By Lauren Denos: 5/4/2015 (Mindset)

Are you Constantly stressed out? Thinking "life will be better as soon as I lose weight, or make more money or (fill in the blank)"? Then read on, it is time to free yourself!

Many people put so much stress into getting from point A to point B. They see life as a race to be finished as soon as possible. Others believe that once you complete a task, your life will be magically super awesome. The truth is that this isn’t generally how it works because you never are really done until you die.

Have you ever said, “Once I look better, I will pursue an acting career,” or “When I am finally fully healthy, I will pursue my dream job”? Or something along the lines of, “When I am making enough money I will start traveling the world…” How do you define when you have gotten to this point?

Maybe your determination is a certain amount of lost inches. Yet, the problem is when you get to that point, what if you are not happy enough with how you look now? Are you still going to do what you were putting off until that weight came off, or are you going to create a new goal of losing 4 more inches and make that end point when you will start the life you want? Then another goal after that!

This is an issue in academia, too. You study a specific subject and think, "When I am done with this course, I will finally feel like I know enough to get a job in my desired field.” But then, you get done with that course and you see another subject and think, "It would be better if I learn this subject also before I apply to that job I really want. That way, I can really know my stuff.” It is a continual cycle. There is always something more to know, something more to study. You will never have all the answers or be perfectly prepared for what you want to do. At some point, you just have to jump in and realize you will keep learning on the way.

The thing is, we are never really done. We have a series of ends, but that only leads to another beginning. Every time you complete one thing, you will have something else to work towards next. This is the natural progression – and it’s great! This means you always have something to strive for, which makes life juicy. But it also means that you can stop stressing out because this list of things you need to get done will just get replaced by another one, so why worry so much?

Instead of waiting for the perfect time to do something (because the perfect time never comes), learn to enjoy what you are doing at this moment. Each step in each moment is just one more step towards the bigger picture of what you are creating in your life. Having goals for your future is an important thing to do, but not with blinders on to everything else that is going on now. If you are constantly thinking only about the future and always thinking about the next thing you need to finish, you miss out on all the enjoyment of what you are learning and experiencing right now. This moment will never come again. Are you going to look back on your life and remember all the good moments, or are you going to be thinking about all the stress you had because you never stopped to appreciate where you were?

There is a common quote that goes like this: "The past is history, the future is a mystery. Right now is a gift, that is why we call it the present."

This moment is what’s creating your future. So if you do not attend to this moment, how do you expect your future to get any better? When you start to find yourself in the trap of thinking you will be happy tomorrow when you accomplish your goal, think about how you will never get everything done, because you will always want more, you will always have another list of "TO DO's". So instead of waiting to be happy when you complete your goals or tasks, choose to be happy now and enjoy this moment. That will make a bigger difference on your future and put the enjoyment back into what you are doing. Enjoy the process of what you are doing. The lessons you learn from accomplishing your goals is the good stuff, and if you ignore the present moment you are missing out on a lot of it. Start to enjoy the ride!



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