Finding contentment in the present

It could just be me but I feel a near constant pressure to be doing more. Be better. Faster. Stronger. Our society is rigged to want more jobs, more output, profits and shares to keep going up and up. There’s an obsession with more.

With myself I struggle with the desire to keep improving myself. To try and be a better person than I was yesterday.

A friend of mine recently reminded me that the better I can play piano or the more compassionate I am etc. doesn’t make the people I care about love me any more. I already am the person I want to be.

As an exercise, note down three values or things you would like to have more of or be better at

For me:

  • I want to be more compassionate towards others and myself.

  • I will try to eat healthier.

  • I want to read more books.

Now cross out all those want tos and try tos and replace them:

  • I am compassionate towards others and myself.

  • I do eat healthy foods.

  • I do read books.

By always looking to the next goal or next milestone we are missing the very things we are already doing. Surely to want more of something means we already have some of it and maybe that’s enough. If the people already close to us, love us and mean everything then maybe we can stop trying to be more for others or for ourselves and simply be.

While this way of thinking profoundly changed my mindset about improving myself I do wonder when the desire to live the life I already have will outweigh the desire to live a life I feel is better.

We are all already enough.

Share your thoughts