Unfortunately, this mindset affects how we approach almost everything else in life: instead of being grateful for what we already have, we exhaust ourselves with cravings and longing for what we haven’t yet achieved. Rather than seeing the beauty and blessing of friendships and relationships that we have in our lives (and how fortunate we are to even have them in the first place), we regard them as inferior to the imaginary versions we’ve created of them in our minds.
We are urgently rushing toward some goal or dream, or an ever-elusive “finish line” of some sort. Under the pretense of pursuing happiness (and the heavy weight of questions like “where do you see yourself five years from now?”), we imagine a different version of ourselves existing in the distant future somewhere, often richer, calmer, stable and wise.
As a result, we spend very little time appreciating where we are today. By being so focused on how things “could be”, we are under-appreciating how great things already are.
If we give ourselves very little credit for how far we’ve already come, we tend to give others little to no credit for their own efforts in life. When we’re impatient with ourselves, how can we possibly be forgiving of others? And as long as we continue judging ourselves when we look in the mirror, we’ll be doing the same to everyone around us.
Wouldn’t it be great to stop, if only for a minute on a regular basis, and reflect on how wonderful everything already is? Pause for a moment and honor the progress you’ve already made, acknowledge the gifts you DO have in your life, and, dare I say, appreciate life itself for a few breaths?
We are continually evolving, growing, learning, unfolding, expanding and, let’s face it, will never be “done”. There is always more. So take a step back and notice how the small details we fret about seem to disappear when you look at the big picture.