Isn’t it amazing how so many people are completely consumed in the aspiration to be the best or to achieve a goal? They will do what is necessary to get to that goal-adorned finish line and then what? Answer: another goal. Many of us have been there… As much as enjoying the journey is a cliche, maybe there is more to it than that.
I have been thinking about this today while paddling because there was a strong tide and the first part of the journey was against the wind. It was like paddling up hill.
That strong tide made the river gush which meant I had to really give it some welly to reach the sheltered part of the river, my goal that morning. There were times when the current was so strong that I simply paddled and remained in the same place.
Once in the calm area, the sense of ease, flow and glide returned. What bliss. Oh how I appreciated that – no need to make an effort.
Now this made me think about struggle versus ease. Is there enjoyment in the struggle and overcoming the obstacles? Yes, when I reached the calm it was wonderful. The question is would I have been content in the calm and the blissful part of the river had I not had to struggle to reach it? What makes a person content?
The fact that we use comparison and contrasts to discover what we truly appreciate and enjoy struck me in that moment…
What was poignant was that I had had a conversation with a good friend the night before about aspiration and success. She had been thoughtful and said surely the most admirable state to reach is contentment and to be happy with what is.
She said she had stopped the drama, focused on simplicity and let go of striving. By doing that she had found contentment. Within that calm contented state she became immersed in happiness. That happiness came to her. It was her. It was then I realised how simple it is…