A lot of people are ambitious and "want to accomplish things with their lives!"
I suppose that's a noble enough ambition, as long as you know what it is you want. Strange as it might sound, people often do not know what they want, even while working extremely hard to accomplish... "something."
I was raised in a family where it was an important "core value" to work hard to get ahead in life.
But what does that mean, exactly? And to what end purpose should we engage in all that hard work? To be honest, I'm a bit of a carefree sort of person, and I really don't care very much for "work, for work's sake." If I don't have a clear reason and a clear purpose for doing what I'm doing... I'd just as well just be sitting still.
It flies somewhat in the face of the values I was brought up with... and I'm occasionally still a bit conflicted about it. On one hand, I realize and accept that you shouldn't expect to get stuff unless you work for it, on the other... I'm not really very interested in working. As a result, I have pretty much made peace with the idea of not having a lot, in the material sense of the word.
To many, that might appear as laziness or a lack of ambition... but let's revisit "what we VALUE most."
I value peace and quiet, good friends, relaxation, sharing a good meal with friends, writing in my journals (or on my blogs!) and simple things like that.
Fancy trips to exotic countries, shiny cars and impressive mansions simply aren't among the things I value highly... so what would be the purpose of busting my butt like I needed to fund those things?
And I have no particular drive to "conquer the world," either.
Now, that's just my perspective in life.
Your perspective is your perspective. The important point here is being self-aware enough to know what it is you value most in life!
The other thing I often consider comes from a question one of my Spiritual Teachers brought up, many years ago:
"Who are you trying to IMPRESS? Other people... or yourself?
Of course, there are varying degrees of "impressing other people," but if your hard work is done in service of living up to the expectations of family — or even friends — rather than to impress yourself, what you're doing will soon enough start feeling like drudgery. And then you'll grow resentful... and definitely not content.
Yet, many people are chasing accomplishments that are not actually theirs to reach for!
My mother always hoped that I would become a doctor or maybe an attorney... but those were her dreams, not mine. Although she rarely spoke of it, she had some regrets at not pursuing those; instead choosing to "marry well." It's one thing to want to "honor your parents," quite another to sacrifice your own contentment in service of helping them vicariously accomplish their own failed dreams via your hard work!
In the end, the best thing we can do for ourselves is truly answer the question of what we value most and then work towards that goal... for our own benefit!
Thanks for reading, and have a great remainder of your week!
How about YOU? Do you know what you value the most? Is that what YOU value, or what external pressure is pushing you towards wanting? How are you doing in your efforts to find contentment in life? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!
(All text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is ORIGINAL CONTENT, created expressly for this platform — NOT A CROSSPOST!!!)
Created at 20210320 22:42 PDT