Building A Better Life
A better life does not mean more add ons. If anything, it’s precisely the opposite.
So why don’t we strive to have a better life? Well, funnily enough, if you ask most people, they’ll say that they are doing exactly that.
Yet, with all of these efforts, does life really improve? And if it does, do people keep celebrating these achievements?
It strikes me as an interesting paradox that we all desire a better life. But for the most part, we don’t want to know how to have it.
The reason? Well, each of us is convinced that we hold the elixir in our hand and if we only apply it, all will be well.
This appears in declarations like, “As soon as we can afford a home of our own, then everything is going to be great”, “When he/she learns how to be a better partner then we can make this relationship work”, “The moment I get that promotion/course offer/award/plum job, life is going to really come together”.
Well it’s true. Life does get better when good things happen. But on their own they aren’t enough to really change the way we think about our selves, our relationships, and how we can live more beautifully.
I believe finding happiness has much more to do with personal insight and growth than only reaching goals. So how come people are less enthusiastic about growing and increasing their personal awareness than seeing the achievement of external events?
That’s a big question, deserving thorough treatment. But, simply, I suspect we have learned to perceive happiness as something that happens to us rather than within.
The real elements of building a better life are easy to mention yet complex in expression. Take, for example, our cultural values. Outward events with their tangible reality can easily be celebrated. While, internal satisfaction seems subjective and therefore a little sketchy.
Yet, focusing on personal growth is probably the most enlightening, challenging, and life enhancing thing any of us can do. By daring to notice what we have taken for granted over years we open ourselves to see new loveliness as well as the ugliness. In the process, our outlook changes, as does the way we relate (and that’s all good).
Of course, becoming more open implies vulnerability and that means risk, doesn’t it? Quite apart from fearing to see our selves with greater clarity (lest we implode in disappointment, or trip out in some narcissistic frenzy), there’s the risk that others can exploit or simply stomp upon our honesty.
While you are at it, you can also add our history of hurt to the list too. Because, somewhere in the growth process, pain appears and it’s inevitable that we face it to pass through.
It’s in these things that we build a better sense of self and create a life that appreciates the simplest of pleasures. Though a life fully lived is filled with pain and hardships, it can let us live better if we dare to be open to personal growth.
By moving toward your personal truths, I believe you can love well, serve many, and find that elusive yet much treasured happiness called satisfaction.
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