In these modern times we are raised to seek out success. From early on in school we are treated as we if we are preparing for one day when we will be “successful adults”. Our education plants this little voice in our heads that keeps whispering “That day is coming, and if you aren’t ready for it you will be blindsided by it and you will have missed your chance at happiness forever”. Once we get out of school that little voice swaps out good grades, colleges, and whatnot for a few more milestones: we need the good job, we need a spouse, a house, and a kid or two (insert your idea here, there’s infinitely more). Throw a nice TV or car somewhere in that mix and we should be all set to just be happy for the rest of our lives right?
I have always enjoyed Alan Watts‘ metaphor of treating life not like a race or a ladder but like a song.
Life does not seem to fit very nicely into that plan, and happiness does not flow from milestones. These goals and milestones we set for ourselves can be helpful guidelines for keeping us on track, but they often leave us in fear and discontent with the moment we live in now.
So accept the discomfort of not having a finish line somewhere that when you cross you will finally have the happiness you have always craved. Live now, live today, and enjoy every day, some days will be better than others, and that’s ok. I mean, really try and think about it for a moment… how boring would being completely happy all the time be anyway? it would lose its flavor, you need the challenges that life brings with one hand so you can enjoy the happiness and satisfaction it brings with the other. The treasure of life is in the journey, and all you can do is enjoy the moment that you have right now.
I’ll close with this great animated short about two guys who are on a quest to find a magic treasure that will transform them into great heroes, with all the perks that comes with it.