Do You Miss What You Never Knew?
Do you miss what you never knew? This may sound like a strange question. After all, how can anyone miss something that they have never known or never experienced? At first this seems impossible because if you have no firsthand knowledge or experience with something, you can’t miss that thing, right? This does make sense. It is only rational that a person cannot miss something which he or she has never experienced, but sometimes people are not rational.
Many people in fact do miss what they never knew, and they do this on a daily basis. Not only is this irrational, but living life in this way, carries with it many unpleasant consequences. How does someone miss what he or she never knew? The answer is simple. When someone is not satisfied with what is, and is constantly dreaming or wishing for other things, things which he may have no experience of, but which are constantly preying on his mind, then he finds himself missing what he has never known.
Allowing your thoughts to dwell on all the nice things which you don’t have, but wish you did have, brings you to this point. For example, you may have an average car which runs fine, but is not flashy or modern. If, instead of being thankful for the car you have, you allow your mind to constantly dwell on the fact that you wish you had a Porsche, you will find that you are unhappy with your car and that you feel unsatisfied with your average run-of-the-mill car. In effect, you find that you are missing that Porsche, even though you may have never before even sat behind the steering wheel of a Porsche.
This kind of thinking leads to discontentment. You will find that you are constantly unsatisfied with your present state, and wishing that your life was different. This is not productive thinking. To be content, you must accept things as they are. Accepting things as they are does not mean that you don’t want to improve your life. It does not mean that you have no goals or that you are not motivated to strive for the things that you want out of life. It simply means that your happiness is not dependent on external things. The content man is happy whether he is driving an old truck or an expensive sports car.
The happiness of your life depends
on the quality of your thoughts;
therefore, guard accordingly.
Happiness doesn’t depend upon
who you are or what you have;
it depends solely upon what you think.
Being content does not mean that you don’t strive to be better. It merely means that you are content with what is, right now in this present moment. Contentment does not mean that you settle for less than the best that you can be or for less than you want out of life. You should always seek to improve yourself. Being content does not mean that you rest on your laurels, feeling that your life is perfect as is. It means that you accept things as they are now, in this moment, but at the same time, you are working to make the next moment, day, month, or year, even better. Being content does not mean that you don’t strive to be better; you should always be working to perfect your character. Always move forward, but at the same time do not let what you don’t have spoil your enjoyment of what you do have.
Every person on this planet is in danger of missing what they never knew if they do not learn to control their mind and learn to be content with what is, in the present moment. This irrational thinking does not plague only the poor man who has very little as far as material things go; it also plagues the rich. This is because happiness is not dependent on material things. Happiness comes from the inside. While it is perfectly normal for people to desire nice things, it is counterproductive to allow these desires to constantly plague your mind; doing so will lead to nothing but unhappiness and inability to enjoy life.
The essence of philosophy is that a man
should so live that his happiness shall depend
as little as possible on external things.
Life is much too short to not enjoy each and every day. You can’t afford to waste days, months, or years of your life wishing for things to be different. Enjoy what is, right now, this very moment. Live every day. Find joy in the simple things, while at the same time working to improve your life in the future. This is a concept that all of the sages throughout the ages have taught. You must find contentment within yourself. Don’t allow your happiness to be dependent on anything outside of yourself – not material things, and not other people.
To live happily is an inward power of the soul.
A happy life consists in tranquility of mind.
Happiness depends on ourselves.
There is only one thing that you have total control over, and that is your mind and your actions. You do not control what other people do or say, but you do have control over how you respond to other peoples’ actions or words. You do not have total control over your circumstances, but you do have total control over your responses to your circumstances. Contentment resides in the mind, therefore it is something that you have control over. It is up to you to decide whether or not you will live a life of contentment or whether you will live a life of discontent where you continually miss the things that you never knew.
Don’t postpone living until sometime later, when everything is perfect – LIVE NOW. Things may never be perfect, but that will only affect your contentment if you allow it to. You have to learn to live above the petty annoyances that everyone has to live with in this life. Learn to accept life as it is and enjoy it no matter what comes. It is perfectly fine to want more out of life as long as you are enjoying each step of your journey. Where people go wrong is when their desire for a better life prevents them from enjoying their present life. Don’t miss what you never knew; enjoy what you presently have and work towards what you ultimately want.
The short bloom of our brief and narrow life flies fast away.
While we are calling for flowers and wine and women,
old age is upon us.