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Careful What You Ask For…

The universe can be a dark and cruel place. That’s a heavy statement to start off a Friday morning, but hear me out. 2020 has been a great example of how cruel the universe can be, and I have a hunch that many feel the same way about this year as I do. We kicked off 2020 excited to see what the new year and decade would bring, but so far, we have been dealt a poor hand. We have been in lockdown for the better part of the year, resulting in cancelled vacations and travel plans (I hate that part) as well as other big events. As if that wasn’t depressing enough, we also lost the ability to go out and socialize freely, and worst of all, many of us have lost friends and family. I don’t know of anyone that has asked for any of this…but it proves my point that the universe can be cruel.Careful what you wish for

It’s also cruel in the sense that many times the universe will give us the things we do ask for. Getting what I want, how could that be bad? The problem is that I believe we ask for things not because we need them, but because we feel as if we don’t have enough. Don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with wanting stuff, whether it be a larger house, more money, a nicer car; or even for an end to world hunger or world peace.

The issue with asking or wishing for things is complicated. Studies on Positive Psychology have shown that the more we want, the more dissatisfied we tend to become. We want more, we get more, over and over again; it’s a vicious cycle. We end up never being satisfied, so we can never enjoy what we currently have. The unintended consequences of getting what you want are another issue; think of lottery winners that blow their winnings and end up depressed and broke, or people that get a bigger house but can’t afford the maintenance and upkeep that come with owning a larger property.

On the flip side, it’s not all doom and gloom. Having dreams and aspirations is a good thing, so long as we’re aware that having more stuff will not make us happy in the long term; science has proven that time and again. We want things because we want to be happy and we believe that having the latest and greatest toys will accomplish that; and it does, but it only gives you a quick, fleeting shot of dopamine. The reality is that true happiness comes from within yourself and living in the present, not the trappings of what might be. Goals and aspirations are still important, so long as you make them the right ones.

So even though the universe gave us the 2020 no one wanted, try not to focus on what could have been or what could be, but rather what you have right now. There is enough time to appreciate what you have while setting a goal for the future. Put things in perspective, and may your dreams come true ?

“I know you have dreams for yourself, but don’t forget to appreciate how far you’ve come already. Remember the days where you prayed for the things you have now.” – Ruben Chavez

Have a great weekend.