…when you have everything you Need
The fantastic thinking-feeling-behaving unit that the human being is, means that each second, we are a bubbling cauldron of myriad motivations, desires, impulses and compulsions. And one of the deepest frustrations is when you are well provided for physically but that does not seem enough. Despite having a cushy life, you feel dissatisfied, anxious and unhappy. Here are 3 lines of thought that can help you address the issue.
Identify what to do
Check your interests and aptitudes to identify at a common subset. List activities that you are good at and find pleasure in doing. These could range from arts, gardening, coding, cooking, accounting, sports to working with animals, organizing events and much more. It could even be taking a course for the sheer pleasure of learning. Find opportunities for your kind of activities around you or on the internet – opportunities, that to start with, let you do what you want, rather than help you earn what you think you should. This is not to imply that getting paid should not be a goal. There is no judgement about wanting to make money – but do ask yourself if what you actually want is just to see your bank balance grow. Or is money a means to an end – like perhaps to travel or afford a good meal at a fancy restaurant. If the latter is the case, understand that you already have the resources to do so. Now, wouldn’t it be more satisfying to do what you are really good at and interested in? Depending on your specific situation, you can start monetizing your activities eventually and even if you can’t, look for intangible rewards – happy feedback from your college alumni after you have successfully organized a reunion party. Or perhaps the satisfaction of knowing that your mentoring helped your neighbour’s daughter cracking that promotional interview. Like many good things of life, rewards too come in many shapes and sizes.
But without expectations. In other words, find a purpose outside yourself. It could be spirituality or working for a non-profit. Ask yourself how your skills and experience can better lives of others. Volunteering consistently ranks as one of the most satisfying activities in human life. And if you are among the fortunate few who do not need paid work for your physical survival, what better opportunity to give back to your community. To give freely your time and expertise to others who need it, has helped many many individuals cope with listlessness, grief and given their lives meaning. Give it a try before you decide it is not for you.
Look within you
With honesty. If you are blessed with health, loving relationships, things to do and ample resources but still feel frustrated, perhaps it is time to revisit your definitions of a meaningful life. Ask yourself who decides what is Success and Happiness and why it need not be the same for you. Be aware of the continuous bombardment of consumerist lifestyle images in media that create hitherto non-existent wants, then disguise them as needs, thus trapping you in a perpetual state of discontent. If you feel particularly miserable, go to the root of your compulsions and thought patterns, asking yourself why you feel the way you do and what you can do about it – better still, do this with a trusted friend or counsellor to arrive at answers that makes sense.