The year is speeding ahead. We pile on the busyness as our annual holidays become distant memories. But where does this busyness get us? What exactly are we trying to achieve? Are we trying to earn more money so that we can be happier? Add more achievements to our CVs? Boost our egos with a longer to-do-list? Why do we keep at it – this frenetic busyness as we chase achievement?
Yes, achievement is great. It makes us feel good. But our whole lives cannot be sacrificed to achievement.
And we do – sacrifice. We sacrifice our precious time to earn more, do more and achieve more. But it doesn’t look like it’s making us any happier. When last did someone say to you that they had a happy day? We’re exhausted, too tired to enjoy time with friends and family. We’re too busy to do the things we really want to do, like walk with our dogs, tend our plants, visit friends, cook an inspired meal or go see that art exhibition.
Are we not missing the point? Have we perhaps forgotten what we set out to achieve in the first place? And no, the answer is not more achievements. Surely, we set out to earn money as a means to being happy, to doing stuff and being with our family and friends, so that we can enjoy life?
Is our goal not to get to that goal, rather than the goal of achievement? Or did we just set out to have a miserable, busy life so that we could hopefully one day retire in a less miserable way. Too often we forget the real thing we set out to achieve and chase achievement as a goal in and of itself.
This discord is exactly what someone expressed the other day: ‘It is your job to get me out of this job in five years’ time. I don’t think I’ll make it beyond that.’
But what if these are your last five years? Would you continue rushing around achieving more or would you set out to live more deliberately – spending time and energy on the things that matter?
What if you consciously live thinking about what will make this day, this week, this month or this year great? What if you could purposefully live your life like that? What if you plan for the things that will give your life joy?
Go on. Try it.
//26 July 2019.