Those were my words to a friend who was seeking a bit of help with his unhappy life.
It’s not that his life was an out-and-out disaster. He had all the trappings of contentment: A good job, a beautiful wife and family, a comfortable home, and a bright future. Still, he wasn’t happy.
Truth be told, this was no new phenomena. I had never known him to be happy for terribly long. He didn’t suffer from hopelessness, depression, or despair. He simply wanted something better. He was always chasing some utopia created in his mind – the “perfect life” he called it – never recognizing that the life he had was already pretty darn close to perfect.
My friend isn’t alone in his quest for a mythical Shangri-La. With places to go, people to see, kingdoms to conquer, mountains to climb, parties to crash, and horizons to reach, any advice resembling “settle down” is quickly disregarded by the strivers and competitors of the world. But settling might be the very path to the life they are seeking.
See, the person who always wants to be some place better, never lives right where they are. The person who is always looking for Mr. or Ms. Perfect is blind to the remarkable and beautiful persons that surround them. The person who never has enough, never gets around to enjoying what they do have. They never settle in to live, appreciate, or to love the life that they have been richly blessed with.
No, this isn’t an easy lesson to learn, but there comes a point where one must accept the life he or she has in order to be happy. That’s not my attempt to squash dreams, to pour water on someone’s ambitious fire, or excuse a person’s refusal to make life’s necessary changes. Simply put, there is a big difference between grasping for a utopian mirage, and actually living out and working for a life that can be a peaceful, gratifying, fulfilling oasis.