Whether you are still striving towards a goal or you’re feeling like all ambition has dissolved there’s something important to keep in mind each day to keep you from going nuts.
Our personal world and the worlds of each person around us seems to be polarised into those two camps at the moment.
1) There’s the old way of striving towards a dream, a goal, an ambition or a vision. You set a picture in your mind of what you want in the future. Sometimes you strive towards it because someone else has it and you think they look happier than you. Other times you strive towards it because you have a deeper purpose behind it… and of course that purpose will make you happier than you are now, right?
2) There’s a new sensation which more and more people are experiencing. Don’t freak out if it’s not hit you yet. Each of us gets there in our own time. A bit like a child hitting 4 feet height. It’ll happen when it’s ready to happen and no one is going to hurry it along. This new way of “being” is where those goals and ambitions you were striving for seem to be dissolving like an oasis on the horizon. You question whether they were ever there in the first place. You question why you were heading in that direction. And, the most scary thing of all you wonder, if you are no longer striving for that ambition then, where are you meant to be heading?
Both of these camps are struggling right now. We are so used to striving forward toward something and putting our focus on the future, we’ve forgotten to appreciate where we stand right now.
It’s a bit like deciding to go for a walk in the morning around your neighbourhood. Do you walk it while keeping focussed on “Man, won’t it be great when I get to the end!” ?
No. Not really. Not even when you’re power walking. Most of the time you go for a walk to get some fresh air, give your head some space, stretch your legs, have some time out.
Yet, while we’re walking we consistently fill our brain full of thoughts. We stew on what’s happened in the past and we plan or worry about what’s in the future.
You’ve heard the saying “Stop and smell the roses.” Have you ever done that?
I have and people look at me like I’m the one who’s nuts.
A few say “Oh! You REALLY ARE smelling the roses.” and laugh as if it’s a bit of a joke that I took the advice literally.
Yet, when things are feeling overwhelming, it’s the smartest thing to do.
Russell Brand wrote a beautiful article on escaping Heroin addiction which I think I’ve mentioned before in this blog. His advice was simple. Take it one day at a time. Look after yourself for one day only and celebrate when you get to the end of the day. If you somehow fail that day, just forgive yourself and start again looking after yourself tomorrow.
The same applies to the morning walk. One step at a time. Open your senses. Smell the roses. Feel the temperature of the air in your nose. Hear the children play. See the birds. Each of us has a different neighbourhood of course, but you get the idea.
For the number one camp who are still striving for goals: look at where you are now. See how far you’ve come in the past few years. Appreciate what you’ve got and know someone else in the world has less of whatever it is you have. Feel good about the fact that today you can take a little step towards that goal and that’s one step closer than you were yesterday.
For the number two camp who are feeling like a kite without a string: feeling grounded in the present moment is the best thing you can do. Give up your fears and worries – they are SOOO last epoch! An old habit we are really sick of using. Simply do what’s on the schedule for the day, but also, take pleasure in reaching out to someone, expressing yourself, finding something that makes you laugh. As you ease your stress and worries you will free up the creative part of your mind and find inspiration for that new direction, be it in a new project or job; or simply in a new way you live each day. Be open to that.
Know that everything is going to be fine and when you lose the question “Are we there yet?” the journey becomes a whole lot more enjoyable and stimulating.