As Good As Your Life Will Ever Get
By Leo Gura - July 29, 2013 | 0 Comments
Why being happy in the present moment is the key to a fulfilling life.
Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org and this is as good as it gets. That’s the blog topic for today. Actually I’m in a pretty gorgeous place right now, this waterfall behind me so I can’t complain. It’s pretty nice right here, but my point is that this moment right now, for you, wherever you’re sitting, wherever you’re watching this video, whatever it is that you’re doing, this moment right now is as good as it ever is going to get for you, ever in your life. This is as good as your life is ever going to get.
Is that true? Well, not entirely. There’s a lot of things you can do to improve your life.
As Good As It Gets
Maybe right now you’re sitting there at your computer and you’re watching this and you don’t have the career that you want to have. Or you don’t have the fitness level that you want to have. Or you don’t have the relationship that you want to have. Or whatever’s missing in your life.
That’s something that you think that you’re going to go out there, you’re going to pursue you can go out there and get in your life. You’re going to pursue that, and I encourage you to do that. That’s all that I’m about and that’s what this Actualized.org is about, but there’s another side to this whole equation and that is that even if you get all that stuff, right now what it feels like to be you right now is basically as good as your life is going to get.
This is something that I’ve been telling myself as a little affirmation or as a little reminder not to look too far to the future expecting some sort of climactic event to happen in my life where I feel like, “Oh, I’ve got everything that I wanted. I’m at the top and now I can just coast.”
Isn’t that kind of like us? That we’re pursuing something and we think that when we get it we’re going to capitalize on it and we’re just going to lock that thing down and we’re going to sit on it and we’re going to be happy and our life is going to be blissful. How often has that actually worked for you? Be honest, how many times have you gone after something that you’ve really, really, really wanted and then in the end you got it and then it’s like, what’s next and then what’s next, and then what’s next?
You’re always thinking, “Well, I’m not happy right now, but as soon as I get that thing, I get that promotion I’ll be happy. As soon as I get a hundred thousand dollars in my bank account I’ll be happy. As soon as I get medical insurance from my employer I’ll be happy. As soon as I buy a house I’ll be happy. As soon as I invest in my 401k I’ll be happy.” Or whatever it is.
How You Feel Right Now Is How You’ll Always Feel
It doesn’t really matter. The fact is that your brain is wired in such a way that basically what it feels like to be you right now is pretty much how it’s going to feel no matter what, whether you win a million dollars, whether you have the best job in the world whether you’ve started your own business, whatever it is. Whether you’ve got a six pack and you’re ripped if that’s what you’re going for.
You can have all those things, you can pursue them, but in the end, how’s that actually going to feel for you? Do a little thought experiment. Just kind of imagine yourself already having that thing that you want and just kind of bask in it. You’ll notice that if you really kind of get into it and you get visualization, that you still kind of feel the way that you feel now.
That that feeling that you have right now is what’s really crucial. If you can get your head around that, if you can figure out how to be happy right now in the moment that you’re in, just in your body right now, without having to have anything extra added onto it, without having to have a career added on to it, without having to be someplace, without having to travel to some exotic country or whatever. If you can’t just be happy by yourself, sitting alone in a blank kind of bare, sterile room then you’re never going to be happy.
That is why I pursue self-development is because for me, happiness doesn’t come from without, it should come from within so I know that if I’m sitting there in a room by myself and I’m not happy, that tells me, oh shit, I’ve got to work on something in myself rather than going out there and trying to put an external solution on it. That external solution is just a titillation, it’s a stimulation. It’s something that’s going to distract you from ultimately running away from and what you’re really running away from is the fact that you really can’t stand to be by yourself.
You can’t stand to be alone by yourself with your experience of the now and as long as you’re running away from that, you’re never going to be happy. One thing will stave it off for a little bit, and then the next thing that you will acquire will stave it off, but you can’t really keep that up and in the end everything you acquire is going to feel unfulfilling, it’s going to feel empty and it’s going to feel shallow and hollow because you haven’t developed yourself from within to generate your own good emotions.
Be Satisfied With Being Yourself Right Now
It’s not like you need anything special to do that. You don’t need anything added on. In fact probably what you need to do is you need to take some stuff out. You probably need to take out some beliefs that you have etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. To get down just to the fact that you can be satisfied, just being yourself right now in the moment, in silence, being calm. Just the way I am right now.
It’s basically like a form of meditation. That’s why meditation is so hard. Do it. Do it right now. After you watch this video sit down for twenty minutes. Just sit in your room, eyes open, without any distractions, just sit in peace and quiet and see if your body and your mind can tolerate that.
Or are you going to start to feel antsy? Are you going to start to feel restless? Are you going to have to deal with different thoughts that are waging war in your mind? If you can’t just be happy right now, what makes you think you’re going to be happy when you get something that you’re thirsting after right now like a better career or you get your fitness in shape or whatever else?
This is something I like to tell myself when I’m pursuing some sort of goal that I have. I am very goal driven and I have many goals that I am pursuing in my life and I do believe that my life will improve. It’s kind of paradox here. On the one hand your life is perfect as it is right now.I’s not going to get any better. On the other hand you can get some drastic changes to make it much more improved. How do you reconcile that?
Go For The Meat And Potatoes Rather Than The Dressing
The way I reconcile it is this, is that I do pursue goals and I do add some to my life that creates this ecosystem where I feel good about myself, where I can go out and I can do travelling if that’s what I want to do, where I can have enough money to buy the stuff that I want to buy and I have the comforts that I want to have. Ultimately that stuff is like the dressing, it’s not the meat and potatoes. The meat and potatoes is working on yourself and just being able to be comfortable in the moment. Just being able to be comfortable in the moment whatever it takes for you to do that.
That can be an evolved process. It’s not something that you change overnight, it’s something you develop. Meditation is a great habit to take up, to start to get you comfortable just being in the moment without a lot of titillation and stimulus from the environment. What do most people do? Most people distract themselves with friends, TV, news, events that are going on, shopping, partying, drugs, food, alcohol…
All these things are ways to distract you and to titillate you, but all of them are also shallow. If you’ve engaged in one of those to an extreme, you know that you can go out and party all you want, you can go and drink all you want, you can go and party all you want and that will give you a temporary good feeling but it’s not going to be a solid, sustainable good feeling so it’s not going to lead to lasting happiness. Lasting happiness comes from some place deeper within yourself.
Whenever I’m pursuing a goal, and I pursue my goals very vigorously and I have a lot of them, so when I am pursuing them, sometimes it’s good to just pause and I will tell myself, I’ll just pause and say, “You know what, it’s not going to get any better than it is right now.” Sure I’ll get that goal, I know I’ll get that goal if I work towards it, but the inner experience, the satisfaction that I’m feeling, when I say it’s not going to get any better that it is right now it kind of brings me back, it grounds me in the fact that the moment is really the most important thing and enjoying the moment.
Take A Step Back
Sometimes I’ll have this tendency where I’m thirsting after a goal, I’m working towards it and I work too hard. I tend to be so focused on the goal that I lose track of the journey. It’s that old saw about life is a journey rather than a destination, but how many times do we forget that and we focus on the destination so much that the journey becomes painful, the journey becomes a grind? In those moments that you start to feel down on yourself, where you start to feel stuff is not clicking for you, not working, that’s a good time to step back and to just say, “It’s not going to get any better than it is right now.”
So I can still pursue my goals, I can still do the stuff I want to do, but I can also pace it, stretch it out a little bit more, give myself some more time, take the pressure off of myself so that I can also enjoy the process. The fact is you might die tomorrow and if all you’re doing is you have your head to the grindstone, if you’re always grinding away and you’re always working whatever it is that you’re working towards, if you’re always doing that, you’re going to be resentful of the fact that you’re not taking in all the beauty that’s around you in the present moment. You don’t need to be out by a waterfall to have beauty. Really. I’m out here but it’s actually a good example that you don’t need this to feel good about yourself. You should be able to feel everything that you can feel here, you should be able to feel that sitting in a bare empty room.
All right, so that’s it for this video on being in the moment and that this is as good as it’s going to get for you. It’s not getting any better.