You have arrived at your destination.
When my phone speaks the words, I believe them, no questions asked. The evidence is in front of me: I’m indeed at location B.
I have arrived. I’ve made it!
There is nobody there to tell us that in life. And you can’t rely on what you have to provide you with that sense. Acquiring wealth, love, success, etc. doesn’t always create the feeling of having arrived.
In believing that it does, we are buying into one of the most powerful delusions humans operate under.
Falsity: Your accomplishments will make you feel like ‘you arrived’
Most people don’t feel like a success.
Even those who are successful by objective criteria of status and desirability. They’re like “okay that was good – what’s next?” There is barely any savoring or congratulation.
If we associate the ability to feel good with what we have, then they’ll never be enough “having”.
The feeling has to arise internally.
Falsity: You’ll stop improving if you feel like you already arrived
That is another of the biggest lies. The American psychologist Carl Rogers called it the ‘Acceptance Paradox’. My own experience refutes this, so that’s how I know it isn’t true.
Feeling like you have arrived will not stop you from improving the unworkable elements of life.
The feeling like you already arrived is similar to having a deep sense of relaxation and peace. Do not underrate being in a relaxed state: it is actually when you do your best thinking and responding.
Being stressed out, negative and on high alert on the other hand, makes your thinking smaller.
Truth: You’ll feel the same then as you do now, pretty much
We tend to elevate how we are going to feel when we have the things we want. In actuality, we are going to feel more or less the same as we do now.
Treat the lie that your mind is telling you that you’ll be happier then, at future point B, with extreme suspicion.
Truth: Destination B isn’t a destination, but a set of feelings
We think we are chasing things, but it’s feelings we want.
The job with more money = security, self-worth.
The partner = love, self-worth.
It’s the feelings that we seek. And we make the feelings conditional upon the things.
Truth: Feeling like you arrived is unconditional
How does a person experience love without a partner? How do we feel successful without a massive income? If you can get the answer to those questions, you’ve learned something important about life:
Feelings are generative.
Sometimes they happen involuntarily, in response to thoughts. But we are also capable of producing them. All the good feelings are already there within us, waiting to be discovered.
Close your eyes for a second and create the feeling of love. Then friendship. You can use certain memories if you like. That’s being generative with your emotional experience.
Feeling like you arrived is no different. It’s an inner capacity to cultivate.
Try asking yourself how it would change your day if you already arrived. How would you behave differently?
Also, stop over-relying on the information you gather from your senses. What we can comprehend with the senses is limited by our dodgy world filters.
Listen to Einstein
Einstein said you can’t solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that the problem was created. It applies here.
Don’t wait to feel like you arrived. If you don’t feel like you have arrived now, even some of the time, then you never will – regardless of your achievements.
You already arrived
Here’s how I know you made it in life, even though I’ve not met you.
- You’re reading this article. You have the time and willingness to explore things like your happiness and fulfillment. You are punching at Maslow’s highest level of human needs.
- You’re approximately ten times more attractive/successful/liked than you imagine. I know that because everyone is hard on themselves, and everyone has a powerful inner critic.
How to cultivate ‘I’ve arrived-ness’
Most days, I feel like I arrived.
My life isn’t perfect though. Ideally, I’d like to change my primary source of income to something more aligned with my abilities and passions. That’s the main thing I’m working on. To be even working on that goal gives me the feeling like I arrived.
When I believe the lies of the mind – that I am not enough, and nothing I have is enough – I am more likely to just sit about procrastinating and getting defeated. I do what I need to do to get by, and my self-esteem dwindles.
A few things I observed about feeling like we’ve arrived:
- It involves a fundamental rewiring of the mind for most of us. You have to practice it. It starts with observation of the ‘not enough’ trance. Notice it by practicing mindfulness.
- Certain things naturally help you to feel more grateful (gratitude is linked to “I’ve arrivedness”). For most of us, it is the simple things. Being with the people we care about; feeling engaged in our work or hobbies; moving; learning.
- Don’t compare yourself to others; compare yourself to the you of ten years ago. For me, I can’t believe how rosy life looks from that angle.
Key “I’ve arrived” practices:
- Health and vitality
- Love and friendship
- Travel (which needn’t be expensive)
- Real communication
- Being of service to others
- Overcoming obstacles and challenges
A list of “I’ve arrived” sappers:
- Social comparison
- Unchecked thoughts
- Lack of instrospection
- Uninterrupted monotony
- Humorlessness/ excessive life seriousness
- Not exercising, eating badly, not getting enough sleep