Chasing Externalities

James Titchener / @mistertitchener

Realizing that the accomplishment of external goals and desires will not bring me lasting happiness has to be a top five lesson for me. Some part of me knows it to be true--evidence of the remarkable impermanence of the elation found in reaching remarkable achievements is well documented. But implicitly it's a lesson that I forget on a daily, hourly and minute to minute basis. It might be one of those lessons that I won't fully grasp until I reach that big goal I so desired. Although I'm not even sure if that's true. I've reached goals that I've set for myself before. And not only are the moments of rejoice in having reaching those goals forgotten, the fact that I believed those goals to be so important have been forgotten and immediately replaced by a new goal.

I'm reading Poor Charlie's Almanac, and Charlie Munger throughout the book implores readers that it's better to learn from the mistakes of others than to live out those mistakes for yourself. I have no problem nodding along to declarations like these, yet my actions and mindset don't reflect that this concept has yet been internalized. Perhaps I'm underplaying the role of repetition. In fact, I must be. I've forgotten what my introduction to meditation was like. I failed in those early days to recognize that the realization that I was once again lost in thought was the practice. And so too will I fail to recognize the importance of reps when it comes to remembering that the drive for changing external circumstances will not bring the lasting internal state that I so desire. I've been operating under this assumption for 27 years. Is it fair to expect to change a habit so deeply ingrained within a matter of weeks, months, or even years?

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