It is easy to focus on what we don’t have. Oh, yes, it is. Something tells me I might not be the only one to believe that. Can I blame human nature for that feeling? Or society and its norms and rules? I will just blame our egos and society’s rules. Those are the real culprits. Yet, they aren’t in jail. We are in this perpetual mental jail I would say. Mental jail can be a well-guarded fortress, an Alcatraz prison if you will, a jail where few escape, and those who do, are simply considered legends and myths. Some go as far as saying that no one ever escapes from that mental jail. They do, though. Trust me. Some people can break pre-established rules and replace them with new ones, that work better.
It is easy to focus on what we don’t have. We find ourselves constantly thinking that we don’t have enough money, success, time, belongings. We also find ourselves contemplating our lives after we didn’t get that job we desperately wanted, that program we couldn’t get in at school, that car we longed for, that trip we didn’t make, that day off we didn’t take, etc. The things we don’t have are essentially twofold: material things and human related things such as relationships, feelings, fears, dreams and aspirations.
It is easy to focus on what we don’t have. Perhaps we were taught to think this way. Perhaps society’s rules make us this way. Perhaps the same society’s rules, which somehow pit us against one another and where comparisons have an arbitrary moral value, are just the wrong. Moreover, it doesn’t matter who you are. We all have that little voice inside our heads pointing out what we don’t have. That fucking voice that rarely shuts up…
Yet, it is easier to focus on what WE DO HAVE. Yes, it is easier.
I could make a long list of the things that have eluded me, the things that I have lost, the things that would make my life easier. The damn list would be too long. Yet, this kind of thinking will cloud every little thing that is going right in my life. I might find myself forgetting how blessed I am and how many things are really working well in my life. Moreover, we are all blessed, one way or another.
Yes, there are plenty of things we don’t have. I say we shouldn’t think like that. I say we should always keep our focus in perspective. We need to recalibrate our minds when they wander too much for too long. We need to come back to the basics and appreciate them. Nevertheless, coming back to the basics in the middle of a crisis isn’t easy. Putting things in perspective during a crisis isn’t easy either. It takes time to see the positive within the negative.
Life goes fast these days. Schedules are hectic and we seem to have less time to think, to relax, and to be thankful for what we have. Instead, advertising and social media are there to remind us of what we don’t have. They do a marvelous job. 10 minutes on Instagram or on YouTube are enough to remind us of what we don’t have or, and it is even worse, what we are lacking. There is a subliminal message screaming at us, listing the things we should get to be happy or things we should get so we can gain other people’s approval.
However, we all know that we don’t need much to be happy. I bet you have everything you need now. Yes, I know…It isn’t easy to visualize that if you have 36$ in your account or if you are sick or if you are unemployed or if you don’t know how you are going to pay your bills this month and so many other issues we face in life. I get it. I cannot scream around “believe in your luck and it will be so”. Life isn’t a fairy tale and some situations are tougher than others. I couldn’t be here screaming insane positive stuff and claiming things will get better on their own. After all, I am not a pastor!
Things could be better. Yes, things can always get better. But, if you look around you, I am sure you will find you have enough. If you look in the mirror right now, I am positive you will agree with me that you are enough. If you look in that damn phone you are holding, you will find messages from people you love and who love you. If you go outside, you will meet and greet people who will accept you for who you are, not people who keep reminding you that you are not worthy. I believe we have enough. We just don’t see it or maybe we have a hard time accepting it because other people have bombarded us, telling us what “enough” is or should be.
It is easier to focus on what YOU DO HAVE. It is absurdly easier. Focusing on what we do have, is a state of mind really. It is a way of being and thinking. It is easier to be thankful for what you have. It is an easy way of thinking and being. It is as simple as breathing. I have so much when I think about it. If we were to talk about possessions, I don’t have much. Yet again, when I think about it, I have my mind. I have my health. I have my friends and family. I have gratitude. I have resolve. I have a sense of humor. Well, look at that! I do have much, oddly enough.
I believe once you accept you cannot have everything and more importantly that YOU DON’T NEED EVERYTHING, that is when you realize how blessed you are. Thinking that way is freedom, if you ask me.
Focus on what do you have. It is easier. Guess what? You have enough. You are enough. You are doing well. You could do better, that is a certainty. We could all do better. Staying in the same place, being static isn’t an option. We must move around, look for new things to do, new skills, new interests, new ways of thinking and that is part of improving.
So, let’s go. Do better, get better, be better. Improve. There is always room for improving, evolving and growing. Yet, in your quest for improvement, never, ever forget what you do have.
Just one man’s opinion.
Now smile and go on with your day.