There is a crowded little island that everyone in the world has been to several times, including you and me – and it’s called “Someday”.
It’s so appealing that many people who go there never return.
“Someday I’ll have the family, house, luxury car and 2 dogs and then I’ll be happy. Someday this current misery will end, the venture capitalists will understand my genius and I’ll figure out what I really want, and then I’ll be happy. Someday I’ll retire financially independent – just wait and see – I’ll be really happy then.”
The problem with living on this island is that you don’t appreciate today, even though we don’t even know if we’ll make it to tomorrow. We focus on the goal as the means of fulfillment: the thing, answer or solution which has the power to give us happiness.
Fulfillment is not something you can get or own. It’s something you can be. It is always available, every day, by living according to what you value most. Achieving goals can be very satisfying but living a life on purpose, on the path toward the goal is fulfilling as well.
For example, if your goal is to live in Mexico when you retire, start taking a Spanish class. Read novels written by Mexican writers. Research their art, history and culture. Learn to cook Mexican food. If you can afford it, go there to explore and find the community where you’ll want to live.
It isn’t necessarily the big pleasures that bring the most happiness, sometimes it’s doing the small stuff.
Have breakfast in bed. Walk on the beach at sunset. Hug your children. Kiss your partner behind the ear. Find a long lost friend. Take that class you’ve always wanted to take. Spend an hour at the bookstore. Plant flowers in your garden. Give someone a compliment and make their day. Look up at the stars on a clear night.
Remember – “life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.” (anonymous)
So, get off the island of Someday and go do the small stuff today. What’s on your list?
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies.
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