I WAS JUST IN THE BATHROOM and took off
my shirt to shave before I got in the shower. I looked through
the bedroom outside and saw the curtains open in the apartment
across the way. They could see me if they wanted to.
"I'm tired of living like this,"
I thought to myself, "and I look forward to the day I own
property and I can have privacy."
I felt angry, annoyed, and then wistful
about that painfully-wonderful future.
Have you ever had thoughts like this? Do
you ever wish for more? Or get down on yourself because you haven't
made as much progress as you think you ought to have? Do you
ever feel dissatisfied with your lot in life?
I have a very simple method that will cure
you instantly. Make fun of yourself. Make fun of your
lack of perspective. Sneer at your shallow pettiness. Criticize
brutally your insatiable greed.
Standing there in the bathroom, I realized
what I was thinking and said to myself, with an appropriate amount
of snide sarcasm, "Oh, poor baby. You stand in your well-equipped
bathroom in a beautiful, clean, safe city, with police and firemen
and ambulances standing by, with three supermarkets packed with
every imaginable, abundantly-available food within walking distance,
whining that poor little you doesn't have any property."
Looked at from the perspective of a poor farmer in India who
has a dirt floor, almost no possessions, and hardly enough to
eat, my frustration at not living on acreage would be laughable,
This is an appropriate response to our
natural human frailty our mind tends to ignore the good,
no matter how good it is, and crave more.
I once saw this in a woman who owned a
beautiful house. She was complaining that with her large lawn
she needed a riding lawnmower. The next time I saw her , she
said she was having difficulties, I don't remember now what they
were, but I remember clearly her very serious whine: "I'll
never get my riding lawnmower!"
Now for most of us, this would really stand
out as the epitome of a spoiled rich American with no concept
of how much of the world lives, and no appreciation at how lucky
she is. But while her lament may be very clear and obvious, I'll
bet if you listen in on your own thoughts, your own dissatisfactions,
they are actually as laughable as this woman's riding lawnmower
So here's a technique to pop the little
dissatisfaction trance, the whine-trance you put yourself in:
Start making fun of yourself, your greediness, your lack of appreciation,
your greedy, petty, unappreciative attitude. It snaps you out
of it quick.
Make fun of your own pettiness and greed.