Archive for August, 2014

What Do You Want?

August 11, 2014

I am constantly amazed by the number of advertisements with which we are bombarded every day. It really is almost impossible to be out in the world for five minutes without seeing a neon sign or a billboard informing us of something that we just can’t live without. Now there are even people standing on street corners twirling signs. As a side note, I wish the sign swingers would understand that as entertaining as they are, nobody can really read the signs when they are being tossed, twirled and thrown into the air. As for television, radio and even movie theaters…. every other word is about some product that will make our lives ever so much happier.

Most of us have accumulated a lot of “stuff” in the quest for happiness. But guess what? The older I get, the more I realize that stuff does not equal happiness; rather, it usually just clutters up our lives and confuses us. The more we get, the more we want.

I have come to the conclusion that all of us; no matter who we are, really are on a quest for one basic thing and that is a sense of peace within ourselves. The problem is that we don’t always recognize that the feeling we are seeking has nothing at all to do with what the world tells us we want. We buy into the sales pitches that driving a great car, owning the best appliances and having the fewest wrinkles will satisfy all of our desires and we will find happiness. Ding dong…that is wrong.

If you want to get off of the hamster wheel and stop chasing illusions, I suggest that you put some thought into what you REALLY want. If it is inner peace, happiness, joy, contentment and appreciation for your life….consider that you may be looking in the wrong places. Having “stuff” is fine as long as you don’t expect it to make you complete and keep you happy, because it will probably disappoint you.

I want to share a story I heard about Alexander the Great, who spent his young life conquering and acquiring worldly possessions. It may be true or may be myth, but there is a valuable lesson in here somewhere! It is said that on his deathbed, he cited his final wishes; one of which was to warn people not to spend their lives pursuing wealth. He asked that all of his jewels and coins be strewn on the road behind his funeral parade; acknowledging that he came into the world with empty hands and would be leaving with empty hands. His most poignant request was to be buried with his hands outside of the coffin, showing that he was; indeed, leaving this world as he entered it. Whether fact or fiction, I like the message!