I have a confession to make. I was future-focused for far too long. It took some serious introspection to realize that I was draining all of the fun, happiness, and peace of mind out of my own life. I knew from a young age that my purpose in life was to help others discover, embrace and live in complete freedom. And I operated on the same principles, always working towards spiritual, financial and time freedom. I had a clear picture of my ideal life and I was laser focused on it.
Creating a clearly defined personal vision, mapping out goals that are aligned with that vision, and pursuing your dreams with intense focus, can change your life in amazing ways. It becomes the fuel that gets us through a tough economy; The desire that won’t let us quit, even when the odds are stacked against us; and the resilience needed to make it through unexpected tragedies or events. Your vision, and the goals and actions that follow, ultimately become your foundation. Yet, sometimes that same unshakable focus can lead to complete burnout. Going after your dreams without a balanced mindset can leave you feeling emotionally mentally and physically exhausted.
The constant state of what to do next can have you feeling like you’re always behind as if you’re playing a never-ending game of catch up. On good days, you’ll celebrate and immediately start thinking about how to up the ante, take on more, and reach your goals even faster. But on not-so-good days, you’ll come down hard on yourself – questioning if you’re on the right track and if you have what it takes to really walk out your vision for your life. It’s like a non-stop emotional roller coaster.
Change your mindset
It’s time to replace that pressure-filled way of thinking with a more evolved approach. Instead of being so future-focused and concerned with what you need to get done, start thinking about what you have to give each day. When you retrain your thoughts away from what isn’t right or what is lacking, you open yourself up to focus on what you have to share or contribute. This approach allows you experience satisfaction and fulfillment during the process and not just when you’ve achieved a goal.
There will always be new goals. Striving to be the best is important, but true happiness comes from being present in the moment – not from running yourself into the ground in an attempt to check off one more thing on your to-do list. It’s time to shift your perspective and of course, I’m here to help.
I’ve compiled my top three tips for finding fulfillment in life, right now.
1. Focus on the contribution
Stop focusing on how many milestones are between you and the end goal, that you have set for yourself. Instead, spend your time impacting the lives of others. If you have a product to sell, don’t just focus on how many you sell per day; think about how many lives will be improved when your customers purchase from you. If you offer a service, think about how many people you can positively impact.
When you focus on what you have to contribute right now, it serves as a constant reminder that you are fully capable and effective at this very moment and it releases us from comparing our current state with our future accomplishments.
Stop validating your existence with the number of goals you’ve achieved.
2. Do what you love… right now
We often limit ourselves, by adopting the mindset that we have to reach a certain pinnacle in life to be able to do what we love. It’s time to move away from that future-thinking that says: “I’ll pursue that when the kids get older” or “I’ll figure out how to do that once I complete my degree”; and instead give ourselves permission to explore our personal interests every day. As we open up to the possibility of pursuing our passions right now – no matter how small the gesture – we move the focus from what we hope to experience one day, to what we can enjoy right now; which in turn gets us closer to the long-term success we desire.
3. Have a grateful heart
Being too future-focused strips away our ability to truly appreciate our current situation. When we are more present in the moment, we are able to recognize everything that we already have to be grateful for. With gratitude, we begin to seek out new ways to share our abundance, our abilities and our gifts with others; and we’re less likely to attach our personal joy to future events that haven’t taken place yet; making room for us to change our thinking from “I’ll be happy when…” to “I am happy now”.