We hear (and think) so much about “more, more, more” and then snap ourselves out of it with, “Just be grateful.”
“I want more money.”
“I want more kids.”
“I want to create another business.”
“I want a bigger house.”
“I want more friends.”
And then we wonder,
“Is this ok? Or am I just some ungrateful jerk. Most of the world is struggling to find food and shelter.”
Here’s what I notice: Everything in life is tending to “more.”
All life forms are naturally inclined to expand, to develop, to embody their “fulfilled state” (shaman term). A mango tree doesn’t wonder why it’s getting larger or giving more fruit. It doesn’t think,
“Man, I’m an ass. All I focus on is growth and more. I’m ungrateful and will just back it down a notch.”
Nothing in life exists to stagnate. Same with businesses or anything else we put our energy into. In fact, the energy of life itself is dynamic at all times. It may look still in moments, but it is always dynamic. There’s a feeling, a change, a movement. We can sense that in everything.
And so it is with ourselves. We naturally tend to grow and are pushed and pulled to what we ultimately can be. It’s so powerful and natural that we have to work against that. It’s inevitable.
Though it’s true that focusing on more and therefore outside the moment can (and does) create a suffering state over time, it doesn’t mean that there is inherently anything wrong or bad about “more.” More is just the natural expression of being part of life.
Wanting more can create unhappiness not because of the natural pull towards “more” but because of the meaning we give it. Feeling the pull to more income or a bigger house or more kids can become “I’ll be happy when…”
The meaning we give what we’re drawn to becomes a problem because we’re “here” and the meaning we are giving it is “there.”
How many times have any of us done this?
It’s a normal challenge of our mind. And you don’t get to escape the dynamic. You don’t get the pull to more without creating a meaning that doesn’t exist in this moment. Instead, you get to work with it and learn from it, then change it.
“Is it really true that I can’t be happy unless I have another kid, my toe stops hurting, I save $1 Million?”
Nah…it never is. Nearly all of us have had many moments of feeling happy, and it always has the same feature: being happy right here.