There aren’t a whole lot of things that I consider to be universal. There’s just too much diversity out there in the world, which is good, I think. But one thing I feel pretty sure about that applies to pretty much anyone I’ve ever met is a result that we’re all looking to achieve: happiness. Anybody I’ve ever met wants to be happy. The difference is in how we get there.
Now, to put this in a certain context, let’s take this as an example, this snow globe here in the middle of a nice day in a park.
Let’s suppose this (a calm snow globe) is what happy looks like. Water’s a little dirty, but there’s your mind. Okay? It’s calm, your spirit, your being. Happy.
But it doesn’t take long for life to take over. So we get into it and we get going into school and we start living this script of now, we gotta get a job. We gotta have a purpose in our life. We’ve gotta fulfill our responsibilities and we get into it, but now we’re feeling a little bit more like this (snow globe is all stirred up).
So, well, I’ve gotta get into a relationship, and I’ve gotta get married. Now we’re starting to feel a little bit more like this (snow globe is really stirred up). So I must need a bigger house. Gotta get the kids. Now that we’ve got the kids, we need to enter them in activities. But it’s not enough activities, like our neighbors and our friends are, so we gotta do more.
All of this adds up, all over the years – the compound effect – until finally … life pulls the plug
But now, we’re running to hockey tournaments and dance classes and I still feel like this (stirred up), so I must need a faster car. But now I’ve got the faster car just like my buddy down the street has, and I still feel like this (snow globe is a blizzard), so I must need to take longer and more expensive vacations. And so I’m doing that, and never mind that the line of credit is piling up, ’cause that’s not affecting me, but geez, I still feel like this (swirling snow globe), so maybe just a little bit more time with the buddies and a few extra beers, or a couple extra bags of chips or whatever the case might be, until you get far enough along into life where you realize you’re feeling like this all the time, that you go to the doctor and you ask the doctor for help, and the doctor gives you a pill to help it, and it might trick you into thinking it’s calming, but it’s creating a different swirl altogether.
All of this adds up, all over the years, the compound effect, until finally, if I could smash this thing (the snow globe), I would, but instead, we’ll just say that life pulls the plug, and either by choice or by force, you finally do this (puts down the snow globe).
It takes a while for it to settle, but it does.
Notice what it looks like? Looks like happy.
Isn’t it ironic when we get to the point where what we want more than anything else just to be happy is … nothing?
Isn’t that ironic? But the interesting thing is, we don’t have to wait for all of that to happen before life finally stops us and we get a little bit of perspective. We could take each day, get up in the morning, and think of everything that we’ve gotta do. Get the kids ready for school, get set for work, and then … (puts down snow globe).
We could go to work, drive through traffic, take that initial meeting, get the first few big projects off your plate, and then… (puts down snow globe to settle).
Do you know what this is? This is the road to happy. This is what meditation looks like. I wish someone had shared this with me 30 years ago.
Isn’t it ironic when we get to the point where what we want more than anything else just to be happy is … nothing? Sometimes, the way to get the result that you want is to slow down and stop long enough so that it can actually find you.