This question arose in my meditation today and I have been pondering it.
I wanted to share it here and invite comment from others as well as save it somewhere for reference.
Here it is:
"How do you balance changing yourself so you are happy with your life vs changing your life so you are happy with it?"
On one end of the extreme we have a complete focus on life change. That is, going about changing every aspect of life you are not happy with until life is shaped the way you want it.
On the other end of the extreme we have a complete focus on self change. That is, retreating into a monastery and clearing away all of our mental conditioning so we feel happy and contented no matter what our external life circumstances.
Having explored this from various angles I am leaning more towards self change because it is much more within our control. It is also a change that endures.
The trouble with changing our circumstances is that there are so many variables in the world and those variables are constantly in flux. By the time we change the final details in our lives, the ones we first worked on are likely to have shifted and need new attention.
This could lead us to live a life where we are constantly running around fixing details we are not happy with. We may live our whole lives doing this, never having really lived.