Today I caught this quote from Matthew Kelly's book The Rhythm of Life:
On the one hand, we all want to be happy. On the other hand, we all know the things that make us happy. But we don't do those things. Why? Simple. We are too busy. Too busy doing what? Too busy trying to be happy. This is the paradox of happiness that has bewitched our age.
Not just our age, I say, but every age, since the day we lost Eden.
I found the quote intriguing in part because it echoed something I'd written in my journal just yesterday about how the "world" (i.e. social and political systems, circumstances, and the basic requirements for survival) so often seems to set itself against our dreams: Why does it seem that we are always chasing after (but never quite attaining) that "thing"...that certain "I don't know what"...that peace of mind...that joy of heart...the innocence we once had before the broken world shattered something precious inside--something our very innocence precluded us from knowing we should protect. But now, we know. We've eaten from the Tree of Knowledge, and wish that we could throw it up and go back to running carefree in the fields of ignorant bliss. But that's only a wish. We chose Knowledge over Life. The world cracked under the burden of our decision, and became the unwitting nemesis of our hearts.
The #1 Reason we don't live our dreams is because something is broken inside our own hearts. Thankfully, that brokenness can be healed. But the #2 Reason we don't achieve our dreams is that something is broken within the world itself.
Here's the mindblower: To achieve your dream, you must not only overcome yourself, but the world "system" as well. Clearly, that's bad news, and can leave many feeling so hopeless that the dead-end cycle of working to chase after a happiness you never actually possess sounds more reasonable than going after your Big Dream. But is it, really? We settle for a "workin' for the weekend" lifestyle, and strictly avoid pondering the lunacy of choosing a life that we actually hate 70 percent of the time.
Frankly, I don't understand how anyone can find true fulfillment in life without first recognizing--and accepting--that the path to your true purpose in life is a battlefield.