If there’s one thing that pushes entrepreneurs, it’s the desire to do more. To be more. To achieve more. To reach new levels and make the impossible possible.
While this type of drive is commendable and largely responsible for the many advancements we enjoy day to day in our business lives, the problem is that this unrelenting pursuit of always being better has the ability to zap our happiness. After all, by always striving to reach higher levels, we’re subconsciously telling ourselves that where we are now isn’t okay. We begin to believe that we can’t be happy until we reach our final destination.
Certainly, when you’re able to accomplish the magnificent, mind-blowing things that you’ve set out to do, you should be happy…ecstatic, really! But why wait until then before appreciating all that you do? Why not start being happy now?
The Fear of Being Happy Now
I think that sometimes we’re afraid to let ourselves be happy in the moment for fear that we’ll become complacent in our work and not do what is necessary to hit our ultimate goals. By depriving ourselves of feelings of joy until later then, we feel that we will push ourselves harder, not stopping until we’ve reached the one or two major things we’ve specifically set out to do.
However, I submit that you can have both. You can have happiness (or at least contentedness) now and happiness later, all without sacrificing whatever it is you want out of your career. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the journey will be much more enjoyable if you let yourself celebrate each step versus waiting until you arrive at your final destination before allowing yourself to feel the joy that your work can bring. How can you have immediate joy without sacrificing future goals?
Stay In the Present
One of the most effective ways to achieve immediate happiness is to stay in the present. Sure, you can and should plan for the future, but you should also take the time to appreciate what is in front of you right now.
For instance, instead of driving to work on auto-pilot, actually take the time to look around you. Take in the scenery of the homes and landscapes in your neighborhood and town or city and appreciate them for the beauty they hold. Or, when you’re sitting in your office, take a few minutes to just look around and be thankful for all of the things that you’ve accomplished and earned thanks to your hard work and effort.
It may sound kind of corny, but the more blessed you feel, the more blessed you become. You start to notice all of the wonderful things in your life right this moment, providing you a little more peace as you set out to make your mark on the world in your professional life.
Continue to Set Goals
And if you’re worried about becoming stagnant by feeling more content with where you are right now, don’t be. Simply continue to set goals to get where you want to be and you’ll keep progressing.
To put it into perspective, it’s like taking a cross country road trip from Maine to California. While California may be your final destination, who says you can’t enjoy all of the states that lie in between? You can and should, as this is where life actually occurs.
Besides, it’d be a shame to make the trip without allowing yourself to experience the landscape until you reached your destination. As long as you put miles under your tires every day, you’ll still get where you want to go.
So take the time to look out the window and enjoy your ride. You never know when it will end.
I’m always interested in learning other small business owners’ thoughts on relevant topics and issues, so if you have a comment or unique article idea, feel free to contact me at [email protected] (put “Businessing Magazine” in the subject line, please). If I use it, it’s a free link to your website!