You long for a sense of well-being. Who doesn’t?
You long to reach a state of peace and contentment in which God is in His heaven and all is right with the world.
A quest for that state is fairly common. It is so closely associated with a state of happiness that it is all but indistinguishable from it. While some of us do thrive on adrenaline rushes and on the edge living, those are temporary highs. For a large body of human beings, a state of serenity; an aspect of predictability and control and a large helping of contentment is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Yet, these are not easily come by in a world driven chaotic by the randomness of chance. Are we to abandon this quest forever? Is it hopeless to dream of order, contentment and peace?
It is certainly futile to hope that some stray happenstance would not come frolicking along and upset your painstakingly arranged apple-cart. It will. In fact, just when you’ve got everything down pat and have just slumped into your hammock with a tall glass of orange juice at hand tinkling merrily with ice, that you can expect the imps to come along and start uprooting not only your pretty flower shrubs but the very trees on which you’ve slung your hammock. It is annoying, but true.
You are forced to the conclusion that a permanent state of peace and well-being will probably will not be possible to create. Adapting quickly to what isn’t possible and in an admirable spirit of desisting to cry over spilt milk dreams, you look for what best you can do to salvage the little you can from the wreck.
And you find it.
You realize that the ONE thing that fills you with a sense of well-being is when you are able to do the things that are most important (not urgent) to you. When you are able to prioritize and put first things first, you create a feeling of joy and contentment for yourself- even if it is for the nonce.
In fact, if you consistently make time for doing everything that is vitally important to you, you find that you are a lot more stable and centered. You don’t get knocked off balance as easily; you also return to a state of equanimity sooner when you come unstuck.
There is a big difference between being centered and being self-centered.
~ Lolly Daskal
The eternal skeptic in you takes a jaundiced view of this admirable thought, however. Typical, of course.
“Bah! It couldn’t be so simple!” It whispers insidiously in your ear.
“But it IS!” you say.
“Oh yeah?” it sneers. “How come you aren’t content and full to the brim with a sense of well-being then?”
“That’s because I let other, less important, URGENT stuff muscle out the things which are more important to me”, you confess shamefacedly. “I let pressures and deadlines railroad my priorities. Everything that feeds my soul…reading a book, playing the violin, listening to the waves as they wash ashore, losing myself in the magic of a sunrise, spending time with my loved ones… are things relegated to the Never Land called SomeDay.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“I postpone connecting with those who are most important to me; I assume that they would understand- endlessly. Moreover, where are they going? I have plenty of time to make it up to them, I console myself. Let me do this one thing, let me wrap up this project, let me get these pesky lose ends all tied up… then I’ll surely take time out and devote it exclusively to my loved ones. Promise!
Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.
~ Marcus Aurelius
“I welsh on the promises I make to myself- because it is the easiest thing in the world. No one can accost me and point an accusing finger at me; no one knows what promises I made to myself in the privacy of my soul. They’d never know, I didn’t say a word to them! What I forget is that they may not know… but they do wonder whether they have a place in my super busy life of not. It doesn’t seem to them that I do- and who can blame them?
“I keep brooding over the past and agonizing about the future to such an extent that I don’t notice I am standing in a valley of fragrant flowers bursting forth in an enchanting riot of colors, right at this moment. I don’t get out of my own head and into the world often enough. My life is lived in retrospect… I remember the fragrance and beauty of the flowers next week, when I am sitting in my office inundated with stupid deadlines. Then I kick myself for being such a hopeless moron! And I do it again the next time.”
The most important thing in life is knowing the most important things in life.
~ David F. Jakielo
“My, you’re stupid”, the skeptic in you says. “You let the less important things hold important things to ransom! Don’t you know, you fool, that you don’t have all that much time? Things which are dumped into SomeDay are usually never retrieved. Before you know it, you’ll be on your death bed kicking yourself all the way to your personal hell! I really would start putting first things first while there is still time, if I were you!”
And you pull up your socks to do just that.
How do you give yourself a Sense of Well-Being?
A Sense of Well-Being
Yes. I do let those “urgent” things creep out sometimes and run riot. When a bit of that “urgent” comes out, it starts to overflow and goes out of control. That’s what I’ve felt. But it isn’t easy to say “X is more important than Y” in few instances. Maybe doing the latter would help the former. That confusion arises.
How do I give myself a sense of well-being?
The best answer I find is to try and keep what is important ahead of what is supposedly urgent. Live in the moment. It might seem impossible, but believe that it is, and do it. And I do. Unless the urgent is actually very urgent, I don’t let it run riot over things like talking with those who matter, or writing etc. The little things do matter after all.
I agree with you when you say that at time sorting out the important from the not-so-important is not easy. But as long as you try your best, what more can you do?
Little things are the ones that make you feel that life may be tough, but it is worth it. 🙂
You were first again today. 😀
‘The most important thing in life is knowing the most important things in life’- so true. Regrettably, I am a hopeless moron. This post reminds me to change tracks. 🙂
Welcome to the club Alka. I am a hopeless moron too. I frequently lose sight of what’s important in my life. Alas!
But I do get back on track… mostly. 😀
Oh yes, reiterating to yourself what is most important despite the disappointments or short-term frustrations works for me most often. To give myself a sense of well-being, I count my blessings. Of course, the process of introspection and change is continuous. These days, I counter stress by being aware of it and also by chanting or meditating. That gives me wellbeing!
Ah yes! Meditation! If I didn’t have that, I’d be in the loony bin by now. 😀
I want to share something that Dr Stephen Covey wrote of in his book First Things First.
He was speaking to his daughter who had just had a baby. She was upset and worried about the absolute lack of balance in her life. Taking care of an infant had compelled her to put her professional, social and emotional priorities aside.
He told her that while we all strive to strike a perfect balance, it is not possible in the short term. Until the baby turns two, her life was going to be unbalances. He advised her not to let this perceived lack of balance detract from her pleasure in motherhood. He told her that at that moment her priority was to enjoy her time with her baby. She will have plenty of time to balance out when the baby is older, he assured her.
This was very sound advice. I really find it pertinent in the context of determining priorities.
It’s all your fault. You draw out these long discourses from me… because I know who I am presenting them to… and how seriously the would be received and replied to. 😀
Thank you! <3
I have learnt to let go of the urgent things. Though on some days they come up and upset me. But prioritising works well, as long as you can remind yourself what is important to you I guess the rest should work out. That is what I believe. I don’t know if I am content yet, but sure trying to be, and not getting bogged down by others expectations.
Here’s wishing you success in your journey Jai! I find I do have to ‘reorient’ myself to my priorities from time to time. As long as I do that, I can maintain course.
Good to see you here. 😀
I can’t tell you how necessary it was for me to read this post today! Thank you. And thank you! Important not urgent – that’s the key thing I am taking today from this. Centered but not self-centered – that’s another important distinction I am mulling over today. A bit too many voices that have managed to make a place in my head for the last few days need to be silenced, and reading this post in itself has helped me get back to my journey of finding that sense of well-being-ness despite those voices. What a wonderful thing! Thanks dear!
Beloo, you really know how to make me feel wonderful! Thank you dear friend! Your words fill me with joy!
I’m so happy this post connected with you. <3
You know I too dump so many things to that ‘someday’ and often it is doing those things that make me happy…In this rush of things I ignore myself which results in me becoming cranky and then I end up not doing justice to the priorities in my life…ahh it is a vicious circle!
It is indeed Naba. And a sad circle too. If only we wouldn’t get sucked into it! Wouldn’t it be lovely? Just imagine how wonderful you would feel! 😀
You know I am so very good with introspection. I am also brilliant with chalking out plans and goals for myself. Its execution that I suck at 🙂
Just a few days ago I was talking to a friend and she said, “I am a thinker and planner… I’m not a doer.”
And I thought, by Gawd, that’s me too!
So yeah, welcome to the club. 😀
You should listen to some of my plans. Very meticulous planning mind you. But scant follow- through. 🙁
Oh well! 😀
For me, its the little things that make sure I am in a state of well-being.
There is no point in worrying – for all that does is ruin your peace of mind.. for every problem, there is a solution and I work at it..
I don’t forget to laugh, to say thank you to the good Lord every day 🙂
That helps as well
Hugs for being such a sensible girl Hema. 🙂 Good for you!
Taking the people I love most for granted is the biggest mistake that I keep making all too often!
You wont now. Because you’ve realized that you’re doing it and that it doesn’t serve you at all well.
Thank you! 🙂
This is an important post. But I tend to get confused, sorting the right things out to give my attention to – is the most difficult task. Just as the quote says. Most of the times I think I achieve it, but then other times I tend to slip, when I don’t feel centered, I leave everything and disappear in my cocoon….. it’s something I got to change
If I can be of assistance in your quest do get in touch with me through FB Rajrupa. Nothing would please me more.
The good news is you know what you need to do. That’s more than half the battle won already.
So good to see you here! 🙂
What gives me a sense of well-being? Good friends. And writing. And family. And most of all, my little one. Everything else is suddenly secondary and non-urgent. I wouldn’t say unimportant, because sometimes they just need to be done. But yes, I suck at prioritising. Sometimes life gets in the way – I suppose the learning is to not let life get in the way so often, and to find out how you can get back to that “serene” state of mind when things perturb you. Lovely, thought-provoking piece as usual, Dagny.
As long as you are aware of the ‘little stuff’ that nurtures and feeds your soul, you’ve got it all sorted out I guess. Happy to see you here. 🙂
It is a beauty full peace of reading, not trouble at all to read this or write on it.
I also have felt like doing but been unable to do it at times, many a times.
I liked the entire read. Would like to read again and again.
Prima facie, it is perfect. I prefer to use “spilled” not “spilt” whatever be the context. I have banished the word spilt from my dictionary but not spilled.
This my two pence I leave you.
With every two pence you leave me, I am closer to being a rich woman. 🙂