“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance;
the wise grows it under his feet.” -James Oppenheim
If only I had this thing, then I’d be happy. We say this to ourselves all the time. Certain things have to happen, or we have to accumulate a certain amount, to be successful and content. Our culture trained us to think this way from an early age. And the result; we’re never fully satisfied, never truly happy. As long as we’re thinking we need more, as long as we’re waiting for the next thing to arrive to make us feel fulfilled, we’re missing the moment and preventing ourselves from being touched and amazed by life now.
Mark Nepo said, “One key to knowing joy is being easily pleased.” If we could approach everything that comes our way as special, sacred even, we can know a greater contentment in our lives. Be easily pleased with what each day brings, a sage like Nepo would tell you or a child like my nephew would show you. See the extraordinary in the ordinary. See the amazing in the mundane.
From the atom in a drop of water to the atom in a human being, from the ant to the zebra, from the sky above to the dirt beneath our feet, the extraordinary is all around us all the time. We only need awaken, open our eyes and see things anew. In doing so, we can witness the miracle of life in this very moment, no longer awaiting the next thing or condition that promises happiness. We can experience joy right now if we let life in and let ourselves be amazed by what we find.