Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you so desperately wanted a certain outcome you could see it, feel it, and practically live it in your mind?
Be it a promotion, relationship, or a purchase – we think ahead to how wonderful life will be once we have “x.” It’s a natural and uniquely human ability to visualize our futures in this way. It’s how we set goals and progress as a society.
It’s also how we defeat ourselves. When we spend too much time daydreaming about the future, we develop attachments to the perfect vision in our minds – of how things should be. And we create stories around these ideas, sometimes clinging to them desperately. We can even deny the truth right in front of us. And when the story proves false and the illusion crashes down, reality hits so much harder.
So whats the answer? How can we look ahead to set goals and work toward preferred outcomes but not get so hung up on this perfect vision that the inevitable failures in life don’t crush us?
I think the answer is this: Acceptance that whatever happens is a gift. An opportunity to learn and grow.
Let things be they are. Don’t let yourself get too attached to an idea or outcome of which you have little control. We can only control ourselves. – our thoughts and actions. We fail & flail when we refuse to accept that everything else is truly out of our control.
Much of my life in recent years has centered on goals, productivity, and personal growth. In doing this type of work, I can get caught up in creating perfect storylines and outcomes. It drives me forward but, nothing can ever turn out as perfect as we imagine it. Sometimes it never works out at all. Any time I’ve become too attached to any one outcome, it has caused pain. Unfortunately, it’s a lesson I keep having to learn.
So, yes! Set goals, visualize them, but then come back to the present. Work hard to set yourself up for the best outcome but take what life gives you and let go of what it does not. Learn from it all.
The Define My Day Impact
It’s easy to develop attachments to the perfect visions of our wants and needs, especially when focusing on personal growth. That doesn’t serve us well at all. For that reason, mindfulness is baked into each page of Define My Day with a daily reminder to appreciate what we have today.
Follow the process. Mistakes will be made but the act of bringing your attention back to today’s priorities will eventually become easier.
Look forward. Set a goal. Bring your attention back to the present and do what needs to be done today.