There was a time in my life when I was on two reality shows within two years! I competed to win because I thought winning would get me the chance to “help more people.” What I didn’t understand is that I already had (and still have) exactly what I need to help more people. But the ego likes to disguise intentions to make them sound good. The ego loves “more” or “new” of anything that you don’t currently have.
Glamour- and desire-driven goals bond us to the thing we are after. We become attached to getting the thing and develop an emotional dependency of “needing it.”
On a subconscious level, we experience guilt when we act out of desire/lust and it comes at a cost.
Self esteem decreases and we experience envy, jealousy and that feeling that what we are doing is never enough.
Yet when we let go and “de-glamorize” the world, we are no longer at the mercy of our need for approval from others or from the ego itself. We free ourselves when we realize that we don’t need anything more than what we already have.
Understanding that you are not your thoughts, your goals or even your body. YOU are the one that witnesses this unfolding movie of life…nothing outside of YOU can ultimately change YOU.
When we can hone in on this level of awareness, we find inner peace and freedom.
When You Understand Do vs. Get
We still have goals, but now we understand they exist more for the journey towards them, rather than simply achieving them. You still put in all the effort, but know that you are not owed anything in return.
In this way expectations start to diminish and you can begin to enjoy things for what they are.
Contrary to what I had always thought, it turns out life is much better when you SLOW down and enjoy what’s right in front of you.
We have this illusion that there’s somewhere better to be, something better to be doing, something that is MORE than what we already have. Yet what good is “better” if you can’t enjoy what you already have?
There are no cheat codes in life. To ascend beyond your current stage, YOU must DO.
And remember that there’s a big difference between “do” and “get.”
We’ve become conditioned to expect to “get” everything immediately:
- from social media algorithms designed to give us instant gratification to keep us engaged
- to Amazon’s two day deliveries on just about any product you could ever want
- to overly plentiful fast food options
We want what we want, and we want it now.
Yet anything that delivers instant gratification lacks true substance.
- The “like” or the new friend on social media is nowhere near as important as the bond of a best friend you’ve had for years, or the in-person friendly exchange with the stranger behind you in line. Online life cannot compare to real life human interaction.
- Receiving something from Amazon does not give the same type of gratification as would researching to find the product you want, and nowhere close to building it yourself.
- Fast food may taste good, but that taste is only temporary. The negative impact of the poor nutrition it provides lasts far longer.
Things we think we need generally fall under the “lust” category. But because the thing cannot deliver upon the permanent solution we are after, we then attach ourselves to the next thing. And so we end up constantly chasing after things that will never make us happy.
Expecting to “Get” sets us up for an endless cycle of negative emotion when we are not forever elated with what we got. We lose that ultra-high feeling quickly and chase after the next thing in search of that emotional high.
Do it For the Right Reasons
When you focus on “doing” something for the right reasons, you discover more about yourself and all that you are capable of.
You must EXPLORE your inner most capabilities and reframe any “failures” as “learnings.” Use what has worked as fuel forward and what did not as guidelines of what to do differently in the future.
The happiest people I know are not necessarily the richest but those who are the most fulfilled. The origin of fulfillment is self-growth, which must be earned.
Over 3 years ago my wife and I moved down to Florida–something I wanted to do my entire life. I had this vision of it as a utopia in which everything would be perfect! However, the reality is that moving away from family & friends and businesses created tremendous stress…as did starting a life and business with no ties.
The day I graduated from college, the idea of starting my own business was exciting and was going to be awesome! Until I drove home after the ceremony and realized I had no idea how to make it work, no money and no backup plan.
I’ve always thought that when I get X or move to Y, I’ll be good. Goals tend to lead us to believe in that if we could only achieve them, life would be perfect. The reality is that with every accomplishment comes a new set of problems!
There’s great wisdom in the cliche “Wherever you go, there you are.” Because no matter where you go and what happens, it’s up to YOU to work through your inner issues. Only by doing the hard work will you be able to let yourself be present and enjoy what’s around you.