Many try to secure the emotion by purchasing items, getting into new relationships, altering the body, or striving for affirmation and accolades.
If one of these behaviors finally secured happiness, what was lost would be found forever and nothing would spur the pursuit again.
But this is not the case.
Just a few weeks ago, retail sales peaked, marriage proposals increased as did the dissolving of marriages, gym memberships went up, and posting about all of it continues.
The misunderstanding that something external will secure an inner state creates havoc. Many check out of the “game” and hold out for happiness elsewhere (in a store, a relationship, a different body, or social media, for example).
Understanding that thought ebbs and flows, so emotion ebbs and flows, is enough to pause the pursuit.
This is the simplest of concepts, and also the hardest of concepts.
It’s difficult because we’ve been taught to DO something when emotion is undesirable. Keep pursuing – more money, bigger house, improve looks, change mindsets, accomplish more, or read another book.
It’s easy because emotion lets you know when you’ve gotten further away from innate happiness and begun to pursue it elsewhere again.
Reminding each other (and our children) that a normal human experience includes feelings of security and insecurity, and encouraging each other to “stay in the game” during the insecure times, is the greatest help we can be for one another.
When Michael Jordan scored his career high of 69 points with the Bulls against the Cavaliers in 1990, he was reported to have had the flu.
You may have stepped out of the zone for bit, but the zone is still there. No need to go chasing it. Stay in the game.
Reflect: When do you find yourself pursuing or striving the most?
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