We are surrounded by benchmarks for success: sales goals, profit goals, world records, you name it. So it’s not that unusual to say to yourself, “As soon as I ____________ (fill in the blank), I’ll be successful and happy.” As common as this is, it might not be the best way to approach your life.
Many of us have one simple goal: be the best at what we do. Once I’m the best, then I’ll be successful. Once I’m the best, then I’ll celebrate. Once I’m the best, then I’ll be happy. Well, what does it take to be the best? What does it take to feel accomplished, to feel valuable, to be happy? What does it take to be thankful for who you are?
How many A’s do you need?
How many soccer, football, basketball or tennis games do you need to win?
How many friends do you need to have?
How much money do you need to make?
How many sales records do you need to break?
How many books do you need to write?
How many children do you need to have?
How many houses do you need to own?
How many true loves do you need to meet?
How many scientific discoveries do you need to reveal?
How many paintings do you need to paint?
How many patients do you need to treat?
How many marathons do you need to run?
Think back to those times when you achieved the goal you were striving toward. Did you feel thankful? Did you celebrate? Did you feel happy? How long did that feeling last? Years? Months? Days? Hours? Minutes? How quickly did it take before you shifted back to feeling unaccomplished, unworthy and unhappy? How long before you set the next goal, the next benchmark, the next, “as soon as I BLANK”?
Goals can be a great motivator, but the danger lies in setting achievement-based goals as benchmarks for self-worth and happiness.
What does it take to celebrate you? When you appreciate who you are and what you have, you may be surprised how much inner pease this will bring. You may feel more excited, work may become more fulfilling, and the love and friendships surrounding us might feel more nourishing
What if we stop relying on reaching our achievement-based goals for happiness, and instead be thankful for who we are. Would we be more productive, more creative, and more joyful?
There’s only one way to find out. Try it! Be thankful and celebrate yourself this holiday and every day.
My Motto: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!