There is nothing hidden, new or unknown about living a better life. There is no new secret
It was figured out centuries ago and has been rehashed so many times in so many ways. The way to a good life has been explained literally millions of times.
Be Good to Others
Take Care of your Body
Train your Mind
The problem is that it isn’t easy. And there is no avoiding some degree of pain and unhappiness.
Our human tendency is to want things to be easy and pain free but that isn’t the way life works. A good life doesn’t come from ease. It comes from work. It comes from kindness. It comes from some degree of sacrifice.
Stop wishing for it to be easy. Stop expecting it to be easy. Embrace struggle and work as worthwhile in themselves.
You reap what you sow. Period, end of sentence, paragraph and guru.
We can read as many self-help books as we want (and I have) with all the great endorsements on the back cover from all of our great spiritual leaders. “Transformative” “This book will change your life” etc etc
No book will change your life.
Here is the paradox: Many of those books have the potential to change your life. The key is action. If we took nearly any of those books and actually applied the lessons, over and over and over; we would see great transformation.
However it is much easier to keep reading the next book and hoping for the “Secret” than it is to make the hard changes and sacrifices we need to make for real growth.
I would much rather (*Infinity) sit on my couch eating Cheezit’s (or reduced fat Cheezits if I’m being good) feeling temporarily better while reading yet another book on happiness than I would do something hard like taking action.
I would imagine my ratio of consumption to action (how much I read about changing my life vs how much I actually do) is somewhere around 90/10. If I had actually meditated as much as I have read about it I probably would be levitating by now. But I keep hoping to read that line or find that “secret” that will make it easier or less uncomfortable.
For most of us if we moved that ratio to 50/50 it would change us in amazing ways. If we did the things suggested in these books, not once but consistently, we would transform.
Now I am not suggesting that reading inspirational works is bad. Matter of fact, I think it is critical to keep our motivation up and feel inspired. We cannot do these things alone.
It’s just that we have the ratio way off. Complete more, consume less.