|Everyone Has the Same Capacity for Enjoyment|
|Post by Gina Lake|
|Tuesday, 02 December 2008 06:52|
You’ve probably noticed how much enjoyment you can get out of the simplest little things: finding just the right candlestick for your table, potting a plant, taking a hot shower, having jeans that fit just right, or reading a book. These are things that cost very little but can deliver as much enjoyment as many things that cost much more. The myth is that there’s more enjoyment in owning or doing something expensive than in owning or doing something less expensive. Owning or doing anything is a passing pleasure, and the pleasure of owning or doing something expensive passes just as quickly, or almost, as owning or doing something less expensive. In fact, many who are very rich get less pleasure out of their wealth than those who have little because of the law of diminishing returns. At a certain point, getting more and better just doesn’t have the kick it used to.
It’s fun to get new things, go places, and try new things. What’s interesting is that the fun isn’t in what you get, where you go, or what you try as much as in just experiencing something new. Everyone enjoys more and better, but it doesn’t take a huge house, a yacht, or a private airplane to enjoy life. Many really believe, however, that those who have more are happier, and it just isn’t true. Everyone has the same capacity for enjoyment, and that enjoyment can come from some very simple things—drinking a cup of tea on the patio on a beautiful summer morning, taking a walk in nature, listening to music, meditating, trying a new recipe, or talking with a friend.
Madison Avenue has led people to believe that having things—lots of things and lots of expensive things—will make you happier and more fulfilled, that these things mean your life is good. Quite the opposite is often true. More is not necessarily better. Having more can be worse if you believe you need those things to be happy and if you feel driven to constantly get more. This is the trap that many who are rich fall into. They haven’t discovered just how happy they can be with very little. This is a wonderful discovery! You can be happy with the bare essentials, unless you decide you can’t. If you’re attached to an image of your life looking a certain way, then you’ll suffer if life doesn’t comply. That can happen at any income level.
Madison Avenue is in the image business. It tells you what you should look like and have to be happy. These are lies, but rather insidious ones. Images from ads bypass your rational mind and go directly into your unconscious and program it. Everyone has been conditioned by these ads, and now children are being exposed to them like never before. And as you know, conditioning isn’t so easy to overcome. This is a real challenge in your society. Even those who don’t want more and better often suffer over not having what others have because it’s “normal” to strive for these things. The pressure to have more and better is very great in the United States, and it’s causing a lifestyle that is stressful and bereft of meaning and spiritual sustenance.
Notice how much enjoyment is already possible in the simple things in your life. The more you notice how much you enjoy little things, the more you will realize that it doesn’t get any better, really. You always only have this moment, and every moment has an equal potential for enjoyment, no matter what is happening. Enjoying life is really a matter of choosing to not want something other than what you’ve got. When you stop desiring something more or better, you can begin to enjoy what you have right now.
Desiring is how the ego keeps you discontent with life and busy going after more. So much activity is wasted in trying to get more and better. It exhausts you and it’s exhausting the earth’s resources. It’s time to see the truth—that more and better doesn’t mean more and better happiness or a better, more worthwhile life. And for many, it’s leading to the opposite. All the enjoyment you need is available right now in this simple moment. There’s as much enjoyment possible in this moment as in any other moment, no matter what is going on.
Visit Gina Lake's website at http://www.radicalhappiness.com
Flower photo: © Deborah Koplen/ Dreamstime.com