That “thing” you are chasing is not going to bring you everything you’re imagining.
If you are reading this, you are probably striving to achieve something great in your life. You have a vision for how things will be better in a week, month, or year from now. Not an hour goes by where you don’t think about what it will feel like to have that thing you crave.
You should hold your vision close. The clarity and sense of purpose that come from a strong vision will aid you as you move the needle closer to your goals. But there’s an inherent problem with always being focused on the future, too. When you always think forward, life speeds up. Questions about how and when you’ll get things pop up like whack-a-mole in your mind. Solving problems becomes increasingly difficult under this type of duress. You feel a chronic sense of urgency to achieve more than you did yesterday, and it can at times be overwhelming.
Forward thinking is useful, but it’s not the only tool in your toolbox. Whatever dream you are chasing, it would benefit you to slow down and remember what’s available to you right now. Make sure that the thing you are striving after isn’t already sitting in your pocket.
Don’t Wait for Your Dreams to Bring You What You Crave
In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.
– Albert Schweitzer
Take a moment to consider the goal you’ve set, and ask yourself:
What will you have, be, or be capable of doing once you’ve reached it that you undisputably cannot have, be or do now?
This question sheds light on the beliefs we hold about ourselves and the resources available to us right now. Is satisfaction impossible if you don’t reach your end result? Do you need to have, be or do something before you can feel great about yourself?
The most common obstacle I run into when asking people this question is that money will help them achieve their goals.
“Well if I had more money I could be/have/do this, and…”
I’m not saying more money won’t do that. It certainly can. But you run the risk of missing out on all that’s available to you right now if you only ever employ your focus forward towards the perceived promised land of more money or the accomplishments you’re seeking.
There are more, but here are three examples of things that money, personal achievements, or results of any kind cannot give you:
Money can’t buy you a better relationship with yourself.
Do you scoff when you think about loving yourself? You’re certainly not alone. But I’d bet the house that you are consistently inconsistent and fall victim to self-sabotage often. It’s hard to be consistent when the process feels like a chore.
There are no real grandiose gestures to demonstrate a love for yourself, but it must come from within. Slow down. Measure how far you’ve come, and figure out a way to celebrate small milestones that will excite you and motivate you to keep going.
A sense of gratitude towards your physical body, efforts, and accomplishments helps balance and rejuvenate the relationship you have with yourself. Achievement is a game that requires you to effectively deal with yourself, and self-love is the most powerful tool at your disposal for doing so.
Maybe your vision of success isn’t to make a boatload of money. Maybe, deep down, you believe that losing the weight or achieving the goal you’ve set will unlock the door behind which infinite willpower is kept. You’re in search of that feeling of unlimited power so that you can be someone others look up to.
Guess what? Whatever your goal is, that’s not coming when you achieve it. It doesn’t matter how remarkable your goal is. The truth is, making the right choice on a consistent basis is the mother of willpower. When you slow down, you realize that you only have the power to make the right choice today. Tomorrow will come, and you’ll have an opportunity to make that choice again. It will feel awkward at first, but with enough repetitions, you’ll find the willpower you are searching for.
3. The power to change results you aren’t happy with
Maybe you’re searching for the magic to help you get started. Maybe one or two areas of your life, like work and personal finances, are in order, but you’re sorely lacking in others.
Quite possibly the worst feeling in the world is knowing others have changed something that you can’t figure out. We’ve all felt as though we’re flawed, incapable, or have wasted a significant amount of time.
“If only I knew this when I was younger, life would have been so different!”
Achieving your goal will not make your next success easier. We like to think that some people just have it all figured out, but that’s not the case. You must be willing to embrace the suck at first and enter each arena that you’d like to improve on separately. You’ll notice patterns from previous experiences, but the skills you’ll need to achieve your goals have to be developed from scratch.
Hold this close: you’re always one decision away from making the right decision. No result will allow you to wave a magic wand and achieve something else.
Stop and smell the roses
A life with a bigger bank account, a trimmer waist line, a happier family or a greater sense of purpose are all great things. You should want to want those things. Forward thinking will help you create the vision for your life that you want.
But don’t forget to stop and smell the roses every once in awhile. Remember what’s available to you right now, in this moment.
There is more right now than you can probably imagine.