The new secret is, wait for it……………………….there is no secret.
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.
This is very good. I know I need to do more.
My life mantra: Love all people. Forgive all things. And, carry on. – it doesn’t mean to be a doormat, or not to stand up for yourself, or to try to be everything to every one. It means to be good, and to have empathy without prejudice, and to be respectful but have a spine, and to keep pushing forward. It isn’t easy. It isn’t even fun sometimes – but after working at it for years, it HAS gotten easier, and it HAS brought me to a place of peace even amidst the worst turmoil. Sure, I’d love to find that “secret fix,” but you’re right, it doesn’t exist. So, I get back to kicking my own ass and getting back to work. Because it DOES work – it isn’t easy, but it is totally worth it.
I wonder what is in this sense of “right now I am not at my best or at my fullest or …”. If this state of being is not dignified then, of course, I am not. And the next moment must be my chance for dignity, for value. Right now, it just seems that the bad wolf needs to be fed some love.
I think embracing the struggle is the real “secret.” It’s hard to do, but that’s precisely why it works. Great post. Love your podcast, too.
Eric Zimmer says
Exactly. It’s like reading the menu in a restaurant. You need to eat to sense the taste of the food.
Bobby Guy says