Reality Check! You Can’t Always Get What You Want

There is no shortage of uncertainty and worry in the air right now. All sorts of worries.. job loss, health, stocks, food, toilet paper.. oh, did I mention toilet paper?

This situation presents a wonderful opportunity for most of us, and that is in the form of a serious reality check. We have such a high standard of living here in the US, just at the very basic levels. We have so much opportunity and freedom compared to other countries. And yet Americans are not that happy. Why is that?

Maybe the better question is: What can we do about it?

We can be grateful. There are no shortage of studies showing that expressing gratitude on a regular basis increases our happiness. There are also no shortage of things to be grateful for! We take for granted SO MANY wonderful things in our life on a daily basis. When you stop to process how lucky you are to have those things, you get to enjoy them more.

After going to college down in beautiful Durango, Colorado, I took a job selling a high-end roofing product here in Denver. In many ways, it was a great job. Pay, freedom, growth, etc. Yet after living in Denver for a little more than a year, I was feeling pretty down about the city life. That is when I decided to quit my job and jump on a plane to Colombia. I loosely planned a trip to a few countries and 4-6 months down there.

Apart from enjoying a beautiful experience and learning Spanish, a main objective of the trip was to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and gain some new perspective on my situation. I had a breakthrough about 3 1/2 months into my trip, in the middle of a 9-day trek in Northern Peru. Soaking in this “hot” spring at about 13,000 ft. drinking terrible wine and watching clouds whip across the sky, I spoke with a German traveler about my situation. At that point I was really hashing out the decision of whether I wanted to move back to Durango or remain in Denver. As I complained about the “city life” to this woman from Berlin.. she explained how lucky I am with my access to nature from Denver. That night I realized that I was the reason for my own unhappiness.

I believe that our culture, media, social media, etc. instills in us a feeling of always wanting more. A couple months ago I decided to delete social media from my phone and work on dropping my concern over how great other people think I’m doing. By spending less time on my phone wondering about what I’m missing out there, I’ve found myself enjoying what’s right in front of me. Now more than ever it’s important to give all of the negativity, opinions, and craziness you read on your phone a break. Get outside, plan some things for the summer, budget, write down some things you’re grateful for. Worry about the things under YOUR CONTROL.

Each of us have plenty of things to be grateful for. Negativity begets negativity. Positivity begets positivity. Gratitude begets gratitude, and happiness. Let’s take responsibility for our own happiness, and remember what Mick Jagger tells us..

You can’t always get what you want… But if you try sometimes… You Just might find…

You get what you need!!

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