In my professional experiences as a coach, as well as my own life journey I’ve seen a particular mindset that often dominates our day-to-day lives. As members of a modern, ambitious and demanding society we have the inclination to go through life with the sense that we are “not quite there yet.” We set goals for ourselves and then along the journey we often forget that WE are the ones who set these goals. We fall into the trap of feeling that only when we realize these goals and other achievements “we will really make it, and then be able to truly relax and enjoy life to its fullest”.
Consider this quote from Fr. Alfred D’souza, which I thoroughly love and resonate with:
“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life”.
The entire “retirement” concept is predicated on this premise – we work extremely hard throughout our life, often sacrificing and neglecting key areas like family, marriage, health and recreation, in order to achieve financial and professional goals that would allow us to get to that stage in life where we can retire and then “truly start doing what we love to do”
We so often equate our material achievements and success with our self-worth. We get caught in the hamster wheel of jealousy and competitiveness, and even when we do reach certain milestones we don’t take the time to appreciate and celebrate what we have accomplished. Instead we move right into the next goal and the rat race continues.
And, lets be honest, the prevalence of social media doesn’t help at all! In fact, it only makes the pressure worse. Instead of only seeing our neighbor’s new car, we are now connected with thousands of “friends” online and seeing how others live their lives. No wonder we often feel like the grass is greener on the other side.
Throughout our prime years as we are working our butts off, we feel like “when we get the next promotion…. close the next deal…. make the next million…buy the house or car of our dream” or “get our children through college” or “married”…. “THEN life will truly be great”. But then when we reach old age we often talk about our life as “the good old days”.
So if throughout our life we feel that “someday” we will start living and then at the prime of our life we feel like “the good old days are behind us”–
When is it our time? When do we ever enjoy today… the moment???
In my next blog I will talk about: “How to get out of this vicious circle”, “How to live with a daily experience of appreciation, accomplishment and counting our blessings” and “How to be in the moment and enjoy the NOW”
I will also share some practical things you can do to sustain that mindset and life experience.