People chase money.
They chase sex. Fame. Status.
They chase adventure. Education. Fitness.
People chase fun. Friendship. Spiritual peace.
In the end, people are chasing these things day in and day out because they believe achieving them will make them feel good.
We don’t really want millions of dollars. We just want to not be enslaved to debt. To never be stressed about unexpected bills. To never worry about how we’re going to pay for something. To have the means to acquire things or participate in various activities.
We want to do all those things because we believe doing so will enrich our lives.
It’s the pursuit of happiness.
Misery Loves Company
I was several hundred words into another post when a friend texted. Her marriage is on the rocks. Has been for a long time.
She had a rough weekend with her husband.
Then something happened, triggering some atypical emotional responses in her.
“It sent me into a tailspin,” she said. “I’m questioning EVERYTHING.”
I know how you feel.
It doesn’t take much, sometimes.
I told her we both suffer from the same problem.
That we’re both in phases in our lives where we’re simply waking up every day, doing what’s required of us, and trying to not die.
It’s a wholly dissatisfying way to live.
There’s little fun. There’s no peace. And happiness is a long-forgotten stranger.
A figment of my imagination, it seems. Something I remember feeling, but not what the actual experience is like.
Like a decadent dessert you tried long ago.
You don’t remember the flavor. Only that it was beautiful and that you want to taste it again.
What I Want
I texted my friend: “What do you want? Be specific.
“To me, the only thing that makes sense is to write down specifically what you want. Really specific.
“Then, only do things that get you closer to those things.
“Everything else is a colossal waste of time and energy.
“We don’t have a lot of time.”
Well, alright then, Matt. Try not to be a hypocritical douchebag for once in your life.
What do you really want?
- I want a partner who I love and trust. I want to share the same life philosophies. I want to share meals and laughs and drinks and friends with her. I want to have ridiculously adventurous and spirited sex that would make all of my friends jealous if they only knew. And I want to always be giving more to the relationship than I’m taking.
- I want to be a good father to my son. I want to set a good example for him spiritually, intellectually, financially and socially.
- I want to spend more time surrounded by friends and family.
- I want to wake up every day, write whatever I want, and make enough money to maintain whatever lifestyle I choose.
- I want to be at my physical peak. Because I like how I feel when I am. I like feeling wanted. I like having mountains of energy. I like being strong.
- I want to live a life where I help other people acquire all of the things on their What I Want lists.
- I want to achieve spiritual peace.
So, what do I need to be doing right now, and tomorrow morning, and the next day, and the next to achieve those things?
- I can’t do anything about #1. But it will come. I can concentrate on the rest.
- I can be a better man, I can read more, I can be more financially disciplined, and I can be a better friend.
- I need only reach out and make the effort to be with those I love.
- I don’t know that I can do much more than I’m doing. I need to read more. Get smarter. Get wiser. Practice the craft. And maybe, if the stars align, someone will decide to trade money for words. Goonies never say die.
- Work out. Stop being a chump. Make the effort. Every day. First a little, then a lot. I need it. Excuses are bullshit.
- I do try to help people. Perhaps I can do a much better job. Ask more questions. Listen thoughtfully. Then, when possible, take meaningful action to help others achieve their dreams.
- All I need to do is say “Thank you” every single chance I get and be good even when no one’s watching. That will be an excellent step toward being the man I want to be.
I don’t want to be rich.
I don’t want to be famous.
I don’t want to be popular.
I just want to feel, deep within me, the peace and happiness that has eluded me in adulthood.
And I believe so strongly that it can only be achieved through great effort.
That this world gives you what you put into it.
That you must ALWAYS give more than you take.
In your human relationships.
In your professional relationships.
In your spiritual relationship.
You can sit around like me. Play the victim card. Why me, God? Why?
Or you can actually do something.
Happiness isn’t hiding behind that bush over there.
It’s big and shiny and on display for the world to see.
Only it sits atop a mountain. A big one.
And the weak can’t get there. The lazy can’t capture it.
Without strength, without discipline, without resolve, without faith, without perseverance, without courage, the climb will break your spirit.
Better to just sit staring longingly at the summit?
Or to prepare for the difficult climb?
I’m tired of this shit.
The climb must begin.