Note: Originally I intended to post this on /dev/random – with it being a sort of a silly random reflection and all. But it turned out to be a bit long and I had an empty spot in my blog queue it ended up being a blog post instead. It was aimed to be somewhat reflexive, somewhat humorous and somewhat true.
Look at all these people sitting there being content with their lives. If only you could be like one of them. Somehow they have found their niche in life and are enjoying it. Why can’t you?
You smile and you pretend, but the truth is, you are not happy.
You are underpaid and unappreciated. Your job is not rewarding, satisfying or challenging enough. Your skills are wasted. Your talents are not used to their full extent. You are losing your edge.
You never have enough money to get the things you want. You never have enough vacation days to take an actual vacation. You have little or no time for your personal hobbies. You spend weekends and holidays doing bullshit errands and stupid chores instead of relaxing and partying.
Your significant other sucks, and does not deserve you at all. Your friends suck. Your neighbors suck. They are all pretentious pricks.
Worst of all, your life is going nowhere. Back in school you had all these hopes, dreams and ambitions. You were meant to do more and be more. Look at yourself now.
Believe it or not, but we are all in the same boat. Those people who seem to be so happy with their lives – they are just really good at faking it. Chances are they probably envy you just like you envy them.
If you are truly happy it means you are dead. You will never achieve that idyllic state of happiness you see on TV. No matter how rich and successful you are, you will never, ever be fully content with your life.
The grass ALWAYS appears greener on the other side. That’s just how we are wired as humans. It is an optical illusion built into our ocular system. Things that are further away look better than the ones near by. This way you will always want that thing over there rather than this thing over here. Think about it. This dissatisfaction with our lives is what drives us to constantly improve ourselves. It is the hidden force behind out civilization and all scientific progress. We got where we are as a human race because we are never satisfied. We always want something more, and we always want something better. This is what separates us from animals.
Let’s make a thought experiment. Imagine that one day you woke up and realized you are perfectly content – that there is nothing more you could ever want or need, that you fulfilled all your hopes and dreams – what would you do next?
I tell you what you would do. You would instantly come up with a new list of hopes, dreams and needs you didn’t even know you had. You would develop new ambitions, new drives. Then you would re-adjust your aim, and immediately come to a conclusion that your life sucks.
Yup, your life will always suck. Till the day you die, your life will seem suckier and less fulfilling than the life of your friend, your coworker or your neighbor. And there is nothing you can do about it. Well… You could sit in a corner and cry, but how is that going to help?
On the upside, everyone else is exactly the same way. Their lives suck just as much as yours. They are not better off than you. Well, some of them are, but they are not really happy about it. Chances are they would switch places with you in a blink of an eye. And if not with you, then with someone else they know.
So next time you see someone who seems happy and content, remember that they are just as frustrated and disappointed with their bullshit life as you are. They are just good liars.
The point is, that every once in a while you should stop and appreciate what you have. I mean, it’s all shit – but it’s your shit. It might not be as good as your friends’ shit, but it is better than having no shit at all. And there is probably someone out there who would love have your shit for themselves.
I’m not saying you should stop trying to get better shit. You should always strive to better yourself, and improve your life. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what you have as you work for something better. You can be both profoundly dissatisfied with your life, and enjoy every second of it at the same time.