Tony Robbins has a quote that says: “Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant.”
Its catchy, I will admit, but I have one that I find far more intriguing: “Trade your expectation for anticipation and the world becomes a very seductive place.”
We all long for a life that’s like a lover. A life filled with interest, mischief, passion, stolen moments of idle pleasure. And yet for all that longing, how often do we get it?
Instead, despite our best attempts, we often end up with a life that feels like a midlevel job. The kind filled with endless, thankless drudgery that makes us all glad for TV, alcohol, and carbohydrates at the end of a day. Repetitive, dull, mindless.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all muttered to ourselves at least once the desperate plea of a life un-lived, “There’s got to be more than this.”
We ask ourselves, “How did we get here?” But the real question is how do we get out of here? How do we get to a life filled with anticipation and pleasure — maybe even joy and exhilaration?
It’s tempting to believe that the answer lies in getting what we want. If we lived in Paris, then we’d be happy. If we lost the weight, or if we attained 10lbs of pure muscle, then life would rock. If we had a different job, or a different lover, then we’d naturally enjoy our life.
Imagine our shock, when after attaining the things that we want, we discover that after a brief high, life goes back to the way it was before. Our usual response to this is start wanting something else. We attain that, and then we’re back to boredom again.
It’s a cycle that continues indefinitely. Moments of boredom and dullness broken up by the brief high of buying something or achieving something. Then we’re right back to where we started.
Goal setting and desiring things is natural and necessary, but it doesn’t lead to lasting pleasure. Which begs the question…. What does?
If it’s not the pinnacles of attainment, then it must be the way we approach our everyday lives that can truly change the experience of them. The answer must be in how we enjoy the process of living our lives, and attaining goals and desires. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.
Sure the destination provides pleasure, but it’s a short-lived, momentary pleasure. Enjoying the journey, provides lasting pleasure. Because we’re always going somewhere. We’re always on a journey — to the next big thing, the next year, the next destination. The majority of our life is spent in the journey — not the destination.
So if we want a life as interesting and passionate as a lover, the answer lies in treating life like a lover. In treating the journey, the everyday part of our lives, like a lover. And lovers require seduction.
Seduction has three parts to it — anticipation, lingering, and prolonging the game. The next post will cover these three aspects, but for now, it’s worth contemplating:
How do you approach your everyday life?
Is this the way you’d want to be seduced by someone? Would you appreciate it if they approached you in the same manner as you approach your goals and life? Is that the way you’d want to be kissed, for instance?
If not, what would you want instead?
Is the way you approach your life the same way you would approach your time on vacation in a favorite destination?
Is this how you played at a kid? Or, is this how you would approach spending time playing with your own children?