Zig Ziglar: The chief cause of unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now

The chief cause of unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.

– Zig Ziglar

Combined with a dream I just had, this quote – which I just saw on social media – helps me see that I have a pattern of doing just that. I have often traded “good enough” or things that are easy and attractive enough for what I really want.

In my twenties, I abandoned a life I deeply loved and that felt deeply right in order to support my new wife in her career and ambitions. Looking back, I see ways I could have done both but I didn’t.

In that process, I abandoned a prestigious PhD (equivalent) program in clinical psychology which deeply felt like the right track for me. Again, I could have taken a short break and picked it up again, but didn’t and waited too long.

These days, I often feel I miss a spiritual community of like-minded people. I have tried out different groups with at most moderate success. At the same time, I know there are groups I resonate deeply with, for instance, Jes Bertelsen’s Vækstcenter in Denmark and the international Headless community, but I have not followed up on either of those. I can easily join online meetings in the Headless community and haven’t so far. (I plan to in the near future.) I can also attend courses at Vækstcenteret relatively easily.

I love Breema and it feels deeply nourishing and whole-making for me, and I haven’t done it much for the last several years, mainly for lack of a local community of practitioners. (I used to live in Eugene, Oregon, with a very active community and was much more involved there.) There is no reason I can’t join the online offerings, plan on going to the Breema Center again, and also offer classes where I am.

I sometimes meet people I feel a resonance with and want to get to know better, but don’t nurture these connections for whatever reason. Sometimes, I think they won’t be interested in hanging out with me and that I am not “good enough”.

It’s not that my life feels deeply off track (as it has at times in the past due to my own decisions based on fear). It’s more that some adjustments are needed, as my dream this morning showed me as well.

So what’s most important to me? And how can I bring more of it into my life?

The most important: Finding my nature and living from this. Truth. Love. Authenticity. Sincerity.

Other important things: Nature and be in nature. Community of like-minded people. Taking care of relationships that feel right and good to me. Meaningful activities – art, community work, sustainability. In short, nurture nurturing relationships and activities.

Also, very important: Being a good steward of my life. Making good decisions for me now and for my future self (as best I can from what I know now).

And some that come to mind appear superficial but there is more to it than meets the eye: Wearing clothes I really like. (I sometimes “save” these and wear OK clothes instead.) Eating the best quality food. When I bring things into my life, choosing high-quality things I really like. (Relatively good with that one.)

What it comes down to is clarifying my priorities with honesty and sincerity. (And setting aside for a while what my personality considers practical or possible.) And living from sincerity and authenticity.

Note: Several things this morning came together to nudge me to take a closer look at this. A friend from the Zen center in the US moved to an affiliated Zen center in The Netherlands a year ago, is very happy with the decision, and encouraged others to follow their dreams. A quote by Sting said something about being willing to risk. And the dream was maybe the main nudge. (In the dream, a Danish woman in Portland, Oregon – which is one of my favorite places – invited us to live in her beautiful house. And I met another woman I felt a deep resonance with who wanted to join our marriage and it felt deeply right for all of us.)

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