These are not my ideas, Steven Fry voiced and discussed these ideas, on the Making Sense (Sam Harris) podcast. Although a bizarrely simple concept, it is too good not to pass along.
A cow in a field is never bored. It has but one function, to be a cow. It must eat, eat more, stand around and eat yet a little more. Sometimes some rain may fall on it. Sometimes it will defecate, but it is perfectly satisfied in its role as a cow. No need for more. Absolutely no sense of the need to improve itself or its circumstances. It is a cow, and this is fine.
Is there a version of this for people and if so, is it liberating or is it a hindrance? The answer, of course, would be different depending on who you ask. But, if we are striving to better ourselves, when is it enough and what is the target? Is there a point when we become the cow? Or are we destined for a never-ending battle to the top of the next hill, only to burden ourselves with the crest of the next?
We search for happiness in a new experience, we are never satisfied with the cow we are. Can we be? I submit, there is no answer, it is a case of the chicken and the egg.