Do you have a strong desire to live life to its fullest? Do you have a sense of unfulfilled potential?
Many people have a wish list that includes a variety of exciting activities. And they’re on the hunt for those things with all their might. Getting a new car or a high-paying job isn’t as important to me as having life-changing experiences. The mentality I had when I gave up my compulsion to buy things and got out of the rat race was this: I was inspired to change my lifestyle after reading books on philosophy and personal development. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Millions of people around the world are choosing to abandon traditional ways of thinking in favour of something new. Their bucket list is long, and it includes everything from hiking in the Andes to watching hot air balloons over Turkey to surfing in Hawaii. We’re on a quest for new and memorable experiences. The problem is that we’re missing out on the true meaning of life.
Desires are fulfilled when one has the opportunity to engage in new experiences
You’re actually pursuing your own desires when you’re pursuing something special in life without being aware of it. When I started meditating more, I realised this. I became aware that many of my thoughts revolved around things I wished I could accomplish in the future. To me, that seemed to be the whole point of living in the moment: to take pleasure in the little things more fully. As a result, I began brainstorming ideas for things I could do with or without the people in my life. As an example, I was thinking about moving to Spain. I had high expectations for my time in Europe. That’s just a wish, though. In his book, The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer discusses this idea, “You must realise that it is your desire to have unique experiences in life that prevents you from experiencing the fullness of life. Rather than something you obtain, life is a phenomenon you encounter”.
Even when you’re trying to get the most out of life, you end up missing out on what’s right in front of you. Everything that happens in your life is a part of your life regardless of what you do. As a result, no experience is a waste of time. Regardless of whether or not you wanted it.
It is a good idea to meditate on the idea of “the last time
An audio series of Stoic meditations was created for The Waking Up app by William Irvine, author of A Guide to the Good Life. During one of his lectures, he discusses how the Stoics used a “last time” meditation to maximise their experiences. In that type of meditation, the goal isn’t to seek out better experiences, but rather to appreciate the ones you already have. A typical day begins like this. As you go about your day, imagine that this is the last time you will be doing whatever it is you’re doing. Pretend you’re drinking your last cup of coffee ever when you’re enjoying a cup of coffee. Coffee beans will vanish from the face of the earth after you drink your last cup. During dinner with your parents, imagine that this is the last time you’ll see them before they go their separate ways. It’s time to say goodbye to your parents, who will leave after dinner.
Everything can be done this way. In the sauna yesterday, I wondered if this would be the last time I’d ever be there. As a result, I gained a newfound appreciation for the sauna and was able to fully enjoy it. It was very similar to my first experience in a sauna. All of my preoccupations vanished, and I was left with only the sensation of the heat. It was an incredible sensation… It all started with a simple sauna.
It’s up to you whether or not you want to alter
Our desire for change is yet another hindrance to contentment. When we don’t like something about where we are, we tend to want to do something about it. You can’t go wrong trying to make a difference in your life. Only if that’s all you want does it become a problem. If you’re constantly considering moving, whether it’s for a new job, a new place to live, a new partner, new friends, a new vehicle, or something else, you’re likely to experience anxiety. Instead, think of change as something you can choose to do. Think of yourself as “satisfied” with your current situation. And it would be wonderful if I could influence a few things. The alternative is perfectly acceptable, too. As a result, no matter what life throws at you, you’ll be prepared. Since everything is going to be fine, it’s a wonderful way to live.