Eastern philosophy often preaches the value of releasing desire as the key to happiness. We westerners don’t do so well with that. We like our goals. We enjoy attainment.
However, we also often forget the joy of pursuit. We wrap ourselves up in the need for achievement – the next job, the big sale, the smooth event. We forget about the pleasure of the road we are traveling.
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Kathleen Taylor gives an interesting TED talk on her experience as a hospice worker and the lessons learned when, as she puts it, people reach the stage when they completely drop the bullshit. I think the lessons she imparts are valuable, but it also got me wondering what lessons we all have inside of us today.
What if you only had a few days remaining – if you were the one who completely dropped your own BS?
- What advice would you impart to others?
- Who would you most want to speak to?
- What would you tell them?
And what lessons would that advice hold in return for you and how you are living your own life?
We know we aren’t supposed to try to keep up with the Joneses. That that’s bad. And being enlightened people, we don’t. Because we’re good.
Except when we’re not.
And knowing how and when temptation or envy will strike helps to avoid mistakes.
So know that the Joneses are more threatening when they are close – when they live next door or were/are particularly good friends or are just like you but more successful. Know that these are the characteristics that make the Joneses more threatening.
I like looking forward to vacation. It brings me pleasure. I think there’s value in always having a vacation on the calendar.
I coach a lot of people who are too busy to schedule a vacation. They can’t do it before May because every week is already booked. They can’t do it May through August because they know that’s a busy season. September school starts up again. Etc. etc. etc.
Schedule it for February 2014.
Schedule it for 2020.
I don’t care. Just put it on the calendar.
(And if money is an issue today, try a stacation and/or put the next vacation down for when you suspect you’ll have the money for it.)
We too often equate happy and satisfied.
They aren’t the same thing.
You didn’t get the big sale, promotion, or whatever? It’s okay to be unsatisfied, to hunger for more. It’s also okay to be happy at the same time. I’d even say it’s advisable.
Rank the following for 2012:
- What you achieved
- What you learned
- Where you went
- Whom you helped
- What you consumed
- What you saved
- What you gave
- What you acquired
- Where you spent time
- How often you forgave
Which do you want to focus on in 2013?