“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived…I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
Before age 30, I had already lived a more full life than most people could ever hope to.
In less than 10 years out of high school, I had tasted a good bit of California, Western Europe, and other places while serving in the military. Then I finished my college degree. Next, I experienced amazing places and cultures over two years of traveling through South America with the Peace Corps. Oh, and I met and married the girl of my dreams. How much better could it get, right?
But then the “Great Life Suck” took over the next 20 years of my life.
You know what I mean by the Great Life Suck. It’s where our thirst for life gets replaced by the desire for material things and the need to keep up with the Joneses. We start living like those Joneses: trying to keep up with the latest gadgets, vehicles, and other toys. We become ravenous sports and reality TV fans, we jump on the latest political or social justice bandwagons, and we define success and happiness by the number of likes we get on social media.
Soon our lives become an endless search “out there” somewhere for happiness and success, for the answers to life. We believe (because we are told) that the answers to our problems, our unhappiness, our frustration are all out there somewhere.
We are told that the answer comes in the form of money, a big house, lots of stuff, and social status. We are convinced that the answer is to keep up with the latest trends, whether that be in the form of:
- The latest bar, brewery, or restaurant in town
- The hottest local festival, concert, or sporting event
- The newest technological gadget
- The latest fashion item
- The newest food or drink that your social media “friends” are bragging about
- The latest diet/exercise/workout equipment bandwagon
I write about all of these misconceptions in my first book, Busy Being Borne. More recently, I tackled the topic of weight loss and physical health in Dharma Diet. I noticed that in all my years, we have been offered every imaginable type of diet, workout program, pill, app, device, and exercise equipment you can think of, and yet the obesity and poor health numbers in the United States continue to decline.
As with everything in life, we are programmed to think that the answer lies “out there” somewhere for solving our weight loss issue. Yet the true answer—one which is never mentioned—lies inside of us.
When I finally realized that the answer to my own weight loss conundrum was found by seeking inward, I easily lost 30 pounds in just four months. This after struggling to lose the 20-25 pounds I had put on nearly 25 years ago.
As I work my way through middle age, I am starting to realize that all of the answers to life’s problems can be discovered, and then resolved, by looking inward. Check out my books, and my regular blog posts here, and then let me know if you agree.