Growing up on this journey called life in this part of the world, the things we considered pleasures were countable and small in size. They most notable included Christmas, when we got to show off our new release, ate Jollof and drank Malt. The not so grandeur but still notable were the programs that lined up the TV channels. Of these included the infamous Acapulco Bay, Sunset Beach and The Bold and Beautiful.
On the other hand, we had the wholesome family entertainment programs such as cartoons. It was during this era that cartoons were worth watching. We had the likes of Johny Bravo, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory,Courage the Cowardly Dog, Cow and Chicken, Kids Next Door, Teletubbies, Twinnies, Basket Fever… and the list runs on.
We also those that blurred the lines between bad animation and humans. Of which the lead in this category to was “Journey to the West.” Now that was life back in those days. I could truncate church service with any number of reasons which may or may not include feigning a stomach ache to losing my offering. I am not proud of myself but it was worth it back then.
What intrigued me most with this particular TV series was the plot. We stayed glued to our television sets on Sundays when we should have rather been in church enjoying children’s service. And it was all to watch the journey of a flying monkey man, a glutton pig-man, and a kung-fu weirdo. We were not really concerned about their destination. All we wanted was to see the action they enjoyed on their journey.
Sadly, many of us live a rather serious life without even taking a second to smell the roses on our journeys. We are too concerned about the finish line that we neglect the little things that make the victory sweet. Right around this time when most of us are morphing into complete adulthood, we start to live a good part of our life somewhere outside the present. Even when we’re not physically doing anything, we tend to spend a lot of time exercising our mind by thinking about what has already happened or what might happen or what we want to have happen, rather than enjoying what’s happening at the current moment.
Do not get me wrong, it is very healthy to set targets and work hard towards achieving them. What you shouldn’t do is get so fixated on the goal that you lose touch with the reason you want those goals achieved; happiness. Happiness as is mostly said, is not found at the destination but rather in the journey that leads you to the destination. There isn’t one road to happiness so what makes you even sure the target you have set will bring you the happiness you badly desire.
Life is most enjoyable and meaningful when you are present in every moment. Living in the past or future, as we often do, only serves to drain your spirit. The past, whether successful or full of failures, is done and over with. You can’t change it. Worrying about the future is also a burden. No matter how much you plan, life is uncertain and the future is unknown. It makes no sense to spend your time worrying about something you truly can’t control.
So instead of living in the bare plot of lands of Dodowa characterized by “I coulda, woulda, shoulda” as famously sung by Celine Dion, or “what if,” as popularized by Jason Derulo, try living in the comfy, plush well-laid-out present of Trasacco Estates characterized by “I am.” If the Dododwa lands of tomorrow get developed in the future, you would surely have enough wealth to live there as well.
As much as you’re target oriented, shift the other half of your focus to being process oriented. Because now is the only moment you have control over and can enjoy. Take some time to notice every detail in the backdrop of your daily life — the colors, the smells, the smiles, the people. Savor every moment because it is always the little things that make the big things seem big after all.
Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless–like chasing the wind. (Ecclesiastes 6:9)