Want what you have

Ha! Gotcha. I don’t have an answer on that one. An approach? Possibly. An answer? No.

My mom said something last night, as moms do, that triggered the Rube Goldberg mental machinations leading to some self-evaluation. The topic was career, a sector of my life in which I have a sort persistent emotional eczema. It flares and fades. Often doesn’t need treatment, but sometimes refuses to be balmed. I’ve managed to pretty much color inside of the lines for almost 10 years now (go me)! But recently I’ve been showing the tell tale dry itchy flakiness.

And this time, I don’t want the right ointment, I want to try harder not to get the eczema.

I am doing two things.

  • Mantra – even if you’re cynical about them (I am), habits persist. Saddling yourself with a habitual statement that’s positive is probably, on balance, better than a negative one or a dissatisfied one. Therefore: “What I want most is everything I already have.”

Sure. I feel ya. LAME! How do you ever aspire to anything then? Where’s your go-getter spirit? Personally, I don’t feel that mantra has to cut off aspiration. And, perhaps more immediately, I (finally!) believe contentment is something to aspire to.

  • Imagine wanting different things – this one’s harder. But I have been looking around at who I admire and what I admire about their lives. I often focus on the achievements of those I look up to. I’m a pragmatist and I love a good objective metric. But I preach -and know first hand!- that ‘the good life’ (at least for me) is a Venn diagram and ‘objective achievements’ isn’t even always one of the participating circles. So I am trying to learn to focus on the stuff that is harder to measure (those multiple happinesses?) and see where that leads me.

I’ll keep you posted.


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