Enjoy the Moment

When I was sad my mother would always tell me, “What do you have to be sad about? You don’t know how lucky you are!” As a teenager I didn’t buy into that view. When I was upset I was certain that there wasn’t a single person on the planet that was as sad as me.

With age and a bit of wisdom I’ve come to accept my mother’s comment as true. In fact my sadness now comes with an even dose of guilt. We should be glad just to be alive. An American mathematician estimated the odds of any one of us being born. He came up with 10 to the power of 17. That’s 100,000,000,000,000,000. To give you an idea of how rare this is; that's like you winning the Mega Lotto 33 billion times in a row! YOU ARE SPECIAL.

How fortunate that we were born in the United States in this amazing time in history. Most of us are basically healthy and sane of mind. So why are so many people unhappy?

It is amazing how many people I meet that are frustrated, and exhausted. Why? When I talk to friends I hear a common theme. They are working toward happiness. They don’t see or expect the journey to be enjoyable. It is when they have arrived at their destination that they will find joy. The problem with this is that the destination continues to move.

As children we dream of the day we will be teenagers so we can do the things we want. But when we become teenagers we see the limitations and dream of the day we can be adults. This I fear is a major factor in why so many teens find themselves involved in adult issues: the law, drugs, and pregnancy. They are racing to be something they are not yet prepared to be. They fail to enjoy the moment.

We race though college focused only on graduating and finding that great job. Along the way marriage, children and a mortgage become part of the package, but this is fine because all you need is that promotion, and the next promotion and the next.

You then start looking at the time when the children will be grown and leave to live their own lives; then you will really start enjoying life. But you don’t. You now start filling this void with more work and longer hours because you have to prepare for retirement.

We treat our lives as if we are sitting through a concert and not paying attention until the very end when the orchestra reaches the final crescendo or TiVo-ing to the end of a great movie so you can see who’s the murderer. You are missing the point. Life is a journey not a destination. Seek out pleasures everyday. Try to enjoy the moment for it is truly only a moment.


Anonymous said...

Kids, job, crazy boss, bills that's why I can't find peace. There's no time to find peace these days.

Anonymous said...

Pleasure vs. Happiness
Happiness is not pleasure although they can appear similar. Pleasure is enjoyment of an outside stimuli. You might find pleasure in buying a new car, or in going on vacation, or having friends over for dinner, or having sex, or....the list is long on what you might enjoy experiencing. Pleasure requires an external stimuli for you to experience it. Happiness does not. Happiness is a belief about yourself and the outside world. You can be doing something you normally experience as pleasurable but not be happy! Pleasure is born from the external world, happiness is born from the internal workings of our own minds.

Eric said...

Sitting down to watch UofM. If they win I will be happy for the rest of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You said it 3:49 pm. My dad worked one blue collar job and my mom stayed at home to raise four children. We went on a vacation every year and sometimes twice. We had a two story house in a nice neighborhood, two cars and a fridge filled to the max.

Me and my wife have one child, rent, both of us work, one car, and we vacation maybe one every couple of years and nothing fancy. We can barely make ends meet.

That is what is depressing people we are seeing our quality of life go down and it doesn't look like it will get better anytime soon.

You're right Reg when you say enjoy the moment, like when my child started talking, but a second later I'm thinking how are we going to make it. It's just tough out here now.

Eric said...

Guess I won't be happy for the rest of my life. We were so close.

Anonymous said...

It seems that this will be the first generation that does worse than their parents. The american dream is becoming a nightmare or at least a day dream, something fleeting. What we have in this country might be better than in some third world, but we aren't in a third world so we are compared to those around us. Life is too hard.