Many people think if they could only reach success that their life would somehow be better. They live by “if onlys” (if only I had a better job, if only I had a bigger house, if only I had a different spouse). Even worse, they tie their happiness to this future goal of success, refusing to be happy now, before their goals are reached.
Somehow this magical pinnacle they refer to as success is some far away dream or goal that keeps them mired in the day-to-day smallness that never lets them break out of their unhappiness.
I have also had this way of thinking be a part of my life, but once I realized that it was backwards, my life changed dramatically. I have reached several lofty goals I set for myself. Interestingly, my life was not miraculously different when those dreams became reality. So I wondered, what makes people think an external item in their life will automatically make it better or different?
The Game Is An Inner Game
When we set goals, there is a determination that drives us towards those goals. The motivation is often that our lives will change for the better. This fuels many people to keep going when times get tough to keep going towards the successful achievement of that goal.
In reality, the motivation needs to come from within. It needs to be a burning desire to complete the goal, not for the external satisfaction or rewards it may bring, but for the internal peace and satisfaction that you feel. The gratitude and completeness that you feel even being able to have the opportunity to strive for the goal should be what drives you forward.
“Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee
One of the things I noticed about myself was that sometimes when I achieved what I set out to do I often had a feeling of being let down afterwards. This is sometimes referred to as the “day after Christmas” syndrome. This is because there is so much excitement leading up to Christmas day and then once the gifts are opened, the meals are eaten and the guests are gone, we are left with the cleanup and life goes back to normal.
It is the same with achieving certain goals. Let’s say you had a goal to purchase a new car. You’ve worked extra hours, you’ve saved your money, you’ve made sacrifices, dreaming of the day you get to sit in those leather seats. The day finally arrives! You are driving around in your brand new car and for a little while, it feels great. Then slowly you start to realize your life is still the same. Nothing else has changed. You have the same problems and life issues as before the car came into your life.
Enjoy The Journey Along The Way
The key to achieving true success, and along with it, true happiness, is to actually make the pursuit of the goal the fun part, not reaching the final destination. That’s just the icing on the cake. The planning, the extra work, the challenges, all of the things making up the pursuit are the real success.
How you got there is the ultimate achievement. Live for the here and now. That is the best way to achieve success.
“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.” – Carl Rogers
How are you making sure you enjoy the journey while finding a way to reach your destination? Let us know by commenting below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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