What if you had everything you’d ever dreamed of?
Would you be happy?
We always find something else that we need.
It’s a pointless question anyway. Because it won’t happen.
Or will it?
Whilst reviewing Bhante Gunaratana’s Mindfulness in Plain English I came across this passage. Bhante is describing why we shouldn’t equate happiness with control of our surrounding environment.
“Take a look at the people in history who have actually held this type of power. They were not happy people … Why not? Because they were driven to control the world totally and absolutely, and they could not. They wanted to control all people, yet there remained people who refused to be controlled. These powerful people could not control the stars. They still got sick. They still had to die.”
He then says something which is incredibly simple:
“You can’t ever get everything you want. It is impossible."
Actually you can. There’s two ways to do it.
The first is to want less. The more you want, the more unlikely it is you will get everything. If you want less, it becomes easier to obtain it.
The second way?
Bhante says: “You can’t ever get everything you want. It is impossible.”
Unless you want only what happens to you.
Enter Friedrich Nietschze:
“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”
The only way to get everything you want is to want only what happens to you.
To love your fate, however good or bad it turns out to be.