Comparing to other, less fortunate countries, we seem to be lucky. We have everything we need and beyond, yet often feel unhappy. We worry more, fall victims to the negative thinking patterns, and don’t seem to be able to ever stop. Stop wanting to have more, to be more, to be somewhere else… This cycle never ends.
So what is missing? What do we need to feel ‘enough’, to have ‘enough’?
I believe the problem here is our focus. What we focus on, mostly being unaware of it, is what society and the advertising industry want us to believe in. They want us to never stop “wanting more”. Otherwise, our economy would struggle. There is always the next version of any device we use, there is always a better car, a bigger house, a more luxurious holiday. It never stops.
If you ever compare yourself with celebrities or rich(-er) people, thinking they’ve got what you don’t. Take a closer look. Why so many celebrities and wealthy people struggle with mental health issues? Having more and being more, why aren’t they content?
Focus is the answer.
If we focus beyond that “keeping up with the Joneses” race, what comes next is the shift in perspective. Thinking wider than ourselves, caring about bigger and more global issues.
Because what we are looking for is not a mere feeling of short-lived satisfaction, but an emotional fulfilment.
At the first stage of our personal development, it seems that the materialistic world can bring it. And, trust me, I believed this for so long.
Whilst, in reality, to find contentment, we need to go to the next stage, find purpose, connect with our WHY.
Many wealthy people find it in dealing with such issues as global warming or poverty. It doesn’t have to be the case for everyone. I know we often feel powerless when it comes to such big problems. But starting small would be enough, perhaps your family, friends, local community, and so on.
I recently read a book by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, where they talk about practicing compassion. As if we think about other people’s pain more than we do about our own, we simply cannot be depressed.
I found it absolutely true for myself. If I catch myself in the negative cycle of self-pity, I try to shift my focus to my family, to the people I work with and do my best to figure out how to help them. This leaves me no time to worry about silly things I created in my head. On top of it, working with others and seeing the impact I can make on their lives, give me such a rewarding feeling.
For more tips on reducing stress, download my free guide 15 Tricks to combat stress and feeling overwhelmed.