Think about this, as we proceed through life we are always realigning our expectations upward. A better job leads to better clothes or a better car or a better house but it seems to me that the act of living at one level (familiarity breeds contempt?) actually primes us to think about living at the next level…to essentially wish to live at that level. That’s what the media will have us believe, that now—right now—and whatever we’re doing is not good enough for us. That there is a better place/thing/activity and we should never be happy with what we have. Why else would we want “bigger, better, faster” products to replace the products we already own?
Why else would any thinking person on this entire planet ever watch the Kardashians?
So, because we are forever realigning our expectations based on some external force (society, peer pressure, the media, etc.), we know we’re capable of changing our fundamental perception of the world. We know that we can ignore years of experience and re-mold our thinking to be something almost entirely different. For example, getting a higher paying new job changes how we perceive the things we own, the clothes we wear…the cars we drive.
Knowing that, why then do we typically change our perception so that we feel so much worse than we did before?
To keep following the above example, based on that new job we are suddenly disgusted by the cheapness and lack of style of our clothes, by the area we live in, by the shitty car we drive when a just week prior to the new job we were OK with the suit we wore to work, we were OK with the car…the house we live in. None of those things changed one iota when we got that job. Not an atom, not a wavelength of energy changed.
And it was so easy to change that we didn’t even notice ourselves doing it. We didn’t have to hire a tutor or coach, read a book or watch a lecture or spend hours practicing…we just changed. Happiness in our lives all at once became measured by something else and we were fine with that fundamental change…if we even noticed…and fine with suddenly being unhappy. It just seems so natural that as we grow and go forward in life, we tend to get unhappier the more successful we become.
The question I have is if we are able to change so easily—almost without thought—why can’t we just decide to be satisfied and happy with less? At any time, why can’t we look at the amazing life we have, the fantastic friends and family that surrounds us…and just make those things our expectations.
No realignment necessary.
Believe. Go. Do.