The less you take for granted, the more joy you will find in the everyday. Even things as certain as the sun that shines can be marvelled at, for it is really quite remarkable — it makes all life possible. There is so much to be appreciated, but so little appreciation happening. Are we part of an anti-contentment movement?
Taken for granted
The biological process of habituation means that we very quickly become used to everyday things. The purpose of this is to notice changes from the norm. Habituation that makes us alert to change and dangers is one thing. It is quite another thing to become addicted to the new, such that we forget what we already have!
Isn’t it intriguing that for all our material advancement, we somehow still seem to lack a sense of contentment in modernity?
A deeper problem
This broad state of affairs points to a deeper problem. One where no matter what you have, it never seems to be enough. In fact, the message seems to be that even who you are is not enough. Wherever you look, our paradigm is one of “have more, get more, be more”. We never quite seem to feel smart enough, beautiful enough, rich enough or successful enough. An observer from outer space might view humankind as having embraced the anti-contentment movement.
This attitude by its very construct creates the pressure to constantly strive for more, and often for no particular reason. Whatever you have and wherever you are, it seems that there is always something more to be had. So, where is the time and mental space to appreciate what you already have? To take in the wonder of the unfolding moment.
Leaving the anti-contentment movement
But, things don’t have to be this way. Whatever the force of society’s narrative, you still have the choice to ignore it. To notice the many wonderful things that you take for granted, whether at home, in your city or on our planet.
Notice also how you feel in yourself as you marvel at these. You can learn much about the fundamental nature of experience by doing so.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.