I Have a Serious Problem, but My Problems Aren’t that Serious

Written by Conor Sullivan, WLLC 2015-2016

I have a serious problem: I always want to be more. In a world stacked with infinite possibility, where the potential for success exists everywhere, all the time, it’s difficult to justify why I haven’t already been successful. I know I am an intelligent person, but that doesn’t seem to be enough to sate an incessant hunger for renown that burns at the core of my being. I feel the need to be acknowledged, to be loved and appreciated by the people around me. Spiritual practices, such as meditation, have helped bring me to a place of quiet and content, but as the clarity fades I begin to wonder why I still feel as if I am at the same conscious level as the people around me. Practically, meditation serves my interests through a phase of mental elevation in which I can view the world through a more complete lens than what I usually employ. In this way I can pick up on subtleties in my reality that I would normally be blind too. However, this can act as quite the double-edged sword, and often leads me to believe I employ a higher level of perception than the people around me, something that is absolutely not true.

Practicing gratefulness for our Wellness weekly activity proved to be incredibly beneficial to me as it allowed a way for me to put my life in perspective. For the first time in months I was able to view my situation in a positive light. How could I not? Compared to the vast majority of people on the planet, people who might be in the middle of civil war, famine, drought, or lack of access to other fundamental utilities. This perspective shined light on all of the opportunities and loving support I’ve been lucky enough to receive throughout my lifetime, but more than that it gave me the chance to reflect on how my life doesn’t need improving. This meant that I could finally stop putting so much pressure on myself, and simply appreciate the place I’m currently present in, rather than worrying about some theoretical idea of the future that I might have or be trying to achieve. I’m going to continue this practice of mindful gratefulness and appreciation whenever I can, as I can already see how it has tangibly benefitted my life, and I’m excited to continue to build tools for success both in and out of the classroom!

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