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Where two opposing Worlds collide

When I'm in Bali, I think a lot about the contrast between the World I come from and the World I currently reside in.

From early age we are thought to work hard, and plan for an ambitious future.

We live in a society that constantly demands more. There is the obvious upside - that ambition has brought us to incredible advancements in technology, medicine, communication - overall improved quality of life.

But the other side of the coin is that mindset that never has enough. A carrot dangling in front of us - happiness, fortune, success is always just little out of reach.

Advertisers trying to convince you that you need a certain product to be a certain way. Teachers telling you to study harder, in order to get a better job and opportunities in life.

Friends who perhaps have more expensive clothes, or their family that live in a more prominent neighborhood.

Better degree, better job, bigger apartment, better boyfriend/girlfriend.

Is it even ok to feel satisfied with what you have? Society tells you to want more, to work harder, not to waste your potential, to be more ambitious.

We will never stop chasing, won't we?

"Happiness lies within" - we hear this message all the time, so we try to solve the puzzle, to understand what is that feeling and invest increasing amount of time and energy to achieve this state.

We read books, listen podcasts, invest in theraphy. It has to be somewhere within, but we don't feel it, we get anxious looking for it, so we get tired, we distract ourselves, until we return to the search. The need for growth never stops.

And then you come to Bali, where the locals work long hours in the heat, jobs that pay very little, yet they greet you with a smile. Often times they are lazy (call your surf instructor and he might not be in the mood to get out and make some money).

Majority of people don't even dream of leaving the island. They are happy if they have a job, they live day to day, for themselves, for their family, for the community.

They don't aspire for a better car, more expensive shoes, a bigger house, or dining at 5 star restaurants.

The society does not demand them to be more ambitious.

It's just a flight away, but it's a different world.

I look at the way we live, and the way the locals live here. They have so little, yet they seem so much happier.

So I find myself thinking- where is the middle, the sweet spot in how we should live ?

How do we find balance between the mounting ambition, future planning, happiness-chasing and just being content with what we have?

Neither of those end of spectrums is good. Balance, right ?

I don't have a formula, or an answer,

But I do wonder, if the reason why westerners love life in Bali so much, is perhaps because this is where they have found 'the sweet spot'

This is where the ambitious mindset resides - in the environment and the way locals live - a daily reminder that you don't "need more" to feel content.

This is where the opposing worlds collide.


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