How to worry less about where you live and find joy being more focused on living

The view from the property

I used to think for a long time that living in a particular type of house or place would bring me a certain amount of joy or satisfaction.

What I have learned however is that becoming too focused on the where takes my focus away from my journey. It starts to steal my joy because I am becoming too attached to the idea of the place.

What I have come to realize after moving more times than I can count across two countries that I can find joy no matter where I am providing that a few criteria are met. More on that in a minute.

Dokkōdō Principle #12: shitaku ni oite nozomu kokoro nashi (したくに於いて臨む心なし) English interpretation: Do not have any particular desire regarding your private domicile, Be indifferent to where you live

Musashi is talking to his students about not becoming attached to a particular place to live because at that time it wasn’t easily apparent if war would come at a moments notice. To leave something that you have become really attached to would be difficult and your mind could wander back to that place after you leave.

If however, you aren’t really attached to the place you are living then it wouldn’t really matter where you found yourself you could find contentment and peace and be present wherever you happen to be. 

Basically being able to live wherever you are, whatever the conditions are. Not to seek out discomfort but not being attached to the quest for comfort in a dwelling place necessarily. Not that you shouldn’t be appreciating good things but one must not be attached to them.

My wife and I bought a piece of land last year, we have dreamed about being able to do this together for a few years now. We had in our minds what kind of house we wanted and all of the things that go with it.

So we started to talk to builders to get an idea of process, cost, timelines, and whatnot. What we discovered was the cost was much more than we had anticipated and were comfortable spending on a house.

So we have taken a pause to really understand what it is we want and what we need. We are allowing ourselves to explore whether or not building is the right answer but just not now or if it is the answer at all.

Being able to take a step back has allowed me to really realize what is important and for me that is finding the joy in the little things of life.  For me this is what ikigai is all about, being able to find resonance with myself and the things that I choose to allow into my life.

One of the sources of Ikigai for me is being in service to others.  I find satisfaction in being able to help others whether that is helping them with finding their ikigai or helping them develop a game plan professionally for their lives. 

I believe that when we allow ourselves to become too focused on where we are living and not focusing enough on how we are living, we start to lose that joy. We become bogged down with worry about the place and forget that it is important to enjoy the journey we are all on.

Do I know where this journey will lead me? No. But that’s ok by me. For now I will do my best to find joy in each moment that I have, no matter where I find myself.

#ikigai #kokorozashi #joy

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