“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers
Have you ever felt a sense of internal conflict about enjoying the present moment while also working toward your dreams?
This is something I revisit over and over, because I know life happens now, and in order to fully live it, I need to accept what’s in front of me and experience it with complete awareness.
Yet I also want to expand, spread my wings, and see just how far I can soar.
A big part of that is visualizing what the future might look like—and then making and following a plan to get there.
This is where it gets tricky: what’s the difference between planning for tomorrow and living for it? What’s the difference between attaching to a possibility in a way that causes us pain, and believing in a possibility in a way that causes us joy?
Obviously, we can’t be happy and present if we’re focused on attracting something bigger and better, and worrying at each step of the process.
Yet we need to feel we’re on a purpose-driven path, growing a little every day—and the best way to measure growth is to set a specific goal and work toward it.
Maybe the key to enjoying the present while enabling the future is to know we’re creating something different without reinforcing to ourselves that it’s also something better.
Obviously, some goals will involve major improvements, like finding a more suitable living situation or finding work that better allows us to take care of ourselves.
But once we’ve secured enough to take care of our needs, and we’re working toward our various wants, perhaps it would serve us well to continually remind ourselves that today doesn’t have to pale in comparison to our potential tomorrow.
Tomorrow might bring a world of exciting new possibilities, but today, wherever we stand on our journey, can be an adventure in itself.
Today we have abundant opportunities to utilize our strengths and passions, do things we enjoy, and connect with people we love—even if we’re simultaneously crossing things off our to-do lists.
We need to have a sense of direction in life, but we can choose not to create stress around arriving. Today is a worthy part of our adventure. If we’re following our purpose, right now, we’re living the dream.
Photo by h.koppdelaney