Are you aware that rushing toward a goal is a sublimated death wish? It’s no coincidence we call them ‘deadlines’. – Tom Robbins
It’s time to practice mindfulness, guys!
Have you ever noticed that sometimes it seems that you don’t exist in the present moment? I often find myself dreaming about the future and impatiently waiting for it to come. It seems that once you get what you want or what you lack now, your true life will finally begin. For example, once you quit your job and start your own business, there will be no boss hovering above you anymore and you’ll have a lot of free time to spend with your family, which means that you’ll instantly become much happier. But that moment never comes, because once you start your own business, you understand that it takes even more time than your previous job, and that’s why you set a new long-term goal somewhere in the distant future. Achievement of this goal will make you relieved and you will finally feel free and relaxed. There will be no rushing through life anymore. You’ll be able to do whatever you want.
But it’s a trap. You’re running in circles: you set a goal, then it turns out that this is not enough, and you set a new one, then a new one, then…
…let’s break the circle and find out how to stop rushing through life and enjoy every moment of it.
How to stop rushing through life with help of mindfulness
Reconsider your goals
Maybe you don’t actually need to go to the place you think you want to reach. Yes, it’s a metaphor. It means that sometimes we get so influenced by society, and social media in particular, that we no longer know what is truly important for us, for our souls.
Review your goals, your desires, and maybe you will find out that some of them are not actually yours. They may be goals and desires of your parents, your friends, people you follow on social media. In fact, they can be not even their goals but once again, things imposed on them by the society. So, maybe you don’t need to become a TOP manager of an international company, so you don’t need to take extra work and worry too much about your promotion or results which are not good enough; maybe you don’t need to own a posh car; you don’t need luxury goods; you don’t even need to buy a new iPhone…there are so many things we don’t actually need, but we keep pursuing them because they are “trendy” and “cool.” Owning those material things will not make you cool if you aren’t. And by being cool I mean having a strong personality. And having a strong personality means knowing exactly what you need and what you simply don’t need.
So, if you review your goals and find out that you don’t need half of the things you wanted before, you will be able to reach your REAL goals faster because you’ll start spending your resources wisely.
Be present in every moment
Focus on what you are doing. Try to notice everything that is going on around you. Notice the sounds, the color of the sky, the beauty of nature. Be present here and now. Be aware. Practice mindfulness. Be mindful.
Drag yourself out of thinking about the past as soon as you notice your thoughts wandering there. Don’t let this swamp suck you in. Past is just a memory, illusion, it’s a hallucination in your “here and now”. You can’t use your past to achieve your goals because that time is gone. All you really have is the present moment. Use it wisely, don’t procrastinate. Read how to stop procrastination here.
Don’t live in the future
Dreaming about the future and imagining what your life will be like when you achieve your goals can be a good thing driving you towards success. However, be cautious. Don’t let these thoughts waste your time. You can use every present moment to get closer to your goal or you can just keep dreaming about it. What’s more effective? Don’t live in the future. You can dream about the future for about 5 minutes a day to remind yourself what you are working for. It’s enough. Then get back to work. Enjoy the process. The present moment will never return. Appreciate your present.
Set interim goals
While having a huge goal – the goal of your life – is inspiring, having smaller interim goals is absolutely necessary to keep you going forward. Interim goals may be steps on your way to the big goal, or they may be side-goals not really connected to the big goal: something you would like to achieve in the process.
Whenever you achieve an interim goal, reward yourself. Treat yourself. Be proud of yourself for your progress. Moving towards your goals you develop new skills, you practice persistence, you test your willpower. Don’t take it for granted. Appreciate yourself for the work you do every day.
Make time for what makes you happy
It’s often said that people make time for what they want and who they want to make time for. But sometimes we sacrifice things that matter for other things, because we think that our families or our desire to spend time the way we want can wait. But the truth is that there may be no better time for it. For example, when you’re 60, you finally have free time and your children are grown-ups, you will probably have much less desire to travel. So make time for what makes you happy in the present. Don’t postpone your dreams as “the right time” may never come and all you’ll be left with is regret.
Make use of the principle of least effort
It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to do your best. It means that you shouldn’t be too extra. You shouldn’t attach too much value to whatever you’re doing. It mustn’t be the end of the world for you if something doesn’t go as planned. Do the best you can but don’t be extra. You’ve probably noticed that all natural processes in the world run smoothly. Nature doesn’t seem too bothered or exhausted because of its work. Neither should you.
If circumstances change, don’t fight them – adjust. Sometimes you may not understand God’s plan for you’re only a human. You can’t control everything in this world. Accept all gifts given by the Universe to you even if you don’t recognize them as gifts at first. After all, when you decide to follow your dream, events will start moving in your favor. If they don’t, maybe the goal you think you want to reach is not actually yours. Then return to step one and reconsider your goals. Ask yourself what brings you joy and what you’d like to do in life.
Leave room for spontaneity
Having a clear action plan is really helpful when moving towards your goal. However, the need to constantly follow this plan can start driving you crazy. Therefore, for mindfulness, you should leave room for spontaneity in your life. As I said before, accept all gifts given to you by the Universe, be ready to alter your plan.
Let yourself have days without any schedule at all. Days when you can relax and enjoy every single moment fully without the need to keep in mind your upcoming plans for that day.
Enjoy the little things
The simplest, yet sometimes the hardest thing to do. Because of the impact social media makes, we are somewhat trained to always desire more. I suggest you forget about material things for a moment and remember what other precious things you have in life. Maybe it’s your family, your dog, your cat, your hobby, nature, good living conditions (even if you think they are not good enough, they may still be better than someone else’s). Don’t take for granted the little things which make you luckier than other people.
Spend more time in nature
Nature soothes and heals. Make time for walks in beautiful places and admire the grandeur of nature. You don’t have to rush. Relax and clear your mind. Be present here and now.
Find your purpose in life
Living without a purpose is like wandering in darkness. You keep stumbling upon different things, some of which you don’t even need. You need to see clearly to understand what you don’t need and find your true purpose.
Without a purpose you can’t know what is “enough” for you. You’ll just keep setting new goals which may not even be yours. Make sure you don’t copy anyone you know. Their path is their path, and you have your own. Ask yourself what it is that you like doing most? How can your hobby help others? (Not necessarily people. You may want to help animals.)
The sooner you stop adopting other people’s life patterns, the sooner you start living YOUR dream life. Read about the 12 things I wish I stopped sooner to find out if you can relate and better understand yourself.
Live your life now! Stop rushing through life! Don’t wait until you’re 30 or 40, and you have many more material things; don’t wait until your children grow up and you can start doing what you want; don’t wait till the right moment comes. When you are older, you may have all those material things but you’ll have so much less time. You may think that you’ll finally have “free time” when you are older, but you may not have enough desire or good health. The right moment is now! If you found this article among so many Internet web pages, the Universe is trying to tell you something through it. Don’t ignore its message if you want to have less regrets when you’re older.
Don’t lose YOURSELF in the hustle!
See a related blogpost – Inspirational Quotes for Going Through Hard Times.