Life isn't all about what you have? Hmm.
"Life isn't all about what you have"
Hands up whose heard this one before, and hands up whose sick of hearing it from bullshit insta-celebrities who can only say so because they, in fact, have it all? I reckon it's rubbish. Life is totally about what you have! It's just not about what you don't have.
There's heaps of things I have that make me happy. I have surfboards, and wetsuits, and a job I really enjoy. I have great friends, I have literally as much freedom as anyone could possibly want. My life is totally awesome because of all of these things. I know, material possessions, lifestyle factors and people can hardly be grouped in the same category. Although they do indeed span a wide variety of categories, I think these things demonstrate how a change in perspective can give them a common possessory quality.
It comes down to separating material from immaterial, tangible to intangible.
--> Surfboards and wetties = the opportunity to surf regularly
--> An enjoyable job = the opportunity to feel like I never have to really "work"
--> Good friends = the opportunity to feel part of a community, however micro or macro
Sometimes I let myself down when I get jealous, as you might extrapolate from the above I generally try hard to measure my response to it. Jealousy arises less frequently for me now than ever before, but is certainly a demon that I - and I'm pretty sure most people - still have to contend with from time to time.
It's not a state of mind I ever choose to be in. Unfortunately we all endure a broad spectrum of raw emotion along which our brain doesn't give us a say in what end we feel. Jealousy, stress, attraction. Instinctive responses as innocently primal as being hungry. The thing we can choose is how to react to those instincts.
The point of this little tangent is that the saying "life isn't all about what you have" simply points out an opportunity to react, without addressing the importance of "don't respond to jealousy by complaining about what you don't have", which I feel is a more significant issue.
I've meditated on this thought for a very long time since it first revealed itself in my consciousness. I can honestly say I've achieved such a comparatively high level of overall happiness through learning how to celebrate what I have rather than wish for what I don't.