There once was a very greedy king who owned more than any man in the land. However, the unhappiness in this foolish king’s heart caused him to want more and more. He tried filling his life with objects, beautiful women, the finest horses, and more, but he could never satisfy his greedy heart.
One day he overheard two young knights talking about a myth passed down for many generations, saying if one were to find the lost items of a ruler from long ago, the person who found the item’s heart’s desire would be met. Instantly the king began to plan his journey to find the lost items, hoping to satisfy his unhappiness.
He ordered knights to protect him from harm while on his quest. After 15 years of searching for the lost items, the king and his knights came across a cave. Inside it was the lost items from the stories.
However, there were only five items in the cave. A painting, a sack of coins, a staff, a mirror, and a saying on the wall: “Those who journeyed across the land for the items I have left, how much time has passed? Were you not satisfied with the life you had? Your greed and worldly desires caused you to waste your life, searching for the things in life I treasure dearly, not you.”
The king began to weep, he finally understood life was not about meaningless objects. His kingdom was lost, he no longer had any of the lavish objects he once owned, and the time that passed by had turned him into an old man, who was now bitter about the things he had lost.
Be grateful for what you have at the moment because you could end up losing everything searching for nothing.
Sometimes we cause our own unhappiness by wanting things we don’t need or being unappreciative of the things we have. Many people, I included, take so much for granted. Things like clean water, a warm home, electricity, and food.
When material things become our primary focus the bigger picture can become blurry. We automatically think material things can bring happiness, which they can, but only for a short time.
It’s like a drug that gets you high temporarily. Happiness is found when you are content and at peace with yourself, even if you don’t have the latest gadgets, the biggest house, or the most delicate clothes. In reality, those things don’t matter. Happiness is found within, so to achieve happiness, you have to journey within yourself to find it.
I wrote the short story above as a reminder to be appreciative of everything I have instead of wanting more. It’s okay to desire beautiful things and go after them, but don’t get too wrapped up in material objects. You’ll end up on a wild goose chase trying to find happiness only to end up unhappy.