“So much has been given me, I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied.” Helen Keller

Helen Keller, American author, political activist, and lecturer.

Helen Keller, American author, political activist, and lecturer.

In this materialistic age we constantly meet people who are looking for more...Unfortunately, they frequently chase things that are not truly important: things that are, well, just “things”…like cars, televisions, kids toys, adult toys, jewelry, and, of course, money. As time goes on it becomes a “mugs” game because we know these people will never have enough, as there will never be enough to fully satisfy their desires or more importantly, make them happier!

Helen Keller’s quote presents a profound way of looking at life.  For Helen it was not the pursuit of material goods that you don’t have that should be your raison d’etre.  Rather it is finding that inner joy (I call it contentment) you find by appreciating what you do have.

One key way to achieving this joy is by realistically reducing your expectations.  Prioritize what is really important to you. Be relentless and boil it right down.  Then check out the result!  You will immediately feel richer because you’ll find you don’t really need as much as you thought you did. “Simplify, simplify” as Thoreau once said…and focus on attaining only the truly important things. You’ll only be exhausted and unsatisfied trying to have everything.

I’ll let the words of Michael Oakeshott make my point more succinctly; “Our predicament is not the difficulty of achieving happiness, but the difficulty of avoiding the misery to which the pursuit of happiness exposes us.”