Thursday, May 16, 2013

Perspective for the Weary: Living for Today!

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I know I'm not the only kid who's classroom was covered in these inspirational posters. No matter what grade I advanced to, they somehow managed to stalk me throughout my whole educational career. Just when I thought I rid myself of them in 3rd grade, (surprise!) there they were, waiting on me in 4th - encouraging me to be better, to be kind, to work harder. What a tall order for a 4th grader!

Because of the constant 'inspiration inundation' of my childhood, I typically seek out alternatives when it comes to my own personal decorating. Maybe a nice painting... a wall clock... anything BUT an inspirational poster. Yet there is one picture hanging on my bathroom wall with a message that I read every single morning (and I wouldn't have it any other way). It says, quite simply...


This quote came to mind yesterday when my client Anna sent me an 'SOS' email. She's been on a job search for the last few months and is starting to feel utterly exhausted. The right job hasn't come along yet and all the applying, interviewing and strategizing has left her discouraged. She feels like she is 'waiting for her new, better life to begin'. 

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While pondering her email over lunch, I had an 'aha' moment. I do the exact same thing as her! I fantasize about the future, thinking 'If I just had (this), then my life would feel like (that)'. For her it's the job. For me, it's too many things to get into or we'd be here all day. But the bottom line is that we all fixate on the future to some extent. We glamorize it. We imagine how great our lives will be when we have that job, that promotion, that ring, that perfect figure. It's almost as if we picture all our frustrations melting away when 'that thing' comes to fruition for us. 

But let's be honest with ourselves. You and I both know that acquiring all those things won't magically make life better, or less frustrating. With new situations, come new concerns. And once a dream or goal is reached, another one appears right behind it.

So what are we to do in the meantime?

Live in the present and enjoy the journey. Remember that each day (even with its frustrations) is a gift from God. Make a conscious effort to be thankful for all the good things you DO have in the here and now. And frankly, enjoy the comfort of your current situation. It's not scary like a new job or a new relationship. You know exactly what to expect... and that's one less thing to worry about!

It's just like I told her, don't fret about what you can't control. You will end up where you're supposed to be. And as for that fantasy world you're striving for, it doesn't exist.

So today, let's remember to enjoy the journey!

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