Picture this: Monks bending over for hours on end dropping one grain of sand at a time into a colorful, intricate pattern that represents the world in its divine form–perfectly balanced and precisely designed. Moments after they finish creating this mandala, they destroy it.
Now, picture this: You spend years constructing a perfect life for yourself. You build the perfect career, create the perfect family and buy the perfect house on the perfect street. You’ve sacrificed countless hours and untold energy. And then out of nowhere, it’s gone.
As tough as it might seem, the first scenario can help us better understand and design the second. You see, the monks understand something we often forget–that nothing in this world is permanent. Not a single thing.
And there’s freedom in the lack of permanence.
When we accept that everything is in flux–when we understand that our current self isn’t our permanent self–we are better able to apply the pillars of happiness and design a happier life.
It’s true because we are in control of how long the phases in our lives last. We get to choose to apply the pillars of happiness to the relationships and experiences we deem important. And thanks to the world’s temporary state, we also get to let go of those that aren’t.
So, what is currently holding you back?
What would you rather being doing with your time?
What is sucking your energy without giving any back?
Complacency creates a false permanence, but a true lack of permanence enables our ability to design happier lives. We can fix what we need to fix and put more energy and focus into what’s working for us. It takes work, but it allows us to design a life around our purpose and intent. And that’s powerful.