There is a tendency to think that what we have in this moment is not enough.
From a young age, we are taught to “be someone” when we grow up. To achieve more. To find that elusive happiness in the distant horizon.
It’s quite tempting. That’s how our culture is fascinated with goal setting. To take it one step at a time when achieving something worth mentioning.
There’s nothing wrong with that of course. Everyone needs to be able to improve and learn. Growth is not something to avoid or anything like that.
But, this infatuation with the future can get most of us in trouble. We spend our days making money in order to finally buy that house.
We spend most of our days reading books about leadership to some day become that leader that we all dream to be.
We spend time and money learning about tangible accounting practices to one day be able to take over the company finances.
I’m talking about myself for the most part. I’m not immune to this need to improve. This need to grow. This need to achieve something in the future that I don’t have yet in the present moment.
I read tons of books on sales, negotiations, marketing, and leadership. In hopes of someday being able to successfully lead the family business. It’s my form of hoping to become something that I’m not currently in the present moment.
Is there anything wrong with that? Of course not. It’s what keeps our society going. Everyone needs to improve. To work. To grow. To take action. And to help our society along the way.
It’s just that once in a while, it’s okay to take a step back from viewing that tempting horizon - and appreciate that moment that we are all in at this moment.
Wherever we are. In our homes. Out on the streets. With family. Or living alone. It’s important that we appreciate what we have in the here and now.
It’s a lot of cliché, I know, but it’s important that we don’t get trapped in the mold of constant goal setting. Of hoping for something better to happen down the road.
Once we achieve a goal, it’s on to the next. And the next. And the next.
Without any break or appreciation for what we already have. And despite these troubling times, we still have a lot.
So, it’s important to count our blessings. Even just one or two blessings per day can go a long way towards finding that sense of contentment and peace in life.
It’s okay if we don’t have a productive day here and there. We’re all human. We don’t need to be operating with machine-like efficiency on a 24/7 basis.
It’s okay to take a break. To stop chasing the endless horizon we see to be so close yet so far. It’s okay that we just take a look around us in this world at the beauty in this moment.
Now’s the perfect time to practice. With all the dissension, death, and distress present in the news today, it’s an ideal time to appreciate what we do have (instead of simply focusing on our don’ts).
It’s hard to do. And it’s easy to say that we will be happier in the future - once this whole pandemic blows over. In a couple months. Come summertime. Or by the end of this year. Or when a vaccine is fully formulated and distributed to the community.
It always seems to be some time in the future when everything will be alright. Even with this virus lurking around in our country today, it’s simply not the case.
We can still find joy and peace and happiness in the present moment. Sometimes, we just need to stop and smell the roses around us. We don’t need to wait for an ideal environment to come - before we start truly appreciating and truly be happy.
There’s really no need to be chasing this thing we call happiness. We have everything we all need right here, right now. Happiness is a horizon that we’ll be chasing forever.
We can set goals to achieve states of happiness. But once the goal is achieved, it’s always on to the next - with the temptation of never being satisfied with what we have.
If you want to set goals, improve, dream big, and grow as a human, then the more power to you. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But, there is a way to do all of that, and appreciate what we have in this moment at the same time. If we can do both of this, then we will be truly golden - regardless of the best of times or worst of times that swirl around us.