Once you have the basics, which are actually pretty damn basic, contentment has very little to do with external achievements and everything to do with meaning. You may not realize it yet, but what you are looking for in your job, your relationship, your morning coffee and your new shoes is your ‘why’. But it seems you’ve been looking for why in all the wrong places.
I have worked with street-kids and millionaires alike and they all suffer from the same disease. We are in the middle of a crisis of purpose. This is much, much bigger than career choice however, it’s about the purpose of being you.
“Why Jimi?” I ask myself and the universe at large. This is now also a core aspect of how I work with all my clients no matter what their presenting symptoms.
The big corporations figured out long ago that you don’t buy what they sell or how they do it – the only product they peddle these days is Vitamin Why. Their ads all promise to give relief to that itch that can’t be scratched. Why makes the economy go round. Why drives us to drink. Why makes a bad relationship seem like a good option. Why is what you are searching for on social media. Why is what we chase and then bury in our marriage to our career. Why gave you high blood pressure, indigestion and those extra 7 kg.
Yet Why also makes us hunger for more…
The Four Noble Truths
The Buddha understood this deeply and this is my take on how his Four Noble Truths translated in plain English:
#1 – Everything loses its wow & the strivings of daily life are bound to become unfulfilling sooner or later, again and yet again.
#2 – This is because we humans are inherently restless by nature, ‘Homo Agitations’ would appear a better description for most of us.
#3 – Yet that same restlessness contains its own cure and drives us to ask why? (Why am I still not content? Why am I me and why I am I here? Why do anything?)
#4 – The wise all tell us that the only lasting contentment is to be found in finding our why and giving ourselves to it completely.
The task at hand for both our culture as a whole and for each of us as individuals is to sit deeply with our Why; to offer ourselves a series of answers and to tear each one of them down until something remains that truly eases our restless heart-minds.
Being rather than Having
With luck, eventually we come to an answer that gives us pause, that fundamentally orients us towards meaningfulness and ‘being’ rather than mere ‘having’ and ‘doing’ alone. This answer too will change, but at least we are looking in the right direction.
The question isn’t ‘What’ do I do now – it has always been ‘Why’ – as any 4 year old child will tell you. You will never be satiated by a ‘what’ a ‘where’ or a ‘how’ and without the deep waters of the Why such answers and their questions are wastelands for the soul – or at the very least unfulfilling.
Perhaps finding your Why is actually why you are here… what you do once you have it is up to you.
This article is reprinted from the author’s page and is used with permission.
Over the last 22 years of clinic practice I have had the opportunity to research and practice some of the most respected traditional medical systems; these include the Chinese, Tibetan, Indian and Persian traditions. I have also been fortunate enough to work in a series of community health and international aid initiatives. https://www.doctorjimi.com