“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do.” -Eckhart Tolle
In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle explores how people attach their happiness to achievements in the future. A perfect relationship. A promotion. A salary increase.
Since all of these things exist somewhere other than now–and they’re all impermanent, even if you do achieve them–this thinking creates pain on multiple levels.
First, in the present, when you’ve yet to achieve what you think you need. Next in the acquisition, when you realize even though you’ve met your goal, you’re still wired to look for happiness somewhere in the future. And later, when life changes, and you no longer have exactly what you had.
Life always changes. Nothing is permanent.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue goals. It’s just that we’d experience a deeper sense of joy on the journey if we realized there’s nowhere to get to. There’s no someday when I’m someone, or someday when I’m happy. There’s no salvation in the future. It’s an illusion that strips the present of joy and makes it a stressful experience.
Life is now. It will always be now. At some point we have to decide now is a perfect time to be happy, peaceful, satisfied, and complete.
As you work toward your goals today, tune into your underlying motivations and ask yourself: Am I focusing all my energy on a happy tomorrow to the detriment of my today?
Photo by jamiehladky
About Lori Deschene
Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, Tiny Buddha's Worry Journal, and Tiny Buddha's Inner Strength Journal and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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