The other night my husband and I were sitting around a campfire chatting with some good friends. One conversation transitioned into another and soon we were discussing the current generation of young adults that are referred to as millennials.
My husband began explaining a problem in the perspective of millennials that I never recognized before…a problem that I have, a problem that I wrestle with daily.
We believe that nothing is ever enough.
He went on to share how we (me and him together) have done an incredible amount of traveling, work, volunteering, business building, relationship building, etc. throughout our marriage, and yet every day we are convinced that what we have done and what we are currently doing is not enough.
No matter how much we have done or accomplished, every day we are plagued by the thoughts that we are not doing enough, what we have done is irrelevant, and it even trickles down into a belief that we are not enough.
When my husband shared this, it was as if my eyes were opened. I quickly blurted out,
“Yes, I totally feel that way!”
And he replied, “So do I, every. single. day.”
We compare ourselves by the those online who share their lives and share that they are happy traveling and experiencing awesome success in their lives. The content we process, which looks really attractive, becomes the goal for which we desire to live. We immediately see our lack and feel the need in our lives to live up to those standards.
This happens in the blink of an eye, in the second of a scroll. We don’t really even think about it, we just receive and believe.
But why isn’t it enough to engage in the relationships we have, to sit with our kids on a slow day and just play, to make sure the house is picked up, to make home cooked meals, to leave our devices on the desk, to be proud of the work we do and leave it at work…why can’t we do this and see it as success?
Why can’t we be happy having a life that is slower pace? Why can’t we be happy without traveling, because we are truly fulfilled with where we are? Why do we judge our success by where we have been, how many places, how many times, what we have done, the next big thing, the invention, the new up and coming “______________” fill in the blank?
We put so much pressure on ourselves to be something great and we believe we have failed if we don’t measure up to this unspoken standard of living.
Why can’t we see that investing into our marriage and family is a HUGE thing? Bigger than traveling the world, or being your own boss, or making more money.
What if the greatest thing we could ever do, can only be done if we slow down? If we are slow to listen? If we are slow to sow into and tend to the lives of those around us?
Why can’t we be content?
Unplugging from technology is not the answer, and frankly that is probably impossible. Maybe the answer is that we have the courage to change our perspective regardless of what we see, and challenge what we believe about ourselves. Instead of blindly following feelings of inadequacy, maybe we need to believe we are already great. Maybe we need to believe that the relationships around us are the most important thing in this world and no amount of money or experience is needed to sit across the table and share our hearts with those people. Maybe we need to stop chasing the virtual reality that we consume every day and go outside and enjoy what we see. Maybe we need to believe that happiness is elusive and fading, but joy is the real substances, the stuff that gets a person through the reality of life.
Change your perspective and you will be set free.