In the most recent issue of Mindful magazine, there is a cartoon that shows a “Congratulations” greeting card with a hamster running on a wheel. 

And when you open up the card, the verse inside reads,

“My compliments on your success
your just reward for all that stress
all your hard work, vim, and vigor
earned you a hamster wheel that’s bigger!”

That’s kind of how life feels sometimes, isn’t it?

We strive for goals and reach them.

We work hard and achieve.

And for what?

A bigger hamster wheel.

MORE obligations.  MORE responsibilities.

Sometimes it seems like one of the most prevalent status symbols in the 21st century is the ability to say that you have MORE things to do and less time to do them in.

Almost as if it makes you somehow cooler to say, “Oh yeah, but I’m MUCH busier than you!”

But is that really what we’re after?

Is a bigger hamster wheel really the pot of the gold at the end of the rainbow?

Is that bigger hamster wheel REALLY number one on our bucket list?

If not, then we must make a choice.

To subtract.

To reduce.

To minimize.

To do less, better.

To give ourselves more time to do the things that really matter, that we dream of, that fulfill us in those deep places that are so rarely fulfilled in this 24/7 life of ours.

And then we can relax and enjoy what we have.

WE can take our time.

We can luxuriate in the things that we know we love.

Without feeling rushed or stressed or anxious.

If that lifestyle sounds pretty good, and you’re willing to make the changes that move you in that direction, you may find that you end up with a greater sense of peace and equanimity and a much smaller hamster wheel.

Or—gasp!—no hamster wheel at all. TZT


If you would like some more suggestions about HOW to reduce the size of your hamster wheel, check out The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom.

And stay tuned for some exciting news coming early in September!