In this blog we are going to cover the core purpose of this chapter. And it all has to do with living in the future. (sorry on the delay everyone)
When people buy a house it can mean so much. Financial independence, the end of worrying about the future, a family, an easy life, peace, security and many other dreams as well. But is this really what happens?
I had a work mate (let’s call him Dave) who bought a house for all the reasons that everyone buys a house, because he was supposed to… Dave worked two jobs simultaneously over 15 to 20 years of his younger life. During this time his partner left him (as he wasn’t around), he missed most parties and social events during his 20’s and 30’s as he was working to pay off his debt, and in the end his stress gave him high blood pressure. When I first met Dave he would gloat about his ownership for one minute before going on to tell me about how wasteful the youth of today were.
Now this isn’t the case for all home owners though Dave had clearly missed the point. He was sold on the idea that a house meant everything. He talked about freedom, security and having power yet during the whole time I knew him, this was not his reality. The bank still had his house, he was worried about people robbing him and he had given up his social freedom and independence. If this is the great Australian dream please give me a smashed avo anyday!
The Point: Dave was so focused on a goal in the future that he completely missed the only true reality that exists, the present. His goal represented security and independence, though until he actually paid off his loan he lived in stress, isolation, insecurity, anger, frustration and worry. Though this isn’t the worst part of his story, the worst part is that when Dave finally reaches his goal he will do what most others do in this situation. After a week of fishing or going on a holiday he will get bored and set another goal such as setting up his super, buying a beach house, getting a camper van and so forth. He will then become the bitter man once again and his life will always be about chasing the dream and never actually living it.
This story doesn’t just reflect housing. How many of us can’t wait to get to the weekend? That means that we waste 5 out of every 7 days each week PAINFULLY getting though our hopeless existence at our work (I am obviously using a dramatic affect here). How many of us need to plan a holiday to feel meaningful? How many souls are waiting to earn the right amount of money to be satisfied, validated or secure? And how many of us need a lover to feel whole? See, the chase never ends because when we reach our goals we realise that what we truly want isn’t there. And although we can sometimes feel satisfied with our achievements, it never lasts. Therefore we spend most of our lives living for a future and never living our truth (pause for dramatic effect).
Setting future goals is fine. It’s a natural part of living in the 9 to 5 world. Yet many Eastern ideals focus on the present and see our plans for the future as being the basis of ego and suffering. Yet if this is true then how do we combine a reality of a life full of goals with the knowledge that we need to live in the present?
It’s an old saying though it’s one that’s very prevalent to this discussion. Life is about the journey, not the destination. If we can only feel happiness, satisfaction, worthiness, control, security and/or love at the end of the rainbow, then obviously our whole life will be chasing the dream. And although this constant yearning for something more can satisfy our surface needs, it doesn’t fill our inner void.
So what do we do? We take on a journey (or goal), realise what emotions we perceive we will get from reaching our goal, change our approach, and then feel these emotions during the pursuit of our goal rather than only feeling them at the end. Our life will then be a life of living rather than a life of waiting.
By looking into our goals and realising what we are truly seeking, it may either make us change what we are after, or alternatively, change our approach. If we are seeking fame and we want to feel loved then we can still join X-factor. Though maybe we can also witness our surroundings more, realise the joy we get from family members and those that support us, we can stop and smell the roses and make friends with those on the journey with us. We can take note of how beautiful the moment is and embrace the excitement rather than focusing on our nerves and eagerness to be successful, which inevitably can lead to remorse, frustration and inner turmoil.
The fear of failure, the smell of defeat and the shame of not attaining our goals can’t exist if we are reaching our desired purpose whilst on the journey. Our future success is no longer prominent because we are already successful by living our dream each day on the journey, therefore, making the final result nothing more than an event in our lives.
The way to work goals is to make the journey work for you. 99% of this world is the path towards our goals, so why should we wait till the final 1% to reek the rewards? That means we spend almost all of our life waiting… So instead, we can choose a life where the journey is where we live.