As a typical child, I never wanted to go to bed. After a bedtime story and elongated conversations and organizing stuff animals, I’d say to my parents, “Just one more thing Mommy, just one more thing.” I thought that if I could just prolong the act of sleeping by a few more minutes, I’d have a little more fun and be happier. Twenty some years later I find myself thinking about and fighting off the “one more thing mentality.”
The “one more thing” mentality is a view that everything will be better once you have one more thing.
I’ll start with a somewhat embarrassing example from my own life.
When I was about fifteen, I was ALMOST perfectly happy. There were two things I really wanted in life-
1) To get my braces off.
2) To get my driver’s license.
I remember actually having the thought, When I get my braces off and have my license, life will be so good. Those are the two big things I want and once I get them, I will be so happy.
It sounds kind of dumb now, but I really thought that.
Now that I’m older, I know that a lot of people think this way. A lot of people think if they could just get ahead in one or two areas, then everything will be good. Peachy. Perfect. Once the stars align, then they will be content.
You know what happened once I got my braces off and got a license?
I wanted other things.
I wanted to pick a college.
Then I wanted to study abroad.
Then I wanted a nice camera.
Then I wanted to study abroad again.
Then I wanted to get a 4.0, just one semester. (I got a 3.9).
Then I wanted a boyfriend.
Then I wanted to travel.
Then I wanted to be closer to my family.
And the list goes on and on.
You see, there will never be a time in our lives when we don’t want that one more thing. Maybe it’s a job promotion, or to move to a different place. Maybe it’s if the cancer will just go away, or if this one thing could just get paid off.
But there will always be one more thing.
If we let our happiness be dependent on our surroundings, on our ability to get that “one more thing”, we will never be completely happy. Please do not misinterpret this as a goal-bashing rant, it’s not goals that’s I’m against. I love goals. However, our happiness should not be completely dependent on achieving those goals or attaining the material things we desire.
Another dangerous way to live with a “one more thing mentality” is to wait for everything to line up perfectly before taking a big step. There will never be a perfect, flawless time to move across the country, to quit your job, to start school again, to have children. There is always going to be something that could be rearranged, something that could be more convenient, one more thing that would make it easier. The trap is set when we think we can’t continue on with life until everything is under control and flawless.
There is no use in staring down the road of life, waiting around for a car to take you while you have a perfectly good bicycle.
We have trials, we have burdens, we have wants and desires. That’s okay. Let’s do this crazy thing called life, just as it is, without waiting for one more thing.