This is a story about bike accessories, well not really, but kinda. I’ve been riding my bike around town for a while now. Usually on the weekends in the early morning right after sunrise. By this point, I’ve kinda gone everywhere you can go.
During my initial rides, the seat got a little uncomfortable, so I wanted to get a padded-cover for it. I also wanted some handlebar-mounted side-mirrors so I could see any cars coming up behind me. I wanted a phone-holder so I could check the map without having to reach for my phone all the time. And I wanted a bell, just in-case I had to warn pedestrians of my approach.
For the most part I enjoyed biking around — and any feelings of dissatisfaction I felt, I attributed to my lack of accessories. Ouch, my bottom hurts from sitting on a hard seat. Ugh, I have to keep looking back for cars, what a pain. Oh man, I have to keep whipping-out my phone to check the map.
Eventually I ordered the accessories I wanted. I installed them and went for a ride. I appreciated having them (well not the bell, it was a bit loud and I try to stay clear of pedestrians anyway). Yet, even with all those accessories installed, I still noticed an underlying dissatisfaction. But this time, I couldn’t blame it on my lack of gear.
Did this mean dissatisfaction was inherent to the activity itself? Or did it mean that dissatisfaction is inherent to ME? Uh-oh! Instead of removing every last bit of dissatisfaction, filling the accessories-hole actually paved the way to a deeper dissatisfaction, one with no obvious fix. Yikes!
Then today, I was lamenting that I lacked spending-money for some other things I wanted. But it’d be a solid assumption that more money wouldn’t result in more satisfaction. A source of dissatisfaction would simply pop-up somewhere else. Imagine if I attained everything I wanted, I’d have no scapegoats left, I’d probably be left with existential-angst as my source of dissatisfaction.
This is the problem many successful folks have to face when all their earthly dreams come true, yet they’re still feeling unfilled (with no obvious way to fill the hole). The moral of the story seems to be this: make sure you have a scapegoat to blame for your dissatisfaction. I’m kidding of course (although it seems to work in the short-term).
Yet that’s the way it goes, right? I’m unhappy because I lack money. I’m unhappy because “other people” are ruining everything. I’m unhappy because my life isn’t perfect. But I’ll guarantee you this: if the so-called source of your dissatisfaction gets fixed tomorrow, your dissatisfaction WILL remain.
You can’t fix an internal problem by external means. Long-story-short, satisfaction must come from within or it doesn’t come at all. And because it’s within you, this is a personal journey — it’s all yours and you already have everything you need. All you have to do is decide to walk it (sorry no bikes allowed).