When you learn to focus only on what you have, and not dwell on what you don’t have, you will find yourself soaked in inner peace. This understanding is the simplest way to attaining bliss.
Do this little exercise for yourself on your commute to work today. Make a list of all that you have. Flip the page and make a list of all that you don’t have. Spend a minute reviewing each list. Surely, the first “what you have” list filled you with joy and gratitude. And the second “what you don’t have” list triggered a yearning, an anxiety, a concern for having to still working on making that list a reality. The truth is, because you spend a lot of your time, subconsciously, on the second list, more often than not, the emotions connected with that list magnify, and manifest as anger, depression and/or restlessness. You simply are under the spell of that list – completely oblivious of what you have. Happiness and contentment are possible only when you celebrate what is. Neither happiness nor contentment can ever be experienced over what isn’t there. This is an irrefutable law of Life.
Obviously, goals, aspirations and ambitions, come from the second list. And without those, there can be no progress. So the import here is not to tell you to be less ambitious or aggressive. Please stay doggedly on the path of your ambition – but don’t sacrifice what you have on the altar of your aspirations. Love and keep celebrating what is, even as you pursue what you want! This you can do only when you learn to live in the moment. And you can live in the moment by accepting and wanting what is, than by wishing that what isn’t were actually there.
On the futility of merely wishing, here’s a story that Osho, the Master used to say!
Bryant, an Irishman, was out fishing. And he caught a fish that spoke to him! The fish said that it was actually an elf that could grant Bryant three wishes if he let it live. So, Bryant threw the fish back into the river and rushed home. He shared this piece of good news with his wife and the two of them decided to go to the market in town to look for three things they could “wish” for. The wife decided to open a can of beans so she could make them dinner. The can opener, for whatever reason, was not to be found. And the lady “wished” she had a can opener so she could get done with dinner faster. Bingo! A can opener arrived in her hand. As Bryant looked on, angrily, his wife felt sorry having wasted a “wish” on a stupid can opener. Bryant was vocal: “Why did you wish for such a stupid thing? I wish the can opener was up your ass!” Bingo! Again! Sure enough, that’s where the can opener ended up being. And you can imagine what the couple would have done next – they had to use up the third wish to get the can opener out of where it was!
So, wish, dream, pursue, by all means. But live with and love what is. Remember: being in the moment that “is” always far more valuable, enriching, and productive than trying to wish for something that “isn’t”!