Generously filled pages of aspirations and desires occupy my spare notebooks as well as my mind.  Photo Credit: Summer Thomad

Generously filled pages of aspirations and desires occupy my spare notebooks as well as my mind.
Photo Credit: Summer Thomad

“You need to learn to just be happy with what you have,” my mom said.

At first, I brushed off what she said and did not really pay much mind to it. I wanted what I wanted, and simply “being happy with what I have” was just a saying I heard so often it has almost become a cliché.

I spend a great deal of time thinking ahead and wanting more. Whether it concerns school, personal goals or even my desire for material things, I am always thinking and planning ahead for how I can reach those goals or acquire those items.

I have always been ambitious by nature (although admittedly, I struggle a lot with laziness when I am forced to do anything I have no interest in, or when I feel overwhelmed). However, my tendencies to constantly want more often distracts me from what is going on right in front of me; this hit me shortly after talking to my mom whilst realizing I had spent around two hours browsing and adding things to my wish lists on Amazon and Etsy.

Having ambition is normal and of course, has many positive aspects; it is undoubtedly good to be thinking ahead and having goals mapped out. However, thinking ahead can consumes one’s life and become an obsession. Then when one, for whatever reason, does not meet those goals, the feeling of failure is more intense, whether or not the goal that was not achieved is of much importance or not.

Obsessively living for tomorrow to distract from today creates a lifestyle of never being content with virtually anything. Focusing too much on future aspirations leads to missing out on feelings and events that are taking place in the present; living in the moment is something that feels unfamiliar to me. This way of living has given me less perspective on the importance of living life to the fullest each day and how generously destiny has played out in my life thus far.

It’s unfortunate that many times, it takes something such as Thanksgiving or my birthday for my good fortune to become apparent. During these times, the troubles that typically consume me have shrunken to a smaller scale, as I am reminded of how much positivity surrounds me upon receiving cards of kind words and pondering what I am thankful for.

Although we naturally tend to focus on what we do not have as opposed to what we do have, my next mission will be, as cliché as it may seem, to appreciate all the happiness in my life more and learn to be content with what already belongs to me. Realizing and stopping infatuation and yearning for unnecessary material desires will help me focus more on what is truly important.