I am known for my patience. To be specific, my lack of patience. For 27 years I have struggled to be happy with where I am.
Whether it’s career-wise, emotionally, physically, financially etc. I have always found something wrong. Always. I do not think there is an all-perfect being who is happy or satisfied with where they are and wants to stay there forever. As Pam’s grandmother said, “I wouldn’t care to live if that was the case” (If you don’t know this reference, watch The Office episode where Pam and Jim get married). As harsh as that may sound it’s my reality and I think it might be for some of you. And you want to know something? It’s fine. I mean, it’s really fine.
Why Am I Like This?
If you really think about it’s not totally ALL our fault. At a very young age, we’re taught that being successful is the key to success. Yeah, it’s annoying. Get good grades, you’ll be on the honor roll, honor roll leads to valedictorian, valedictorian leads to the best college, good grades lead to good jobs (apparently), and so on and so forth. It’s never-ending and not necessarily true.
Now there’s nothing wrong with striving for the next best thing and achieving your goals. I think issues arise when you don’t enjoy your success. For example, you had a breakthrough in therapy. That is a huge accomplishment that took a lot of work. You put in the time and worked through something that was probably uncomfortable. And now you’re thinking “Okay great! On to the next.” Wait, what? You just had this amazing breakthrough and you don’t want to relish in it a little bit? Give yourself a pat on the back?! Treat yourself to a nice dinner? Something?! My favorite is when other people try to rush through your own success. It’s usually unintentional but still affects us.
Here’s a funny one.
I graduated from college in May of 2014 with a bachelor’s in communications and concentration in public relations. On the day of graduation, I quickly got dressed and did my makeup because I overslept by an hour. Piled in my roommate’s car and drove to our commencement ceremony. I was bursting at the seams with excitement. 4 years of hard work; all-nighters, study sessions and lots of crying. I was done, I was finally done. When my name was called, I walked across the stage shook the university president’s hand and the dean handed me my diploma. I was on cloud nine. Shortly after the ceremony at my graduation party, I was chatting with a family member and he said: “So when are you going to graduate school?” ARE YOU SERIOUS? I literally graduated two hours ago…this couldn’t have waited a day, a week, a month, a year! Let me enjoy this moment. I laughed and said, “I don’t know.” Because at the time I didn’t know. You have to admit it’s a little funny. I accomplish this great thing but we’re immediately thinking about what’s next.
Attaching Happiness To A Goal
How many times have you said “Things will be better when I… lose weight” OR “I’ll be happy when I… get this promotion.” Attaching your happiness to a goal can be a little problematic. I know Einstein states “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.”
I know Einstein states “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.”
I don’t agree with Einstein. Not completely. Setting goals is important, it helps us take the necessary actions we need to achieve our desires. We are so happy when we achieve our goals, but that happiness tends to be temporary. Then you move on to the next goal as I explained above, and because of that you’ll never be “happy” no matter how much you accomplish because there’s always something else to achieve that will make you “happier.” It gets even dicier when you attach your sense of worth to those goals. Your goals do not have a direct relationship with your worth as a person.
So Now What?
What if we took a loving approach to accomplish our goals? It would make the process a lot more pleasant, as well as remove the controlling nature we may have once had to achieve goals in the past.
I’d be a hypocrite if I told you that I was practicing this 24/7. I am a work in progress. For example, in regards to my wellness and weight goals I was attaching my happiness to my end goal of losing x amount of weight and toning up. Putting a lot of pressure on myself and creating a not so great environment for me to succeed. The moment I inserted the tiniest bit of love into the situation, I felt a little shift. I’m starting to enjoy the process, and I’m learning a lot about what works for me and what doesn’t. I wasn’t able to see that when I put this immense sense of pressure and urgency on myself.
So, I challenge you (and myself!) to approach your goals with love and reality.
Truthfully Yours, Dahlia