“Mama, can you bring me Woof-Woof?”
“Sure, let me go to the playroom and get her.”
“But, I looked there already. She’s not there.”
“Don’t worry darling, I’ll find her.”
“You found her! How? I looked and looked and looked!”
“She was just there, sweetheart.”
“Mama, you know, sometimes, when you’re very close to something, you can’t see it very well.”
I love my 10 year-old.
Sometimes, we miss what’s staring at us, right in front of our noses. We can’t see the wood from the trees and completely miss the big picture.
It’s so easy to sweat the small stuff and get stuck in what psychologists call the ‘negativity bias’.
So I’d like to counter that with the Sanskrit word samtosha. Translated as contentment, I would actually go further: it is actually to acknowledge that what we have is more than what we deserve.
It sounds like settling. Why would anyone want to make do with what they have? But it’s not that at all. Rather, it’s about embracing gratitude as a gateway to abundance.
But I digress.
How are we supposed to see the big picture, when our life feels like a mountain of toys and you can’t find the one you’re looking for? And what if you wonder whether the toy you’re looking if the right one anyway?
Let’s replace the word toy with opportunity.
And with that I think of something my dad said to me: no wonder all you young people are unhappy; you have so many options!
Once upon a time, you went to school, worked hard, got a good job, got married, had kids and that was pretty much it. Things were simple. There was one path. Now, there are a lot of paths – but that doesn’t mean we’re happier.
I think the word is decision-paralysis. Or maybe even procrastination.
Why is Woof-Woof so important? What about cuddly Sassi? Or fluffy little Penguinella? I remember when I was little, I had a panda bear. There was one. He was my favourite. Life was simple. And this is how simple life can be.
To quote Rabindranath Tagore, “it is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple”.
Unless we make a conscious choice.
So that’s what I’m going to do.
Over and over again.
And then everything (hopefully), will be as easy as finding Woof-Woof.