I’ve been around for a while. A quarter-century of a lifetime is no joke. Unless you’re ninety and you think it’s funny. Over the years, I have picked up some things. The one constant is that in life, there is always a next level to reach and always a next step to take. Thing is, there is no particular steps that are necessary, and no particular way of living that is ideal. It’s all in your head.
Growing up, it felt like I had this roadmap laid out for me. Go to primary school, then to high school, then university, you know? Get a job, find a husband, make babies, raise those babies, and wait to die. Never has anyone ever told me that I could choose not to do any of these things or that I could choose to do them entirely differently. It always felt like the only thing that mattered was getting to the next step on that roadmap.
But truth is, there is no one way that life is supposed to be. There is no particular way that things should happen. Certainly, there is no exact way that the things in your life should appear. I’ll say this, there is nothing that we really need to have. There is also nothing that we really need to be. You can happily live in a little house in the woods. You can happily ride your bicycle to work every day. You can even live a fantastic life without ever owning a television.
Yet somehow, every day, we keep chasing. We wake up and drown ourselves in stress, worry, and sometimes even debt to get things, to be things. We are always looking. Always trying to level up. Always chasing to get the next better thing. If you have had some wins before, you already know that there is no high that lasts longer than the initial moment of having it. You will always want more. It’s actually addictive; always chasing.
But why do we do it? What is it all for? Why do we need the things we keep chasing? Why do we keep chasing after things that soon become a routine? A normal, insignificant part of life that we soon don’t appreciate enough? Somehow, it’s the next thing that always seems more exciting. The next dream, the next job, the next car, the next house, the next relationship. Never the things we already have.
If you are being totally honest, you’ll admit that many things we keep chasing after are just for pure vanity’s sake. We live in a generation where you haven’t made it unless you have posted something about it on social media. So you’ll acquire cars that you hardly drive so your Instagram looks on fleek. You’ll take up a job you totally don’t care about to fit in with people you don’t even connect with. You will marry a girl or boy that you don’t really love just as a trophy to add to your collection.
It’s something I wonder about. Why it is that we keep chasing things that we don’t personally value. It must be why there is so much discontent in the world today. Case in point, we are not being true to ourselves. Even now, you are probably living a life that is not of your own making. Going further and making choices that you are struggling to live with. It’s possible that sometimes, we are not unhappy because we don’t have enough. It’s that we have a lot of what we don’t even want. A lot of what does not fill up our souls.
Everything and everyone serves a purpose. If you don’t know what that purpose is, you will never value what you have in your life. You will forever be discontented and always in an endless pursuit of nothing. We’ve got to unpack what we don’t need to create room for what we love. Maybe even unlearn many years of conditioned beliefs to discover what we truly personally value. Nothing is necessary, not at all. But you have to be intentional on what you’re chasing after. Let it be the things that add meaning, gratitude, joy, and depth to your life.