contrast it with the kind of feeling you get when you really enjoy a job you are doing, you are absorbed in, the action that you are currently engaged in. And once again you notice the qualitative difference between the worldly feelings and the soul feeling.
Yet another contrast: Remember what you felt like when you had power, you were the boss, people looked up to you, took orders from you; or when you were popular. And contrast that worldly feeling with a feeling of intimacy; companionship, the times you thoroughly enjoyed yourself in the company of a friend or with a group in which there was fun and laughter.
Having done this, attempt to understand the true nature of worldly feelings, namely, the feelings of self-promotion, self-glorification. They are not natural, they were invented by your society and your culture to make you produce and make you controllable. These feelings do not produce the nourishment and happiness that is produced when one contemplates Nature or enjoys the company of one’s friends or one’s work. They are meant to produce thrills, excitement, and emptiness.
Then observe yourself in the course of a day or a week and think how many actions of yours are performed, how many activities engaged in that are uncontaminated by the desire for these thrills, these excitements that in the end only produce emptiness, and the desire for more attention, approval, fame, popularity, success and power.
And take a look at the people around you. Is there a single one of them who has not become addicted to these worldly feelings? A single one who is not controlled by them, hungers for them, spends every minute of his or her waking life consciously or unconsciously seeking them? When you see this you will understand how people attempt to gain the world and, in the process, lose their soul. For they live empty soulless lives.
And here is a parable of life for you to ponder on: A group of tourists sits in a bus that is passing through gorgeously beautiful country; lakes and mountains, and green fields and rivers. But the shades of the bus are pulled down. They do not have the slightest idea of what lies beyond the windows of the bus. And all the time of their journey is spent squabbling over who will have the seat of honor in the bus, who will be applauded, who will be considered. And so they remain till the journey’s end.