by Swami Sivanand
Have you seen someone who have it all, such as luxury cars, nice 2 story house, seemingly happy marriage, obedient kids and great job? Have you been to friend’s house to find a nice professional kitchen, professional pots and pot rack, and plenty of cookbooks around? Have you felt jealous?
Don’t be. Maybe those people might be truly happy and rich and may be your friend could be great culinary expert. Or just maybe they are aspiring to be rich, being chef or happy, a reality could be far different. How do we know? Because, everyone fakes life at one time or another. If you have not, that is great achievement and you can skip this post. For rest of us there is still hope.
I am much more zen and in calm mind compared to 5 years ago that is for sure,but I also go through phases where I want to have someone else’s life for change. For example, I want to be in clean house that you see in magazines, I want kids to sleep through the night, and be well behaved ALL the time, I want Zenguy to be making lot of money and be rich, so I do not worry sick about kids future and help others at the same time. I guess it is normal for human to desire things, but if we let it gets to us, we will live unhappy and sad lives. How to be our authentic self and be content with it? These are a few ways I am happy with who I am and simplicity path that I have chosen to walk on, or at least try to live it.
1. Stop watching TV, Stop reading consumer magazines. Watching some TV shows where thin women, men and their slick houses can cause a few of us, inferiority complex. You may never know, that those houses on magazine may have designer and interior decorator that have planned and organized everything in the house and cleaned up mess before taking pictures or video shoot. Maybe those people in the magazine including men have groomed and put on make up to make them look great. If you had these services, you would look great and so will your house, right? May be some of the people might be truly beautiful, rich and organized but most of us aren’t. So if you compare yourself, compare with majority!
2. Stop watching or reading advertisements in magazines, TV, newspapers and billboards. Ads can make you feel like you are the only ONE who is a loser in the world, who does not have that X product. You are cool if buy X product and you are loser if you do not. Do not buy that, you are not your material possessions.
3. Do not compare your self with Jones. One reason not to compare is they might have look of richness but in reality, they might be so deep in debt, up keeping appearances. Be wealthy, not just act and spend like wealthy.
4. Think of what you HAVE, not on what you do not. I know someone who is super wealthy and makes 40K per month, (no, not a type-error : a month), yet I do not want to be him, you know why? he is middle of getting divorce and his 2 kids and wife are miserable, they may have money and everything money can buy but not happiness. I rather be happy and content than rich.
5. Be thankful. Things can be worse, for example, when Zenguy got traffic ticket for using cell phone while sitting at the traffic, but he could have gotten a ticket for speeding or worse he could have been in an accident. Be thankful for what you have, before resenting situation.
6. Volunteer and help others. We in America, hardly see poor people around, so whenever I volunteer at second harvest or food pantry or homeless shelter, I actually get to see “real” people and many of them are smart, working hard folks and it makes me more compassionate and appreciate my current life much more.
7. Find your true personal values and virtues. Many of us do not take time truly to know what truly makes us happy, we tend to follow money trail, but I know money does not make person happy. I know this because I was miserable making 6 figure salary once upon a time and now I am happier (mostly) being at home. While I have days when money bugs catches me, most of the days I am happier being home with my kids.
8. Find your true assets, your knowledge, people around you such as family and friends. If you have money, it can be lost in stock market, or bad investment. If you have car, house, boats, it can be stolen and broken in to. No one can take what you know and wisdom you have achieve, (at least not so easy). You can always rise from poverty, to gain what you have lost. True friends and close family members can always be there in time of your need, which is much more important.
Are you living a pretend life? Was this article and tips useful to you or some one you know? Do you have more to share? I would love to hear from you. Please share with your friends and loved ones, if you liked it.
Live more, Be more.