Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Find What's Lost. Stop Looking.

Yesterday, I was on phone with someone amazing. We got talking about many things, and at some point during that conversation, I thought about the satisfaction of finding what has all along been lost.

There's this post about chasing happiness where we concluded that it's more important to get on with life, doing what is required of us, and purposing to add value both in our lives and those of others instead of engaging in an elusive pursuit of "happiness".

Worthless Pursuits
Otherwise, we may end up like dogs chasing their tails...

However, it is interesting to note that many, if not all things, are found only when we stop looking.

Happiness, Satisfaction & Fulfillment
In this priceless Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness document that I keep referencing in my posts, we are urged to
abandon a foolish quest for the ephemeral rewards of happiness, wealth and power, [and thereby] begin to look for our true calling on earth...
Furthermore, there is a very clear difference between happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment. Happiness may be transient, satisfaction may be seasonal, but fulfillment is enduring.

Stop Looking 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Poems and Other Writings (Library of America)An understanding of what can and does get found when we stop looking invariably obviates the need to actively seek short-time pleasures that ultimately cost us in the long run.

We need to reorder our priorities, delay gratification, set long term objectives and engage in worthwhile, enduring pursuits that will end in fulfillment.
Regardless of how long it may take, we finally find whatever we seek. Sometimes, in other people... as Longfellow did:
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


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