Lately, I have been trying to resolve something and have had a huge “aha” I wanted to share with you. It is surrounding the tension between presence in the now and the pursuit of something in the future.
This is important.
I have seen first hand working with clients that focusing on the achievement of goals and accolades only provides short-term happiness and cannot sustain us. Our ego minds are always searching for more, leaving us reliant on life’s shiny pennies to experience peace, joy and surrender. Those pennies can be spent pretty damn easily and suddenly, we are left with nothing. It robs us of enjoying the present moment progress we are making, of the beauty and larger importance of our lives as they are. We wind up living in our minds, in a someday, before we realize we are only ever living now. It can leave us endlessly stressed, operating from fear and missing out on our actual lives.
It leaves us “living light” as I heard someone put it. We are never fully here.
And yet, vilifying goals and the visions we have for ourselves can rob of us hope, excitement, a connection to our creative impulse looking to bring form to the formless. Goals, intentions and the visions that bring them forth can hugely enrich our present life experience as they activate incredible feelings and invite us to rise up in ways we haven’t previously.
I could see that many people miss the point of a goal and use it to do things it can’t do but I had trouble articulating it all. Then while watching one of Tony Robbin’s Ted Talks (and one of the most highly viewedTed Talks ever), I heard him say something that caused a HUGE internal “yessssssssss.”
“The goal is not the point. It is who we are BECOMING in the pursuit.”
I could get behind that, because here’s the thing…the goal post will always keep moving. We never arrive.
Life is not interested in our accomplishments. It is interested in our expansion.
How do we know this?
Because we experience lasting joy and meaning as our consciousness expands to honoring our internal self over our appearance to the outside world. When we prioritize the external, we may get temporary hits, but we always feel empty.
Of course, the skills we are building and the knowledge we are acquiring in the pursuit of our goals are awesome but most important are the qualities we are embodying and practicing that will serve and elevate the quality of our lives AFTER we achieve the goal or even if we never achieve the goal at all.
In the pursuit of a goal and through the inevitable obstacles that appear, we may become more resilient, more courageous, stronger, more aware, more awake, connected, more devoted, more loving, empowered, more flexible. The challenges GROW us. Our consciousness expands to what is possible as we hit certain markers along the way. We may become more open as we realize we aren’t meant to continue to pursue the goal anymore.
“You have no idea what your legacy is.”
That’s from Maya Angelou, who embodied strength, resilience, flow, higher self, creativity and major bad-assery.
Our legacy (the mark we leave here on earth) will be a product of who we are becoming in the pursuit of all of our many many goals over this lifetime–both met and unmet. Our legacy will be in every one who touched or didn’t touch, everyone you affected or didn’t and what purpose we served in the upward cycle of our communal evolution. We have ingrained into our bones and our DNA how to do this with our unique gifts when we stop and listen. It is in our innate desire to grow into who we are supposed to be.
So, instead of focusing primarily on goals, focus on who you want to become, the qualities you will hope to embody, and then look at your goals as an extension of that, and let the path reveal itself.
If you currently have goals, it just requires a switch up in perspective, which may help you to become much more accepting of the present moment.
Look at all the qualities you think you will have on the other side of your goal. Focus on amplifying and embodying them on a daily basis, on becoming them.
If you think you will be commanding, confident, secure, and at ease, then focus on the daily actions that will bring the associated feelings forth (at least as much as you focus on specific action toward your goal).
If you think you will someday be courageous when you achieve weight loss, focus on doing things that scare you every day whether or not they are in alignment with your weight loss.
And if you don’t know what you want, focus on who you want to BE.
Maybe you want to be someone who is deeply loving, maternal, kind, courageous, who elevates others and humanity.
You can intentionally start to implement those ways of being now by envisioning how you would be operating differently in your daily life. Your actions will become clear. Your goals and visions will come out of who you are becoming, and will be in service of who you are desiring to become.
Life has a way of handing you the experiences that will help you to grow once you get clear one who you want to be. It will hand you opportunities to step into the role left and right. Clarity will follow.
In this way, you are honoring the treasure of the present moment. You aren’t waiting until someday to feel how you want to feel and operate in new ways in your life. Doing the internal work will serve you long after you hit the goal marker, that will feed into your legacy.
So, whether your goal is Broadway, 135 pounds, 100K salary, or having a kick-ass business, becoming president, they are not the point.
Goals are beautiful catalysts for our unfolding into our full potential, but they are never, ever the point. You have the power to BECOME regardless of whether or not they ever come true and leave your legacy in ways you never knew possible.
Rock On & Be Well,