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avril 24, 2014

List of unnecessary things

Many things are ultimately not necessary when it comes to creating what matters to us – a new business, a novel, a career, a different way to use our time…

And many things are clearly not necessary for a sense of fulfillment and happiness.

Here are two short lists, reminders to myself as much as you, Wonder. So we don’t wait in vain.

Matters superfluous to creating:

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No need to be happy or even to have a particularly good disposition. No need for special conditions or circumstances, beyond those in my power. It’s in my own power to calm myself when I’m pissed off, to focus myself when I’m scattered, to reassure myself if I’m worried. And even if I’m not my “optimal” state, I can take action, I can move (and in that way I can forget I’m supposedly not at my best).

No need to be inspired. Inspiration always appears, eventually, if I only stay present and pay attention.

No need to know exactly where you are going. I don’t need to know the exact coordinates of my destination to set off. It’s enough to know roughly in which direction to take the first steps. From there I can play the “you’re getting hotter, you’re getting colder” game with my inner compass.

No need for money. Even though at some point I may need financial resources, they are almost never required for the very next action, the one that lies before me right now.

No need for time. Nobody has the luxury called “having time.” Everyone is free to choose how to use his time, and therefore free to allocate a small portion (or a large one) to what is particularly important. Saying “no” to some things frees up time for my “yeses.”

No need to be ready. I’ll never be ready to move into an uncomfortable place. But I can agree to do so anyway. It’s enough just to decide to give more weight to my desire to make a change, create something new, than to what keeps me in the status quo and comfort. It’s a decision that I am free to make, or not, at any moment.

No need for confidence. The truth is that the success of my endeavour is not insured. Which isn’t so important since the real question is not, “can I do it?” but “will I regret not having tried? and “is it what I want?”

Conditions unnecessary to happiness:

happyNo need to have successfully completed anything. The desire to accomplish things, to be successful in some area, is so strong that I almost inevitably falls into the trap of believing that I’ll be happy when I’ve done X or Y. Which is of course bullshit. Two days after finishing that novel I want to write, I would be no happier than I am today.

Happiness is not a matter of accomplishment.

No need for money. Like everyone I want to live comfortably, to have at my disposal enough money and resources to provide more than the bare necessities. Having money is great! Yet my ability to be happy now has nothing to do with the resources I have or lack.

Happiness is not a matter of my preferences being satisfied.

No need to know or to understand. To know where I’m going, and why, to hold in the palm of my hand the sense of how I fit into this flowing universe — this always passes through my fingers. The mystery is more dense than my ability to penetrate it.

Happiness is not a matter of certainty.

No need.The very essence of plenitude is already there, at all times, in whatever circumstances.

Happiness is not a matter of circumstances.

To sum up:

The moment that I imagine I’ll be happier later, after some condition has been fulfilled, I become deaf and blind to the fullness embedded in the fabric of each moment, here and now.

smiling-manI don’t need to create to be happy — which is fine, because I also do not need to be happy to create. I might simply want to do it, as a bird sings just because he wants to sing.

photos: Charles Henry, dhilung, Jonathan Kos-Read