5. Be more and have more
At the core, all of the above ideas can be summed up in a single method: simply convince yourself that you need more than you have at any given moment, and you will be able to maintain a steady feeling of anxiety throughout the day. This can be a feeling of needing to become more than you already are, or needing to have more than you have now (which are actually one and the same), and can be felt more generally as a perpetual sense of lack.
Brad sent me a link to this blog a few months back, which is entitled “5 Ideas for Stressful Living”. Although it is intended as a tongue-in-cheek look at the way we intentionally make our lives stressful, I sadly realized that it mirrors the manner in which I live, more than it ought to.
I would be remiss if I said that the statement I posted above is the only one that I saw myself in. Rather, this statement was what really drove the point home, “One of the more absurd aspects of the ego is that it conditions you to actively seek negative results. It makes you think that what you want is peace, when its secret pleasure is always in conflict and negativity.”
When do you ever feel that what you have is “enough”?
I can have an entirely “okay” day – in other words, the majority of things go right. But there’s something missing, and the entire shift in balance leaves me lacking.
Yesterday was one of those days. In most terms, it was a decent day. Nothing actually bad happened, yet nothing remarkably good happened. And the one thing that could have made it feel like a “good” day didn’t happen. In other words, I was (a) wanting more, (b) trying to control my world, and (c) trying to control the actions of another person. Three simple things that add so much more stress to my world.
As funny as that blog sounds when you read it, the reality of it all is less humorous. I think that I take steps to make my life less stressful, when in reality, my actions only make it more so.
I need to stop thinking that I’m on the brink of making my life better, and learn to live in the now. I need to learn to appreciate the one sunny, eighty degree day, rather than being discouraged when the ten day forecast shows nine days of rain following.
It is much more difficult to enjoy the present when you are always thinking that something equal or greater must follow. I need to stop always wanting more.
“Believe me that you’re standing on the edge of something good.
And it’s the hardest thing you ever had to do.
Truth be told you’re begging on your knees
Singing please don’t let it, please don’t let it be.”
– “Please Don’t Let It Be
“The Alternate Routes