When did ordinary become a bad word?
Blame it on COVID preventing me from having a social life and the -30 degree temperatures keeping me inside, but I’ve been self-reflecting a lot lately. Deeply questioning “what’s the point of life” or “why am I doing this”?
It’s a strange feeling simultaneously wanting life to fast forward to the parts I feel will be more exciting & enjoyable while also wanting life to slow down so I can take a breath now.
The worst combination of feelings I’ve found: simultaneously feeling bored & overwhelmed. It’s the worst of both worlds.
During these moments I gravitate to the financial independence movement because it seems like such an amazing solution. Pure freedom to chase whatever makes me feel happy.
The dark side to that?
Perhaps feeling less happy during the pursuit of getting “there”.
As I wrote in my last article, I was considering giving up a lot of things that make me happy today to rocket ship myself towards financial independence faster. It’s like those old N64 games where you steer towards the arrow that will shoot you forward faster so you can win the race…. yet in real life it’s actually putting the blinders on the “now” so you can focus more on the “later”.
What if I want happiness now though? Can I have some now and more later? What is happiness for me?
It’s funny because I know the answer. I’ve always known the answers.
I love getting out on a trail with my dog.
Waking up without an alarm clock.
Scaling mountains and being blown away by the views
Drinking delicious coffee in the morning without feeling rushed.
Working out and taking care of my body.
Cooking & eating delicious food.
Spending time with family and friends.
They’re all so simple that somehow they don’t feel like “enough”.
A life filled with those things sounds happy. It sounds true to myself. Yet there’s another word that it brings to mind:
That life doesn’t sound special. It doesn’t scream “excitement” or “grand achievement”. It doesn’t sound memorable.
That life does sound content and happy though.
Shouldn’t that be enough? Why does my brain tell me it’s not?
Society has built these feelings of grandeur that your life should be “epic” or it’s nothing at all. I strongly believe social media has been a contributing factor to the increased amounts of dissatisfaction in the world. I no longer just compare my life to that of my peers; now I compare it to the “elite”. When you’re told you can be and have anything you desire, ordinary sounds like a failure. This makes me glad I wasn’t exposed to social media until almost adulthood. Based on the rise of pediatric suicide attempts we’re seeing at work something is going very, very wrong in the world.
How do you step off the endless escalator ride of needing more?
By recognizing ENOUGH. That you’re already enough, and that the simple things you want might be enough. I believe it’ll be an ongoing struggle as the world tells you (and me) the opposite. Enough may not be a destination I’ve arrived at yet, but it’s one I’m genuinely working to find.
I rarely share videos on my blog but I found these two profound and wanted to share. The sense of calm I felt with the opening campfire and lake scene in the first one confirms my “happiness list” above.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Have a great weekend everyone!