Like the caterpillar below, most people think that “everything will be better” once they get/become/achieve something. Whether it’s the right job, car, home, number of lovers or something else, we really expect that one thing to finally make us happy and complete.
This is what I call “waiting to be saved”; expecting an event, time or situation to make you happy.
My personal favourite is, “I’m not happy now but I will be once I’ve given the best years of my life to my career! Then I’ll finally be able to do and feel what I want!”
Of course, “everything” doesn’t “get better” when you get what you want. In fact life often becomes harder and more confusing when you’re successful. If you’re waiting to be saved, know one thing: it’s killing you. The true secret to being happy and free is to lose all hope. Here’s why & how.
Good Hope vs Bad Hope
Good hope is knowing that, with enough time, anything can be achieved. It’s the calm acknowledgement of human potential and your own capacity for change. Bad hope is the idea that someone – or something – will save you.
The vast majority of people live with this kind of “hope”. They expect to find salvation in the external world. Whether it’s cars, health, money or something else, they think: “When I have it, I’ll finally be complete.” The root of this desire lies in the inherent unpredictability of life. Life is never complete, perfect or stable – and so we yearn to make it that way. What do you think you need to be complete? A (better) car, a nicer flat, a better girl, a cushier job? Do you delude yourself by thinking you’ll “finally be happy” once you get those things? Stop it!!
Many human concepts – from relationships to religious faith to the pursuit of wealth – are attempts to escape life’s impermanent nature. We want to know for sure that we’re loved; that life has meaning; that we will be fed and clothed tomorrow. But the unfortunate truth is, nobody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow – let alone 5 seconds from now. I could be dead by the time you read this; in fact, we could all be dead before I can post this article! The secret to happiness and freedom isn’t in waiting to be saved; it’s in realising that everything you need is right here, right now.
The other aspect of abandoning all hope is taking action without expecting it to change much. It’s pretty ironic – when you stop waiting for “everything to be better in the future”, it becomes much easier to create powerful change in the present.
Most importantly, remember that nobody can truly help you. People can give you information but it’s up to you to control your thoughts and feel good about life. So don’t wait to be saved; don’t suffer through a painful, meaningless life in anticipation of something that’s never gonna happen.