Back in my 20s I had an argument with my guy friend about the goal of life. He was working hard towards his next promotion and was boasting about his net worth.
I asked: what was the point of all that money? There was always something next to buy: a better car, a bigger renovation, a more lavish holiday.
Yet he didn’t strike me as happy.
He put it to me straight: if that’s not what growing up is about, then what is it?
I thought I had it all figured out. I said experiences. Things were just possessions and could never amount to true happiness. But meaningful experiences made a life well-lived.
Over the next decade I ticked more must-do items off my meaningful experiences list: learn Spanish, humanitarian mission abroad, take up the violin, hike a volcano, move to India, get married in Central Park, study neuroscience, have babies, and on and on. Another thrill or rite of passage. (K, some of my thrills are categorically nerdy.)
Somewhere along the line, it started to feel like accumulating experiences.
Like actually there wasn’t much difference between that guy friend’s approach and my own.
Both approaches want more, more, more. One approach says have more. And the other says do more.
It reminds me of what Rockefeller said when he was asked: “How much money is enough?” He responded, “Just a little bit more.”
Or the new-age equivalent: abundance mindset. Which is a covert operation for requiring more, in the way it’s usually promoted.
If you always need more to be happy, happiness gets postponed until some future date when that more is satisfied. If it gets satisfied.
True happiness doesn’t have a prerequisite.
It doesn’t require a certain amount of things or experiences.
True happiness comes from being. It’s a depth thing, not a breadth thing.
You can activate it by going deep inside a feeling of enough-ness. Where in your life do you feel you have enough? Or do enough? Or, for God’s sake, are enough? (Eeshk. Those places are hard to find. I hear you.)
Go deep into that feeling.
How exactly does it feel? What do you notice? What happens when you go deep? Tell us in the comments below!
When we look around our lives and say, I have enough, I do enough, I AM enough, we start to unlock the place where true happiness lives.
Do Less. Live More.
PS: Are your to-dos becoming unmanageable? Join me for an in-person workshop on Overcoming Overwhelm on April 27th. More details here: www.jen-reed.com/serenity-prayati