Our kids are great. They love life, they are appreciative, they learn important skills at an astonishing pace and are well behaved. It is awesome to be around them and we are blessed to have them. But they are still kids.
They will still go into a mall and whimper about getting a new toy when they have probably 1,000 toys at home. They will sometimes complain that their sister has the toy they want at this instance.
So I tell them:
“be happy for what you have instead of unhappy about what you don’t have.”
This sometimes works and sometimes not (they are currently 4 and 5, after all), but it is an important philosophy and it is my duty as a parent to keep on repeating the mantra.
They are sponges and I know this stuff sinks in eventually.
Perhaps one day in their teens they might find themselves heartbroken and instead of being really depressed, they may realize that they still have friends and family and a wonderful life ahead of them (remember that song “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”).
Perhaps one day when they are adults pining for possessions they think lead to happiness, instead they will think “hey I already have plenty” and focus on the fact they have air in their lungs and everything they could possibly want is already theirs.
“Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold, the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul.” ~ Democritus
This doesn’t conflict with being ambitious and having goals, but the point is to never be consumed by the future or disappointment and always enjoy where you are the moment wherever you are on your path.
“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” Carlos Castaneda