From a very young age, we learn that we must continually strive to achieve things. Good grades, lasting friendships, sports awards which then turn into successful jobs, nice cars, happy relationships and good incomes. We’re often so busy trying to reach for the next goal that we don’t stop to enjoy the ride.
Think of something that you’re trying to achieve right now. However big or small it is, ask yourself what the outcome will be if you succeed. Sure, you’ll be satisfied and feel a sense of accomplishment but is it something you truly want or just another thing to add to your list? The traditional model goes like this: we first achieve something, which is followed by success, which then leads to happiness and fulfillment. This is what society teaches us – that our happiness lays outside of us. We rely on our external environment to make us happy. Our circumstances, our jobs, our relationships all determine the extent of our satisfaction.
How about reversing this model and beginning with happiness and fulfillment from the start? Become secure on the inside rather than reaching for external things to bring us contentment. Your experience of life doesn’t come from the outside, but rather on a deeper, more fulfilled level. Rather than travel around the world just to tick it off your list, do it only if it’s something you truly want to do. Choose jobs that you really enjoy. If you’re happy already, money will come to you because you’re not grasping and finding a job that you think is prestigious or respected in the community. Do what you love and you won’t need to be motivated to go to work. You’ll look forward to coming back from vacation because you’re aligned with your passion. Know that you’ll be happy regardless, and then you will make very different choices from this place. You won’t feel like you’re trapped in the system or as some people say in a sarcastic tone, “Living the Dream”. You can start to create the life you want because you’re not looking outside of yourself to find happiness – it comes from within.