Recently I read a book called The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse by Gregg Easterbrook. Overall, it’s a great read that makes its point pretty well.
Here are some of the terms he uses to describe the problems of modernity and how “progress” actually hinders happiness:
“Revolution of satisfied expectations” (by this he means our inabiity to appreciate what we have, always wanting more)
Interestingly, though, he doesn’t advise that the solution to choice anxiety, fear of loss and more is to get more stuff. Instead, he believes that getting more (which we sometimes refer to as “progress”) as a society won’t help us at all, because doing that just makes us focus on possessions as the answer.
The takeaway? You think you don’t have enough, but you do.
Now you need to seek something else entirely, making it a priority for maybe the first time in your life.
You need to seek meaning.
I definitely find this to be true in my life. There are a couple of really important things I put off for a long time, spending my days obsessively working instead. Lately that’s been changing, thank God, but it’s a tough mental shift to make. At the end of the day, instead of asking myself if I’ve accomplish enough tasks, I have to ask myself if I was mindful and awake instead. Did I enjoy my child? Did I enjoy my husband? Did I say affirmations? Did I pray? Did I take a walk?
Is this what you’re doing? Is finding meaning really the meaning of your life? Or are you still stuck at the “getting more” stage?
I’d love to hear your comments.