“The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes
It is funny how people aspire towards things as an end goal and associate that with happiness and contentment:
“When I achieve that, I’ll be happy.”
“I’ll know when I get there because I’ll feel good.”
“I’ve just got to focus on that and when I achieve it, I won’t have to do anything else because I’ll be content with life.”
If we dissect these scenarios, we can see that while they are positive affirmations towards something, life is not just about achieving a goal and then all of a sudden we can just sit back on the shelf to watch the world go by. The real viewpoint - or goal aspiring aspect - is the journey and process towards the results you are aiming for.
As well as that, it is far more rewarding and satisfying to enjoy the journey towards our desires than holding off on our happiness until we get to said goal. The process takes so much of our time versus the relatively small amount of euphoric cheering at the end - surely it makes sense to feel that joy on our quest toward our desired goals? What rulebook states we cannot allow ourselves the emotion of joy until we are at the point of achievement? Why would we deny ourselves a positive emotion that helps to put a smile on our faces every single day as we travel in the direction of the desired status? It seems like complete and utter madness.
When it comes to thinking about the actions to take place in relation to our goals, it’s important to know that no matter what, general consensus is that we move forwards. We cannot turn back time and we cannot undo what has been done. You cannot even stand still as the passage of time does not allow us to do so. By the time you have read that sentence, you have already moved forwards in time without you even being conscious of it. To dwell on past circumstances, events and situations simply means even more lost time in moving towards our goals and aspirations. Don’t get me wrong, reminiscing and learning from past events is extremely important - it is not the same as dwelling on things and wishing past situations were or were not the same as they are.
When people feel confused and full of self-doubt, this is often helped along by the questioning of abilities, capabilities and capacities to do what it is that they would really like to do but are stopped by the brick wall of fear. These things are dragged up by using the searching tools of criticism and disbelief through past events and what happened before and linking similar scenarios to a potential new journey. By using the mentality of dwelling, it picks up old habits, views and thoughts, however, using searching tools of reflection, acknowledgement and acceptance helps to look at those same past events and pull from them the learnings to help you achieve greater and more satisfying events ahead. Learn from your past. Don’t live in it or repeat it; you already know what happens if you repeat it.
So do reminisce on past events and remember yourself in the present moment of time because right now, you are the most experienced you have ever been. Remember that moving forwards is such a powerful and amazing thing and the journey is to be enjoyed, not endured. The more difficult the journey, the more important it is to embrace it.
You can’t change the past and you can only have an influence on the future. Make the present an enjoyable journey and make sure you do enjoy it.
Often, people need a little help to get started on that right mindset. If you feel this is you, then please contact me via my website (quoting this article) and we can have a chat about what that might look like for you.
© YMR Coaching & Development
Yvonne has qualifications in Coaching, Positive Psychology, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and believes in continual personal development. She is currently based in the UK and also has life and work experience in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. She helps with mindset wellbeing and change which includes significant relocations. She is contactable for client availability, public speaking events and media enquiries here: https://www.ymrcoaching.com/helpful-links