What are your goals for the next year of your life? What about five years from today?
With goals for our future, we’re better equipped to avoid the minor distractions of daily life and ignore what isn’t important or doesn’t provide our lives with some kind of value. Goals fill us with a sense of purpose and intention, and they help guide our decisions, actions, and behaviors. For these reasons, setting and achieving goals is a powerful way to improve our lives.
“Without goals, you are living reactively, letting life push you around. With goals, you can live a proactive life, steering toward a destination. You know where your path is supposed to lead.” ~ J.D. Roth
But with a constant focus on creating our future (better) selves, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of self-improvement that leaves us feeling perpetually unsatisfied with the person we are today. While we’re focused on the next thing we want to change, we ignore all the progress we’ve already made and everything we’ve accomplished. There’s a nagging feeling inside us that something isn’t quite right, that we haven’t yet done enough or aren’t quite good enough.
Instead of filling us with hope for the future, our dreams have left us feeling unfulfilled…
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ~ Buddha
We should all seek to improve and become better people, but at some point we need to take a moment out of our busy lives to just be. To stop, look around, and reflect upon our accomplishments. Our days needn’t be spent in an endless struggle for improvement. Our purpose in this world isn’t to toil and struggle everyday … even if doing so makes us a “better” person.
Sometimes we need to take a break from the personal development treadmill to accept ourselves for who we are and be grateful for our lives just as they are … as imperfect as it all might be … to remind ourselves just how fortunate we are. Instead of paying attention to the flaws, focus on all of the good things life has to offer; the things that bring you joy and make you smile when you think about them, the things that make you feel proud of yourself, and the things that remind you how important you are.
“The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is.” ~ Desiderius Erasmus
In our quest for self-improvement, we become so focused on making our lives better that we fail to appreciate all that we have, often forgetting about those whose with lives less fortunate than our own. Be appreciative for the life you have and be proud of who you are. The best person you can be is the person you are … and chances are, you’re already good enough.