We live in a time when the perfect life is promised to us. Looking at social media, television and cinema leads us to believe the ‘perfect life’ is there for all of us to have. The promise of the well paid job, beautiful house, cool car can be all too easy to believe in, if only you work harder and longer the ‘perfect life’ will be yours, eventually. The focus is always on striving towards things in the future.
What we plant in the soul of contemplation
we shall reap in the harvest of action
– Meister Eckhart
The more we focus on attaining the perfect life, the more frantic our actions become towards attaining that goal. We can come to believe that the world owes is and when we don’t reach these goals, we feel that the world has failed to deliver on its promise.
This sets us up nicely to live in what I call a disappointment frame of mind. Nothing ever quite hits the spot. The danger with living in the disappointment frame, of never being truly satisfied, is that it can lead to disillusionment, pessimism and depression. The downward spiral to a place where we are no longer capable of either giving or receiving
When you travel by train you are sometimes warned to mind the gap as you alight on the platform. I wonder about where the gap is between reality and your image of it.
What is it that you are really searching for?
Gathering wealth and possessions is often thought to bring the things we seek, those things that truly give us meaning and satisfaction in life: happiness, joy, peace, love and belonging, respect and really feeling that we are “good enough”.
What if the things you search for were right here, now, present in your life as you live it moment by moment? What if you were to expand your definition of wealth to include…
....those things that grow only in time
– time to walk in the park, time to take a nap,
time to play with children, to read a good book,
to dance, to put our hands in the garden,
to cook playful meals with friends,
to paint, to sing, to meditate, to keep a journal.
What if we were to live, for even a few hours,
without spending money,
cultivating time instead as our most precious resource?
– Wayne Muller
What if you were even briefly to focus on what you want to give instead of what you want to receive? What would you want to contribute? What if you were to be alert, alive, awake, attentive and aware of all the possibilities to contribute in the many, many ways that only you can. Wise words from Winston Churchill bring us to realise that life is more about giving than receiving.
We make a living by what we get.
We make a life by what we give.
What if the quality of your life is measured by what you give. What if your ‘perfect life’ depends on how much you contribute as much or maybe even more than what you receive.
How can I serve / contribute to the wellbeing of others TODAY?