Setting and working towards meaningful goals is an essential part of growth.
By definition, goals orient our minds to what we don’t have yet or what we can’t do yet, and our desire to get to where we want to be fuels our action.
In mindfulness practice, however, desire – wanting things to be different to how they are, is viewed as one of the hindrances to being fully present in what is, causing us suffering.
Have you ever experienced being so focused on where you wanted to be that it was dampening your appreciation and enjoyment of where you already were?
I went through a sticky patch during my PhD, when my desire to be working on building my business had completely concealed the sheer privilege it was to be in the final writing stages of my research degree. Where I had ample time and support to write, to learn, to aim high, to contribute and to extend our knowledge.
I became so resentful of having to take time away from PI to craft my dissertation that I was missing the opportunity to be the writer I always wanted to be. I simply wasn’t viewing writing my PhD as the dream that it was a mere 3 years ago. It was a different kind of writing to what I wanted to be doing for PI so I dismissed it, failing to realise that writing was writing. It was practice. It was helping me grow, not to mention helping me build my personal brand.
I let myself get too far ahead in my head to appreciate, to participate, and to enjoy where I was.
By noticing and being aware of when desire is affecting our well-being in the now and practising gratitude for what we already have, what we can already do, where we already are, and how far we’ve already come, can help us remain present and grounded in the mindful pursuit of our meaningful goals.
So I invite you to take a moment to reflect on where you already are.
Take a deep breath in…
Lean into the discomfort of not being quite where you want to be.
Create space for stillness.
For appreciation of this moment in your life.
And let go.
Let it out.
Trust that you already are exactly where you need to be.