I live five years in the future. It takes real concentration for me to be present. I’m the stereotypical Type A, over-achiever, over-thinker, perfectionist you probably hated in high school and cannot stand in your workplace. Okay that’s harsh. I’ve calmed down a lot over the years. I’m fun, I swear.
I’ve learned to embrace this about myself. And how to manage the aggressive pursuit of my goals so that I can enjoy life and enjoy the process. Career oriented people are always focused on the “what’s next” in life – as we should be. We should always have an idea of the direction we want to be heading and how we’re going to get there. But what happens when you reach your goals? what happens when you get where you want to be?
I did my research (typical Type A behaviour) and my favourite finding came from Raj Raghunathan. He wrote a book called, “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?” Basically, most of us believe that if we reach our goals, we’ll be happy. In reality, we reach our goals, and there are still mountains to climb, more objectives to overcome, always something we could be doing next. Instead of pushing happiness off until we meet our goals, we should be enjoying the process and letting ourselves bask in the journey.
For the first time in life, I’m perfectly happy where I’m at. I don’t want to get complacent, but I also don’t think I need to have a perfectly defined next step. I’m doing something each day to define who I am and where I’m going. I trust that eventually, when I’m ready, that will evolve into an amazing “what’s next”.