How do we balance the desire for a better future with the joy of living our best life today?
I’ve been struggling with this question for the last few days because I wasn’t able to work out how to live joyfully today while still having goals I’d like to achieve in the near or distant future.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to talk to Kyle Spyrides, author of “Decide your Destiny” about this very thing and he helped me make a bit more sense of it.
I’m pretty sure that most of my goals came from a desire to improve whatever I thought was “not good enough” – either myself or my life.
But my conversation with Kyle highlighted something important for me. In the past, I’ve lived a life disconnected from myself – I ate and drank to numb negative feelings or enhance positive feelings. I went shopping to alleviate boredom and fill the gaping void I felt but couldn’t name, and I set goal after goal also in an effort to make myself feel as though things were going as planned.
I thought I was on the right track because I had so many aspirational goals but really I was asleep at the wheel. How do I know? Because I’ve since discovered that there’s a part of me that’s always at ease, a part of me that can weather tough stuff, find the calm in the storm and generally recognise that life goes where it goes and none of it is that big a deal when you zoom out far enough.
That part of me can quite easily recognise and express joy.
Where previously I tried to shape my life to minimise the discontent I felt as a result of being disconnected from that part of myself, the only way I knew to do it was to try and “fix” what I could feel was broken.
Now I see that the key is really to unite the part of me that’s easily unsettled with the part of me that knows calm and ease. From there my goals are less likely to disguise themselves as aspirations while really being self judgements and dissatisfactions.
When you’re already joyful about the life you live, the goals you set take on a different shape – and the process of achieving them changes shape too. This is the perfect time to delve into this lesson as I begin to shape my goals for the year ahead.
For the first time, I feel settled as I think about the things I’ll achieve this year, happy in the knowledge that each day I’m waking up a little bit more and finding a little bit more peace.