“You should be happy with what you have.” Really?
I used to get mad whenever I heard people say, “You should be happy with what you have.” Now I realize I was wrong.
I was born in humble circumstances, and since I was a little kid, I had this desire to do more with my life. Specifically, I wanted to have more money.
I never really dreamed about being filthy rich. I didn’t want a big house or a nice car. To be honest, the only thing that I wanted was to have enough money just so I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and buy a decent computer and a nice sound system.
Yes, my aspirations were not great. Still, I wanted things to change in my life. And that’s the reason why I would not accept the idea of being happy with what I had.
In my mind, I thought that being happy with what I had meant to settle down and not look for more. I thought that being happy meant that you wouldn’t change anything in your life. I thought that happiness is living a perfect life where you wouldn’t change absolutely anything.
And that was my mistake.
I understand now that you can be happy even though you want some things to change. You can be happy and still want to earn more money. You can be happy and still want to get married. You can be happy and still want to have a job promotion.
Happiness and desire are not mutually exclusive. It was only after realizing this that I could understand the wisdom hidden in the words of “you should be happy with what you have.”
The reason why you should be happy with what you have is that you can only be happy with what you have. It’s impossible to be happy with what you used to have in the past, and you can’t be happy about the things that you will have in the future.
If you are not happy with what you have now, then when the future arrives and you have the things you always wanted, that moment will be your new now, and you won’t be happy because you never learned how to be happy with the things you have now.
Like before, I still want things to change in my life, I have many desires, and I work every day in order to get them. But different from before, I remind myself to practice being happy with what I have now. Because if I don’t, I won’t be happy in the future when I get the things I want.
But if I am now, then I will always be.