Life rarely generates in us a sense of complete satisfaction. At least with the concept of complete that we usually harbor. In a quite artificial world full of false needs like ours, feeling like people who are missing a piece or two or whatever can blind the happiness that the pieces that we do have could generate. It is as if that little piece that fills the empty hole that we feel we have was the ultimate and essential key to our happiness.
“If I worked on what I like, I would be happier. If I had a stable partner and could start a family with her, I’m sure I would finally be happy.
These thoughts, which we have all had at some time, are a persistent obstacle in the path of our well-being. Much of it is the product of our culture and our education: we have been taught that the more we have, the happier we will be.
We live with the pressure and the self-demand of having to do the whole Trivia cheese and this way of approaching life, obviously fills us with anxieties, frustrations and sadness.
When we achieve any of our goals (especially if they are material), we immediately go to try to achieve the one that follows and after this, we set another goal and another and another, like this until we are exhausted.
Having vital wishes and goals is legitimate and healthy. What meaning would life have if we did not have goals and illusions? But different from this is to think that we need everything that we healthily desire. Making a good distinction is the key to not allowing ourselves to be overly disturbed by the defeat of not achieving what we planned.
The perfect life does not give happiness
Let them tell it to all those people who have come to fulfill all their dreams and still, they have not felt complete. Millions of people in the world, from outside, seem to have an enviable life. If we look at them, we can even feel jealous and think that they have found a way to be happy and calm, but it is a lie.
If these people are happy, it is certainly not because of everything they have or have obtained, but because they know how to look at life in a special way.
It is very difficult for human beings to find calm with what they already have. You always have the feeling that you can do more, that you can be better, or that you can get more of whatever. It is empty, incomplete, imperfect, green …
Through enormous efforts, we end up reaping all the achievements, all the belongings and everything that will make our life happy and we end up exhausted and with a resentful body. Once all this is acquired, that happiness does not occur and we continue to need to take another step.
If I have managed to be a person with a degree, now I must have a doctorate and then I must have a stable partner, then I will try to speak languages, travel, have children … And worst of all, if for whatever reason I do not succeed, then I will be a unfortunate.
This thought is the seed that sows misfortune in our life. As perfection is nothing more than an unreal concept and it is where we want to reach, something that is completely impossible, we will always have the feeling that we are miserable.
And then where is the key?
The first thing we have to learn is that nothing external has so much power to make our emotional state be one or the other. Nobody is happier than before for having more things, at least in the long term it does not work like that.
When children discover the toys that the Magi have brought them, they seem happier, but that happiness only lasts for a few days. After this ephemeral pleasure, these children will want to change toys and these they have just received, they will put aside.
The same thing happens to us adults. Things end up losing value over time and what we get in the future will also lose value. The human being ends up adapting and the room makes him end up living anything as normal.
Why was Michael Jackson, with a mansion that was also an amusement park, more unhappy than Pepe Mújica, who lives on a farm?
The second thing we have to keep in mind is that happiness, happiness, well-being or whatever we want to call it is within us and consists of a way of seeing life that appreciates and loves what it has now without needing anything else. It is what the psychologist Rafael Santandreu calls “enough”: that ability to realize that what we have is already enough and that we really do not need anything else to be comfortable.
Finally, a good exercise is to consciously give up almost everything and be willing to live without it. I can try to fulfill my wishes, but accepting that I may never achieve them and that does not have to affect my personal well-being.
Accepting life as it is happening is one of the most important keys to feeling free.
You may think it is conformism, but it is not. What we enact is that you have wishes, motivations and goals. That you try to achieve them, but always with the overwhelmingly real idea that none of this will make you happier, and that if in any case you did not achieve the goal you set for yourself, you did not need it either.