Just because the old adage tells us that life is about the journey doesn’t mean most folks reflect that bit of wisdom. Instead, we focus on the end result of what we desire rather than honoring the process. We look to big dates on our calendar – the vacation, the high school reunion, the family wedding – to begin paying attention to the present.
We get so hung up on the end result that we lose sight of the fact that the juice of loving our life and being happy is in the process. This is especially prevalent during the time of self-quarantining. Because we just want to get THERE at the end of this. And I totally understand.
Researchers from Harvard found in their research on happiness , that our mind’s inability to be present actually causes us to be unhappy.
Yet, the truth of the matter, darling, is this: focusing on an exact desired result is a surefire way to never quite feel at home in your own skin.
It’s a cycle that traps us – an if-then way of looking at life. It’s like waiting to buy new clothes until you lose weight, or believing you’ll finally feel successful when you finish that novel you’ve been wanting to write. So, what happens?
We miss that cute sundress that would look great on us today and make us feel confident in our own skin. Rather than have lunch – or a Zoom Date – with an old college friend we make excuses we haven’t reached our “success” mark. When we could be shining our own unique light, we hide away from the world instead. Just waiting for our Big Moment so we can finally be happy.
Sugarplum, all that focusing on some mythical there, which we may or may not actually reach, is simply not a good way to live.
Please understand that I believe goals are valuable. I believe that you can usher your dreams into your reality. And yes, I believe you need to name and claim your heart’s desires.
Life, however, is inherently uncertain. And these modern days have shown us that. So, opening up to loving the everyday will allow you to love your life and yourself now, not when you reach some specific point in time or goal achieved.
And let’s face it: any kind of change your desire in your life is not going to be an event, it’s also going to be a process. So those goals you are reaching for? Those dreams you want to make come true? Getting there is a process. And the way to get there and be happy while you’re doing it is focusing on the process, not just the end result.
So, how can you re-train your mind to focus on the process of living your life rather than a specific product?
Here are ten ways to help remember that while the end game is important, learning to love the process of living will allow you to love your life now.
- Invest time into getting to know who you really are. Though self-awareness can be challenging at times, it’s the first step in falling in love with the process of living.
- Get clear on your why. All shades of truth around why you are reaching towards a specific goal or dream. Get clear around why a pinnacle date is so important, too.
- Get crystal clear on your personal values.
- Write down your dreams and goals. Putting them to paper shifts our brain towards achieving them. By the way, if for any reason the goal (or important event) isn’t really YOURS, but something you think would make someone else happy, writing it down will clarify that for you.
- Determine how you desire to feel. And make sure your dreams and goals are in alignment with both your values and how you desire to feel.
- Treat your life as if it’s art. When you enhance the quality of your daily life by paying attention to the little things, you’ll be more present. This allows you to better focus on loving the every day moments and recognizing beauty, you will always be happier. This is an instant way to enjoy the process of living rather than striving only for what’s next.
- Choose only one area of your life that you want to focus on shifting. When you try to “fix” too many areas of your life at one time, it scatters your attention.
- Clear your clutter: physical and mental.
- Connect to yourself through daily ritual.
- Set minimum standards for your life. As well as solid boundaries.
You do not have to settle for a life that is less than what you most deeply desire. I know that birthing your big dreams and goals into the world is possible and will lead to happiness. Just remember that all of life is a process, so you may as well celebrate the journey as you go.