Where Is This Dissatisfaction Coming From?
Today I want to talk to you about how to admire what we have, rather than always wanting to acquire more. I want you to think about something before I go on…where is this never-ending dissatisfaction with our lives coming from?
Recently, my siblings and I lost our father. It was quite an experience, as I’m sure anyone who has lost a parent can relate. When I think about my dad, the words that come to my mind are “gratitude” and “contentment.” I think contentment might be the best word to describe this wonderful man.
We were blessed to be able to circle our wagons around our father and take care of him in the last years of his life. He suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia. What always came through, even when his mind wasn’t all the way there, was his never-ending sense of contentment. He would even tell you that he would never change his life for anything. He always had everything he needed and wanted.
This is a man who grew up without a mother. He had several siblings, and they were dirt poor, yet he would never change a thing. Recently, we went to the farmhouse and we started cleaning things up and getting rid of things, and when I opened his closet, he had hardly anything in there. He had maybe 3 winter shirts, 3 summer shirts, and a couple pairs of jeans. He had hardly anything, yet he still lived an abundant life and wouldn’t change anything.
Admire Without Acquiring
I think about that a lot now, especially when I glance out my window. I see the Amazon van pull up several times a week with something else I’ve ordered. So keep in mind, this video is for me just as much as it is for anyone else! We must realize that we shouldn’t always be seeking to acquire more. Can’t we just admire without acquiring?
I’m at the cusp of being an empty nester, so I’m cleaning and purging things in my house and really simplifying my life. It’s so liberating! It’s also sad at the same time. The liberating part is knowing that the clutter is leaving. I’m donating things. I’m really only keeping the bare necessities. I know I’m a work in progress, and I know I have a lot more than necessities around me, so I’m trying.
The sad part is experiencing this “in your face” reality of the things I have acquired, when I thought I needed them, when I should have just admired what I did have. How easy it is for us to take on this scarcity complex, isn’t it? Thinking we need more, when we really have an abundance.
Scarcity Complex: Objective vs. Subjective
We can be very objective with our scarcity when we say things like, I’m low on gas. I’m low on battery. I’m low on milk. I’m low on time and I’ve overextended myself. My bank account is low. Those are all objective things that can be measured and observed.
How often can we get subjective with our scarcity complex, though? It’s like saying there’s nothing to eat in this house, when in reality, there are things there, it’s just not what you want. When we feel we’re going to miss out on things via technology, so we’re always on our phones. I just can’t miss that news feed item! That is a subjective scarcity complex idea. Can you relate?
We forget the days when we couldn’t watch things on TV. We forget when there were only 5 channels available. We forget when we couldn’t hit “buy now” on our phones or Amazon and instantly purchase something. Now, I’m not complaining that it’s not those days again. Life can get better! But when we let it get out of control and we begin living this scarcity life instead of counting our blessings and realizing it’s an abundant life, that’s the problem.
Ways to ADMIRE
So what can you and I do to reign in this need to acquire more? I came up with some different ways, and I hope you can relate to these.Share these tips on Twitter!Click To Tweet
1. Take stock or inventory of what you already have. Look around you…look at the books in your house, the TVs on your shelves, the clothes in your closet, the car in your garage…take inventory of what you already do have, and it will hopefully help you not to want more. When we’re thankful for what we do have, we won’t always be concentrating on what we don’t have. It’s a no brainer.
2. You know me…I’m a life coach…so I’m often asking people, tell me more about that? Why are you feeling that way? Can you expand a little more on that? Do the same thing to yourself. Ask yourself why. Focus internally on why you’re feeling like you need to acquire more, instead of admiring what you have.
When we build a stable inner world, it makes our outer world that much more complete and satisfying. When we exhibit behaviors like alcoholism, drug abuse, an eating disorder, gambling…it usually is stemming from a lack of something in your inner world. So ask yourself, why? Why do I feel like I need that? If you’re already feeling those things, then go get counseling. Get a life coach. Gift yourself with some inner stability.
3. Have goals. If you’re fleeting through life not intentional about anything, then you’ll be like a squirrel chasing things. If you have goals, you won’t be wanting what someone else has. Your eyes will stay on your own lane.
Stay In Your Lane
4. Stop comparing. We have a habit of comparing our bloopers to someone else’s highlight reel all the time. Social media is a killer for this. You see vacations, houses, and really people’s best lives, not reality. Put your blinders on here. Don’t look behind or around yourself. And never for a second think that people’s social media lives are their real lives.
Prioritize Your Day
5. Engineer your day. Take control of your day. Prioritize your day with what’s important to you. Take the wheel. When we’re always looking on the horizon of what we don’t have yet, we’re going to miss what’s under our feet.
Fast From Technology
6. Take a fast. Shut off media and technology for longer than you do right now. There’s a part in your phone that will tell you how long you’re spending on it. Be determined to lessen it. It will be so liberating and take away those distractions!
Find Your Talents
7. Find your talents. Emphasize what you’re really great at, and embrace it. Become satisfied with your own journey, because you are unique!
8. Cultivate abundance. See when someone else has something, and cheer them on. Be happy for others. Why do we think that it’s always either a win or a loss if someone has something that someone else doesn’t? It doesn’t have to be like that! Cheer your friends on. Be happy for what they have.
Picture Your Funeral
9. This is the most sobering one, really. It makes me think of my dad. Picture your funeral. You and I can’t take anything with us to our eternal resting place. But what IS going to go are our relationships, our memories made, the words we’ve spoken…those are the things we’re going to take with us via someone else. Prioritize those things.
Pay It Forward
So, what do you think? Do you think you can shift your mindset and start focusing on what you DO have, rather than what you DON’T? If you got any value out of this, I’d love if you could pay it forward. Share it with a friend who is struggling. Help someone else realize what many blessings they actually have!