“You will never feel okay by way of external accomplishments. Enough comes from the inside.
Stillness is the Key, Ryan Holiday
Earlier this year (2019) Pam and I hired an expert to help “declutter” my office and our garage. Just too much stuff! And, each of us felt this troubling desire to hang on to stuff we don’t need or will never use, ergo… the declutter expert, Salina Miller.
The Decluttering of Our Souls
If only we each had a Salina Miller to help declutter our souls from the pursuit of achievements as a means to find contentment. We errantly treat our achievements and collections of stuff (including houses, cars, clothes, and vacations to cool places) as a means to somehow renew the emptiness we find in the depths of our innermost beings.
Ryan Holiday, author of the book Stillness quoted at the top, writes, “Most people never learn that their accomplishments will ultimately fail to provide the relief and happiness we tell ourselves they will.” And. “…many relationships and moments of inner peace have been sacrificed on the altar of achievement.”
The Impact of the American Dream
Such a damning statement for those of us cursed with the goal of accomplishing the American Dream. There is nothing wrong with the American Dream in and of itself, it’s merely the obsessive need to achieve and collect as a means to genuine soulful contentment.
Philosopher Epicurus writes that, “Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.” I certainly have not personally “arrived” regarding my desire for stuff and accomplishments as tools to gain self-contentment, but in my 2nd half of life I am much, much better. So, focused work on the soul and soulful contentment will indeed improve your personal well-being.
What does it take to discover deep soulful contentment? I do think it begins with the idea that enough is indeed enough. You are okay without loads of stuff. You are a fine person even if you have not garnered trophies and achievements. You are a great person when you have discovered the gifts of love, forgiveness, compassion and kindness.
Holiday was right, “Enough is an inside job.” Listen to your heart, not your cravings for external measures of validation. Appreciate what you have as enough, especially grand relationships and a sense of self-satisfaction simply based on who you are in your soul.
It is the fortunate person that finds contentment in their work, the people in their lives and most important… a sense of self-contentment based not on stuff, but on the core of your soul.
How Much is Enough for You?
Photo courtesy of Marcos Calvo at istockphoto
NOTE: You can contact declutter expert, Salina Miller, at 714/504-4974.