Set goals, the actions steps and go! But wait, do you enjoy the journey or do you live for the future?
I don’t know about you but when I want something, I want it now! When I really want something and get excited about it, I have a hard time waiting. I just want what I want right now, but unfortunately life doesn’t work like that. It takes time and effort to achieve anything of value. I’ve learned this lesson over and over again in my life and while I still have to remind myself of this fact, sometimes I wonder how I can make the journey enjoyable while I’m working on a goal hoping to be in a better place in the near future. Have you ever felt like you’re putting everything on hold and that you’re waiting for one thing to happen so you can finally be happy? I’ve done it a lot in the past but what happened was that I ruined those moments for myself and even looking back now, I remember those times weren’t easy because I was suffering having to wait for that dream to come true.
Another thing I realized was that there is no perfection in life. A lot of times, I was working hard on certain goals but even when I achieved them, life still wasn’t perfect. When I was an undergraduate student in Boston, I dreamed of finishing the program and moving to another city where it wasn’t so cold in winter. I remember the cold and snowy days when I had to look for a parking spot on the icy streets of Boston, coming back from the university, tired thinking that I hated being there and that I couldn’t wait to live somewhere warm next to the beach.
While I had a great time being a student in one of the best college towns in the world, I was so focused on finishing school and moving onto the next chapter of my life that I really didn’t realize I was in a good place for the time being. I kept on dreaming of my graduation day and going back home to spend time with my parents. When the time finally came and I went home to visit my parents after a few years, I found out my mother had developed some health issues and that was a surprise because she was always healthy. We went for a few check ups and saw multiple doctors to find out that she had ovarian cancer. It was a shock to me; the fear of possibly losing my best friend was heavier than any emotion I had ever experienced and life was far from perfect. Now, I had my bachelor’s degree and was going to start my graduate studies. I had finally reunited with my family but I had the worst news in the world which was hard to grasp. Now, my only desire was for my mother to be healthy and for us to have more time to spend together. I didn’t know that my life would never be the same again. After going under surgery and getting chemo therapy, she was cancer-free, which was good news but it didn’t last long. A few years later, she passed away.
While I was in a better place in so many ways, living in California away from the cold, having graduated from graduate school with a master’s degree, I had lost the most important person in my life, my best friend, my mother. My point is that it’s important to have goals and focus on personal growth, but it’s also important to stop and smell the roses.
It helps to compartmentalize in life and what I mean by that is to remember that life is not one thing or another and that it consists of different parts. These days, I try to focus on my career while I value my marriage, my friendships, and other aspects of my life. Nothing is permanent in life and what I value today, might not be of importance to me tomorrow or once I achieve a goal, it’s time to reach another. Therefore, it’s good to work on self-improvement and always evolve but it’s crucial to be in the present moment and enjoy the journey while you work on achieving the next goal.