Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why isn't there ever an "enough"?

Do you ever feel satisfied nowadays?

I know plenty of people who make the best use of time they possibly could - working, having fun, doing hobbies, socialising, achieving - and yet they always feel they should be doing more. I'm one of those people. 

We feel we should learn more, do more, plan more, be more. 
More, more, more. 
Where does it stop, and does it ever?

*     *     *     *     *

I realise we all need progress and progress comes from wanting, needing or imagining something more than what already is but is it really necessary to always be in the pursuit of MORE?

Many folks who travel to the poorer regions of this world come back saying how incredible it is that people in there are happy in spite of not having a lot. I've said it before and I'll say it again, in my opinion it's not in spite of, it's because - people are happy because they don't have a lot. 
They're happy if they have a place to sleep and live, something to eat and feed their loved ones with, relationships with friends and neighbours, all of which brings them a peacefulness that the 'Western' mind and soul rarely experience. 
Because they have what they need and that's enough.

In our quest for more, have we maybe forgotten what enough feels like? 

3 komentarze:

Marcin W. Dąbrowski said...

[stupid blogger cut my comment — if you can, remove the shorer one]

Ok, I'm confused. More is not always bad. Especially when more means in fact better. You say — learn more, do more, plan more, be more. You learn to know the world better, you push forward to have better life, you want to have quality time, and you want to be a better human being.

These four things aren't about having more stuff — they are about better class of living. The only thing to catch is to see, that the pursuit of better doesn't equal the pursuit of possessions. When you accept that happiness is not in the things, but in the time, you can be just as happy as the people from the poorer regions of the world you mentioned. But you will still push forward, just as they are. You will test new things — hell, even changing the spice set in the dish can be a worthwhile experience giving you new knowledge! Sure, they don't have access to many opportunities, but that doesn't mean they don't dream. They push for better too, but in different level of abstraction.

So, maybe let's think about it not as a pursuit of more, but as a pursuit of better — what do you think?

And, to answer your opening question — yes, I feel satisfied with many things these days. But I also know I can do better in many areas, and will strive for that. Why? Because I can (but you know how lazy I am). :)

Laurent said...

We are made to believe that immersion, distraction, collaboration, and company is the new way. When detachment, concentration, autonomy, and privacy are fundamental to our well being.

One of the consequences is that branding is able to disguise the undesirable conformity of consumption as it's desirable opposite: distinction.

Magu Bee said...

Marcin - I totally agree that wanting a better life (whatever it might mean to someone) is not a bad thing.

What I mean is that I know some girls who looked at from afar seem to be doing more than 3 other people combined, and yet when I talk to them they say they feel they're not doing enough. That maybe they should be doing more of this or of that etc., and they feel disappointed with themselves, they don't see what they've achieved. And at this point I stop and think that we're so conditioned for MORE that a lot of people loose the sense of satisfaction from what they did. Partly, because we can rarely escape comparing ourselves with others and there's always someone who's done "more", at least in our eyes. Yet we have no idea what the others strive for and what means they have etc.
(And that covers the non-material side of MORE)

I'm sure it's a lot easier said than done, but it seems that comparing ourselves to the best we've been is the "only way" of going for the BETTER and not for frustration, jealousy etc.

Laurent - agreed for sure!

Last night I was on a tram and some girl got on it as well, crying in a most heartbreaking way and mumbling something about 'money'. At first I figured she might have been ripped off or someone didn't pay her for the job she did. After a while some guy walked up to her and went on asking "Why are you crying? Stop it!" which started a very peculiar conversation between the two.

(M= guy, F= girl)
F:'Cause they didn't give me money! she'd say.
M: Who didn't give you money, for what? If it's only money you're crying about, it's not worth it.
F: But I want more money!
she'd continue.
M: Well, everyone wants more money but we don't all cry about it. What do you need more money for?
F: I don't know! But I want a lot!
M: Yes, you've said that. But what would you do with the money?
F: I don't know, for shopping!
M: And what would you like to buy?
F: I want more money! I don't know, I'd buy something.

The girl must have been about 21-22 or so, I think a bit mentally disabled from the way she spoke and behaved. But it's such a sad metaphor for a lot of things in the world.

I sometimes feel most of people really are disabled in way, in the sense that they don't stop and think: Why do I need more? Or better yet, what is it really that I want more of?
(Which covers both the material and the non-material, as many a time the material "needs" we have are very much connected to our psyche which doesn't need things, but people don't know how to listen to the "real" need)