Those who always carry peace of mind are the people who have smaller gap between the reality and their expectations.
In whichever state you are, you are always having something on your mind. Like more money, more friends, more love and better food. This everything ‘more’ comes into the category of expectations. Your reality is who you are at the present. The job you have, the friends you possess or the car you have. So when the gap between this reality and expectation is huge your peace of mind suffers.
If you earn 20,000 bucks a month which is your reality, what are your expectations? You are expecting to earn atleast 60,000. Not that its a sin being this ambitious, but you should also weigh the other side. At what cost are you expecting to fulfill your huge ambitions?
Take an example of a dog or a baby. If you look at them they are at peace with themselves. Only because of one reason – they lack expectations. Hence, they avoid any state of discontentment. They live totally in their reality. The gap between expectations and reality is almost nil for them.
But, the question then pops up, should we all start living like a dog or a baby. No. But, you need to reduce the gap between your expectations and reality. Can you cherish the reality you are already living in? Like you got a great family, handful of great friends and enough food. Can you make the best of the resources you have?
When you absorb yourself gratefully into the reality, you become peaceful. Because when you are living into the expectations you are living inside a virtual dream you made up in your heads. Then you constantly compare it with reality and find it damn miserable.
Imagine how after your school you started going college and were miserable to realize that college life isn’t as they show in the movies. It is because of the difference between the reality and expectations.
Most of my college life went this way. I was fantasizing a better college, prettier girls , better friends and better lifestyle. But, I was unwilling to leave the dream castle I had built. Also, the reason why porn is destructive to sexual life of a married couple is the same reason.
One of my friends complains of being stuck in a job and wanting to start his venture. Now his expectations are that of full-fledged profit earning company which is quite impossible. Every day feels like a Monday for him. What would you do? Observe what your reality is. Take the next step which might be starting a part time venture and then slowly falling away from your day job.
In this process you won’t lose your peace and still attain your ambitions. Remember to keep the gap small.
If you are to attain the peace of mind you need to reduce the difference between the expectation and reality. Else its difficult where ever you are. Because salary is then only a number, how much ever it might be.
The question remains do we sacrifice ambitions for the sake of peace of mind. Doesn’t dreaming a better life actually help us move towards it?
Yes ! it does. What I am saying is that you have to expect 25,000 bucks as the monthly target instead of asking for a million bucks. Then when you have moved towards it you can move towards 35,000. But, note this – you are not to think of any more than 25,000 then. Because, then you are increasing the gap of reality and expectations.
Carry a small lamp. That one which is enough to just lighten up the next step. Don’t dream too much ahead. Because, if you do frustrations, anxiety all set in . And if all your life you walk this way you will be in misery.
When you are at vacations close this gap completely. Set yourself totally in that moment and forget all about the ambitions and life you are supposed to live as you planned. You can make your holidays miserable by living in the virtual world.
The reason monks are so happy forever is because their needs are less. They have almost trained themselves to nullify this gap. For them, the present moment is all. They don’t bother about the next moment.
This world will tell you that you need to be successful. But, it will never tell you what being successful mean? What I am saying is that we will never understand that life is totally relative. Like the one driving car faster than us is ‘maniac’ and the one driving slower than us is an ‘idiot’.
In the upcoming post I will talk about what it means to be successful. Or is success an illusion? Mean while I hope you find your peace of mind.