Why Can’t I Find Happiness Living a Superficial Life?

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One morning, while sitting on my patio after a deep meditation, I started to ponder this question: Is there a deeper kind of life than the one you are currently living? is there more to life than acquiring all the material things you could possibly get your hands on? 

The truth is, when things are going well in our lives, we don’t give it any thought. We seldom stop to think about life’s meaning when things are great. Let’s face it, most people out there are waiting for “the next big thing” to come up, so that they can be the first person to get it. 

It’s the whole principle of “keeping up with the Joneses.” If the Joneses have it, I have to have it, too, or something better. Nowadays it’s easier to get sidetracked and distracted by the media and what we see on TV. Everybody wants what the people on TV have. Society has taught us to live in a world of fantasy; therefore, we find ourselves living in a superficial world without any substance and without any love for ourselves and others. The belief is, “If I don’t own this thing, I am nothing.” We start identifying ourselves with material things. Do you feel you need to acquire material things in order to feel loved and satisfied? 

Understand, there is nothing wrong with having nice things, and always aiming at having better. However, if you only find happiness by having instead of being, you may want to look at your life and consider shifting your focus. Instead of focusing on finding fulfillment through external things, try to focus on the happiness that comes from within. Feeling the need to accumulate things in life in order to feel loved and satisfied will only leave you craving for more, because when the excitement wears off, you will likely find yourself empty and dissatisfied. 

It’s like being thirsty and drinking only soda or coffee to quench your thirst. Nothing can quench your thirst better than water. You cannot rely on soda or other liquids to do an adequate job, because you will always be thirsty. Take the time to breathe and to reflect on what’s important in your life. If you do this, I guarantee you will find the bigger reason behind why you are only focusing on having instead of being

This concept doesn’t apply to just physically acquired things or financial reward. It also applies to the need to constantly collect accomplishments or recognition. You have to ask yourself why you are constantly seeking this recognition. Does it make you feel better somehow? Why is that? Do you think people will like you because of this recognition? Why do you want to be liked? Keep exploring the “Why’s,” and at the bottom you are going to find that you are searching for something externally that you need to fill yourself first by connecting to the Universal intelligence. Make taking care of your true self a priority, and you will likely see that the superficial life for what it really is. 

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Dr. Alex Ledgister is not your typical “Success Coach.” The former Marine who holds a Ph.D.

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