My daughter told me today that she never seems to be content with what she is doing, or what she has.
"Situation normal", I reply.
"That's no help", she thinks.
Acceptance is one thing. Becoming comfortable with difficulty, and letting it go, is another.
At 18 years of age she is a great example of what I felt at 18. At 50 I haven't changed, except I have accepted this is a normal thought process. The trick is to keep striving but be happy with what you have now.
Let's look at another culture as I am looking through Western eyes.
It seems to me that calmness has been in other cultures for thousands of years.
Buddhists have always reminded themselves that true happiness lies in acceptance of your current situation.
This doesn't mean you don't strive for improvement.
It also doesn't mean pain goes away. It just means the Buddhist accepts.
Japanese martial arts aims for acceptance too. To totally focus on the situation at hand. To deal with a life threatening situation without fear. The Samurai looked to Buddhist philosophies to help them deal with an acceptance of death.
Again from Japan, the Tea Ceremony stipulates careful action, focus on breathing and intense concentration on the current move.
A famous book on Archery was entitled, " One Breath, One Life".
The release of the arrow symbolised the life of the target, and the life of the archer.
As Westerners we need to embrace this idea to help us stay grounded, and calm.
Your next step, is ... actually ... your next step.