So many of us plan for the future and our retirement and do not enjoy the present.
It is time to stop putting happiness on hold and start enjoying “now.” Of course you are working towards your dreams, but you need to stop waiting for things to be perfect before you allow yourself to enjoy what you have. Having a career, money and success are all wonderful, but living a healthy life with love, family and friends is even more important. Here are some skills to help focus on the bigger picture of living a life of joy and appreciating what you have now.
Avoid the Vicious Cycle of Constantly Striving
The world has become one of constant striving. You are always striving for the next thing once you have achieved a goal. Many of you are go-getters who have vision which is a good thing, but don’t allow it to become a vicious cycle. Without even realizing it, you can forget to enjoy today’s success because you are so focused on your next goal. Remind yourself to slow down and appreciate what you have achieved now. Next time you catch yourself thinking “I can’t wait until I have… or become…,” switch your thought to “I am so thrilled that I have or am.” It is amazing what a difference this will make in how you feel.
The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men
A plan is nothing more than a goal that you set in your mind and then create an action plan to follow. While goals are very important, there are no guarantees that your plans will work. What makes this especially concerning is that you can literally spend a large portion of your life working on a plan that will never come to fruition. You may never be as famous as Oprah or Cher. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t make plans, but be careful about making them too specific or unreachable. If you build flexibility into your plans, they will be more attainable and will blend better with the various changes that will happen in your life, whether planned or spontaneous. Review your goals regularly to make sure they are still what you really want. Sometimes you find that the goal is no longer what you desire, is not worth the cost to achieve it, or is something you never really wanted but felt society said you should want. If your goals are more realistic, you have more of a chance of successfully meeting the goal, enjoying the success, and there won’t be a big letdown looming ahead.
There are No Guarantees in Life
No matter how many or how grand your future plans may be, the biggest X factor is that you don’t know how much time you will have in your life. That doesn’t mean you should live your life in mortal fear that you may die tomorrow or worry endlessly that some type of catastrophe will occur, but if you spend all your time waiting to achieve your plans, you may regret not having enjoyed the life you have right now.
We all know or have heard of someone whose life was cut short way too soon. Recently, it was Kobe Bryant, his 13 year old daughter and seven others. Learn to enjoy the present, make realistic goals, take joy in achieving these goals, and be more conscious this year to focus on living and enjoying each day as it comes.