The pursuit of well-being

Image: Scott Webb

Well-being. How do we get it? Is it even possible? Or is it just a fleeting thing like a handful of sand, the more of which escapes our fingers the tighter we grasp it?

Most of us start our lives under the assumption (if not the outright belief) that we’re flawed. That we’re not-enough.

So we set out to become something/somebody. We go try to check the boxes they tell us to and fix our broken selves. We atone for our sins. We go to the school, land the job, get the spouse, close on the house, and secure the finances.

And just when we do, all along the way, although we may experience temporary relief, we notice… Something’s still not right.

So what do we do? We believe that we’ve failed. And either we give up or we hunker down for another slog in the mud as we set out on our previously botched mission.

It seems impossible to attain. And it is.

I can feel it in my bones as I type this — I’ve been there. Ugh, have I been there.

Well, the problem isn’t us. Not at all. The problem is — as usual — a slight misunderstanding. Something so subtle — so minute — but oh so essential.


At the heart of the matter, the problem is that we’ve seen ourselves as being innately miserable/flawed/insufficient and thusly have seen well-being as something we’ve needed to attain.

But in reality, well-being is the thing that’s innate and misery/dysfunction/insufficiency is something we’ve happened to attain.

Well-being is impossible to attain... It’s innate.

The sun is always shining behind the clouds. It’s just the nature of the sun. No one has to wake up early, head out and go get the sun for the day. The sun isn’t something that we attain — it just is.

Well-being is the same way. When our thoughts falls away, well-being shows up. When we can quiet our thinking, we shine like the beautiful warrior unicorns we are 🦄 🌟 ⚔

When we let our misguided thoughts pass, well-being shines through. We don’t have to go find it. It’s always there. It’s always BEEN there. The only thing to do is to take heed and not latch on to thoughts that pull us away from it.

I’m Jonas Ellison — a transformative coach who writes daily here on Medium. To get my short vignettes in your inbox daily, click here.

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