Wishes. Dreams. Desires. These three words are what we hinge our happiness on. If our wishes, dreams, or desires come true, we are happy. If not, we set ourselves up to a lifetime of unfulfilled lack and wants. The more I study happiness and joy, the more I realize that we set ourselves up for our own murder.
We want things in a certain way. We expect our life to be on a certain path. And when life doesn’t go the way we want, we sulk, throw tantrums at life, become angry or depressed, or swing to another extreme of relentless optimism. When you see it like this, we realize how laughable we are. We have been gifted the ability to feel joy, yet we squander it on temporary happiness. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong in desire. Nothing at all. Or in wishing. Or in dreaming. It’s not the desire that pulls us down into a morass, a cycle of want-fulfillment-want-fulfilment that never ends. It’s our expectation that our desire MUST be realized. That our dreams SHOULD play out the way we want it to. That our wishes HAVE TO come true. Think of those three words I just capitalized. We spend most of our life with these. When we add these modal verbs to the beginning of the any wish, dream or desire, we are ignoring the fact that we are hinging our happiness on an external object.
Instead, remove those verbs and just enjoy the process of the wish or desire. Give in to the beauty of desiring. Let’s not cling to the outcome, but the thought. Let’s enjoy the process of reaching our desire, knowing that even if we don’t, the journey has been such fun, anyway. To my small mind, that’s when we connect with joy.
So, my wish for 2018 is simple: Use less “must,” “should,” and “have to” in the realization of my dream or desire or wish. Once you start catching yourself on these, our life becomes simpler. Instead of “have to”, let’s replace it with “get to.”
Example: I have to pay my bills. (Implication: Gosh, I have all these bills to pay)
Change that to:
I get to pay my bills. (Implication: You are lucky enough to have bills to pay. And that you can pay those bills).
Example: I have to go to work. (Gosh. I just hate my job, and I have to go there and suffer).
Better: I get to go to work. (I am lucky I have a job, and I get to do that job!)