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Tiny Wisdom: On Prosperity

“Prosperity depends more on wanting what you have than having what you want.” -Geoffrey F. Abert

No matter what you have, you can always identify something that is lacking. If you have a great relationship, you might ascertain that you’ve lost touch with a hobby you once loved. If you earn plenty of money, you can probably identify tons of people who earn more–and with less effort than you expel.

It’s just not possible to feel like you have it all because you can’t possibly have everything at once. And no matter how much you gain, there will always be someone else who appears to have more.

When you get caught up in the endless, aching cycle of wanting and comparing, nothing ever feels like enough–and as a result, nothing provides the joy you previously imagined it would. Every gain is a hollow satisfaction when you see it in the context of everything that’s left to be had.

Perhaps the key to feeling prosperous is seeing what’s in front of you solely for what it is. It’s not always easy to do. When you have a moment with someone you love, you may drift into fantasies of an even greater adventure. When you have an hour off, it’s tempting to wish you had a whole day.

But then those moments and hours fade away, and you’re left with the same choice in new moments and hours.

Time eventually runs out. We can either appreciate and enjoy what’s in front of us, or stress about how inadequate it is, but we can’t ever do both at once. Which do you choose today?

Photo by aaron.bihari

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About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook seriesTiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself, and Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life's Hard Questions. She's also co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you change your life. For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow on Twitter & Facebook.

Announcement: Tired of feeling stuck? Let go of the past and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • Anonymous

    great post. I need to reread this when I am in a cycle of longing. Sometimes, I forget that “nothing is actually” happening and it just my future projects making me suffer. Peace.

  • Virginia O’Connor

    WOW! That was so wonderful. So many of us, including me, waste our ‘moments’ thinking and wishing for more. And we are never satisfied. What a circle of delusion we weave for ourselves. I have printed this article so I can read it every day and remember to enjoy and be grateful for what I ACTUALLY DO HAVE. Thanks from Ginny

  • Tony Applebaum

    Thank you Lori. I think you just defined Zen =)

  • Lori Deschene

    I can relate to that in a big way. I think that self-awareness is the key to peace. When we understand that we’re causing our own suffering, we have the power to end or at least minimize it.

  • Lori Deschene

    You are most welcome. =)

  • Lori Deschene

    You’re welcome Tony!

  • Amit Bhatia

    nice thought :)