For most people, setting a goal and then following up with all the activities to reach it means being so focused that all distractions are set aside. Important areas of life, like family, friends, building strong relationships with co-workers, time for recreation and relaxation are sacrificed on the altar of “Success”. Happiness is postponed until the goal is reached as many feel they can’t allow room for it. It’s the “I’ll be happy when ______” belief that rarely comes true.
Movie after movie has been made about it. Remember Nicolas Cage in “The Family Man”? In most of those movies, the main character learns the lesson that having all the material wealth in the world isn’t what brings true happiness and satisfaction.
Then there are the books and movies like “The Secret”. I’ve been asked many, many times why following the directions of these hasn’t brought about the life the people practicing them want. In the terms those materials use; Why haven’t they manifested what they want? You would think that with all the hype surrounding such information that the world would have changed much more for the better. Instead, we see a lot of disillusioned people who wonder what they did wrong, because, of course, it couldn’t be that the movies and books were the problem.
People who practice almost any religion should be happy, right? I mean, if they’re following the tenets of their faith, they should be happy before the end goal is met, whether that’s their own death, the rapture, the “end of the world”, etc., right? Yet, if you look at Facebook posts of many religious people, you’ll read about how unhappy they are. Another tell-tale sign of unhappiness is the divorce rate. In some states in the Bible Belt of the U.S., the divorce rate of Christians is 50% higher than that of atheists.
Enjoying the Journey
The human mind is a wonderful tool, but a terrible master. The world’s people haven’t been educated on using it as a tool. They have been left to believe that their minds are in control and there is little, if anything, they can do to control it.
It takes no more than to have two, or more, people look at a person, then whisper and giggle a little to set off a firestorm of activity in the brain. Whole negative scenarios are played out almost instantly with the imagination creating dialog, scenes of activity, responses, etc., etc. When, in reality, those people may have been talking very positively. They may not have even been talking about that person.
Just as easily as we can create negative scenarios, we can create positive. Let me repeat that. Just as easily as we can create negative scenarios, we can create positive. That may sound foreign to you, but it’s true. We do have a choice, as I’ll explain in a moment. We have become so used to thinking negatively that it’s our default setting. I believe it’s residue left over from when we needed to be on constant lookout for dangerous animals as we crossed the wilderness.
Remember when you were around 4-6 years old? Or, maybe you remember your kids or grand kids being that age? You see, up until around that age we are happy. More than that, we are happy for no reason. Most people enjoy the smiles and coos of an infant. They look at pictures of the infectious smiles of a two-year-old and can’t stop themselves from smiling. You see, it’s not until we All-Knowing adults tell children that they can’t be happy until (Fill in the Blank) that they learn this cruel belief. Now, don’t feel too guilty. You, your parents, their parents, etc. could only do what they knew and passed it on.
So, what does all of this have to do with setting goals? When a person sets goals and uses the typical methodology of being stressed about reaching them, it sets off some interesting activity in the brain and body. It actually shuts down creativity and innovativeness. It creates an environment for becoming physically and emotionally ill. The resources needed to achieve the goal are diminished, if not cut-off. At that point, the person then goes into overdrive wiping out the adrenal glands and infusing caffeine, or other dangerous drugs, as a substitute. When, or even if, the person reaches their goal, it’s lost much of the luster and significance it once had. They’re just glad it’s over.
But what if a person chose a different way? What if they chose to tap into that young child’s happiness, happiness for no reason whatsoever? And, what if they were happy all the while they were reaching for the goal? Here’s what would change:
- They would have full use of their creativity and innovativeness
- Their mind and body would be running at optimal levels for health, energy, emotional well-being, etc.
- Their relationships would stay intact and improve
- They would have time for recreation and much needed relaxation. In fact, it would add to their overall health.
- Their goal would be easier to achieve. It would be as if God, the Universe, Luck, or whatever name you choose to give it has their back
If you’d like to learn more about being happy while reaching for goals, contact me for a chat!