Did you guys know that when you look at grass from a distance it always looks greener than when you are standing right in it? It's a refractory phenomenon. Go figure. The grass will always appear greener on the other side. Period.
Likewise, we all live aboard 'the hedonistic treadmill' day after day. It's a human brain phenomenon. The inner voice speaks in each of our heads, "if only I made more money, if only I was with the right person, if only I was more fit, if only I lived someplace else, etc.". It is in our DNA, and we can either live in denial, or practice ways of hedging our genetic bets.
I think the most important tool in this endeavor is 'trusting the process.' Call it belief, call it faith, call it whatever you want. It is present in all major religions and life philosophies--a shared understanding that the universe is more complex than what our human brains can grasp and that the only true power we possess is a daily focus on the good. By sending all of our focus into what we have control over and letting the rest sort itself out, we can reach a state of calm acceptance and serenity. We can learn to love what we already have.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool," as Richard Feynman once said. First, we must be sure that we are actually doing all that is in our power to do, and not falling short of our potential. This requires an honest and humble inner voice as well as a group of peers and mentors that will keep us on track. Top performance psychologists recommend daily journaling in order to shed light on all of the self-defeating inner dialogue that exists in almost all of us. By keeping a physical record of how you speak to yourself you can then start to shape that voice. Try writing your thoughts down for a week to see the power of this tool. Then take the next step and each day write positive affirmations of what you would like your life to look like. You will certainly learn something along the way.
I like to think of my own negative inner voice like a crow that sits on my shoulder and points out all of the wretched parts of the world. He isn't evil, just scared, and it is my job to laugh with him at the absurdities and guide my mind towards the continual process of taking care of myself and others.
Let us know how you deal with the voices in your own head? Any tactics that keep you centered? How do you want what you already have?