It’s in our DNA to seek gratification and everlasting happiness.
Some find instant enjoyment through the purchase of material items, but it’s always short lived.
Others believe making more money will bring them more happiness, so they work harder and longer in hopes that one day money will be the answer to all of their problems.
Whether we like it or not (or even recognize it), we typically look externally to find the fulfillment that we are searching for.
Which is wrong.
The process to gain true contentment takes place internally, from within and the way to achieve this state of mind, in theory, is rather simple.
Paraphrasing from a Guide to the Good Life, Irvine says something along the lines of the below.
The best way to gain satisfaction is not by working to satisfy our desires (material items or tons of cash), but by learning to be satisfied with our life as it currently is (an internal mindset), by learning to be happy with what we already have.
If we can learn to want whatever it is we already have, we won’t have to work to fulfill any desires to gain the satisfaction we seek, we’d already be fulfilled.
Reread those two sentences again.
Now think about yourself and your mindset 5, 10, even 15 years ago. Visualize what you desperately wanted back then, something you dreamed of having or achieving. Something of monumental importance.
Come back to the present.
I’m going to go on a hunch and say that you most likely obtained this aspiration or goal, came very close to it (which your younger self still would’ve be ecstatic about) or you achieved something totally different and/or above and beyond what you could’ve ever fathomed back then.
Now reread those two sentences above again.
The ingredients to happiness are already within you, they’ve always been there.
I truly hope these words can help illuminate your thought process and bring to you the same discovery and realization that they brought me when I first retained them.
“The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.” – Epictetus