We should all have dreams and a vision for the future. They may stimulate us, keep us inspired, and encourage us to take risks. So what happens if we fall short of our goals? What happens if you wake up in the midst of your life and discover that you haven’t accomplished the goals you had for yourself?
You would have had to scrape me off the floor if you had attempted to show me a picture of my life 15 years ago. There would have been a lot of nasty sobbing and astonishment. So I’m happy I missed that memo. Nonetheless, I’m surprisingly content with how my life is going right now. Frankly, I’m happier than simply alright.
Dreams vs. Real Life
When I was in my twenties and deep into my postgraduate psychology studies, my desire was to get my Ph.D. and work as a psychology professor at a prestigious institution located far from my own little nation. I also had aspirations of finishing an Ironman and running the Boston Marathon.
In a few years, I had dropped to a master’s degree, completed a half Ironman, and was employed by a corporation. And even though most people still consider them to be wonderful accomplishments, I felt discouraged and disappointed. I had goals, but I fell short of them. Failure and mediocrity were all I could see with my eyes.
Finally, I started to understand what was really essential in my thirties after learning about ideas like reducing and calm, mindful living. And I made the most unexpected discovery. Despite my unfulfilled aspirations, I experience a profound, unwavering delight most days. In actuality, this delight exists not merely in spite of, but precisely because of my realized aspirations.
I am happy because I understand that I am precisely where I am supposed to be. But also because of the six things I regularly do to generate greater pleasure and practice acceptance.
I am grateful
I make an effort to be grateful every day. Nevertheless, there’s a trap. I try to keep things straightforward. It’s not always the standard nighttime list; sometimes, it’s just a fleeting idea during an active day. It’s not necessary to dedicate a whole 20 minutes to thankfulness practice. Sometimes having a thankful heart is simply a feeling. It’s the sensation I have when I hear my 5-year-contagious old’s laughter or when I see an eagle swooping over the paddocks while out riding.
It’s simple to give into animosity when we haven’t succeeded in realizing our aspirations. Gratitude increases our sense of self-worth, which helps us feel less resentful. As we turn our attention away from anger and jealousy, the route from gratitude to joy opens up.