“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do.” -Eckhart Tolle
In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle explores how people attach their happiness to achievements in the future. A perfect relationship. A promotion. A salary increase.
Since all of these things exist somewhere other than now–and they’re all impermanent, even if you do achieve them–this thinking creates pain on multiple levels.
First, in the present, when you’ve yet to achieve what you think you need. Next in the acquisition, when you realize even though you’ve met your goal, you’re still wired to look for happiness somewhere in the future. And later, when life changes, and you no longer have exactly what you had.
Life always changes. Nothing is permanent.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue goals. It’s just that we’d experience a deeper sense of joy on the journey if we realized there’s nowhere to get to. There’s no someday when I’m someone, or someday when I’m happy. There’s no salvation in the future. It’s an illusion that strips the present of joy and makes it a stressful experience.
Life is now. It will always be now. At some point we have to decide now is a perfect time to be happy, peaceful, satisfied, and complete.