We live in an incredibly fast-paced world, a rat race driven by fame, success and financial gain. We are constantly working towards something, determined that to earn more, do more, and make ourselves known. Despite all we accomplish, however, I find myself wondering if we’re missing something more.
There is no questioning the fact we live in an amazing time. Advances in science and technology have allowed us to live longer, beating diseases that were once seen as death sentences, and experience the world in a new and exciting way. If you had tried to explain the way that the internet has connected us on a global scale to the generations that came before us, they likely would have considered you to be absolutely crazy. Yet here we are, the power of the internet in the palm of our hands thanks to the latest smartphones.
We look up to the most ‘successful’ among us – the celebrities whose names are known in every household, or the CEO whose bank account is bigger than most of us could ever imagine. We view their material belongings as trophies, admiring their fancy cars, big houses, designer clothing, and elaborate vacations.
Yet in the face of all this, we still hold onto the belief that money doesn’t buy you happiness. If these marks of success aren’t the secret, how, then, can we unlock true joy and happiness in our lives?
This very question is the driving force behind the $9.9 billion Self-Help Industry, leading to best-selling books, seminars, personal coaching, motivational speakers and training organizations. The industry has produced many self-proclaimed ‘gurus’, those who find their success by encouraging, motivating and inspiring the world. One such guru, Brene Brown, made a powerful statement, one that would drastically change my way of thinking: “I no longer wear exhaustion as a badge of honor.”
We live in a world where we are SO focused on achieving and accomplishing, but in doing so we are completely missing the joy that comes from just being here and now. It’s a concept that has come back to the forefront of alternative living, with many pointing to the incredible power of mindfulness. Is it possible that the real secret to happiness is found in embracing nothing?
It may sound completely counterproductive, but consider, for a moment, the peace that one can find in slowing down. Mindfulness teaches you to release all thoughts from your mind, freeing yourself from the regrets of your past and the anxiety about what’s to come. It allows you to bask in the stillness of the here and no while recognizing the beauty that is often overlooked. Enjoy the stunning image of a morning sunrise, or, as cheesy as it may sound, stop and ‘smell the roses’. The world will sound and smell sweeter, full of new discoveries. You will be free from the rat-race!
If you are looking to find happiness, learn to embrace nothing.
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