One of the hardest things for me to do is to bask in where I am while I am working towards what's next. Do you also struggle with finding contentment with where you are? Often times friends have to remind me to stop and celebrate. I set big audacious goals - it's in my DNA. It's an amazing strength to have. However the downside is that I can be on the move so much I miss all the amazing things right in front of me and I'm sure I'm not alone in this. At times I tend to focus on:
- What's wrong instead of what's right
- What I don't have instead of all I do have
- How far I have to go instead how far I've come
- Focusing on any of these questions can lead to discontentment and lack of gratitude. This can also be followed by worry, stress, and doubt. And most importantly, we can miss, "the moment" we've been waiting for by hurrying to get to what's next.
If you often feel like you are always rushing from one thing to the next or overwhelmed, this is for you. We feel if we can get more things done, we'll get to where we want to be quicker. Steven Covey tells a story in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, that illustrates this point so well. The story tells of a friend finding a friend feverishly sawing wood and getting nowhere. He encouraged him to take the time to sharpen his saw so he could see the results he wanted quicker. The friend responds, like most of us would - "I don't have time!" Many times we think we don't have time to take a break and refuel. Make sure you create the space in your life to slow down and sharpen your saw so you can get better results.
I've learned to enjoy the space I'm in by giving thanks for all that I have when I'm tempted to complain. I hear a lot of "Thanks - but no thanks". Typically I can move on believing another yes is on the way. But there are those days where I'm tempted to say "This always happens!" However, at those times I intentionally choose to give thanks because I realize that everything I want to complain about simply isn't true. The truth is it doesn't always happen. I do get a lot of yeses. So I choose to send a different message to myself instead. I start recalling my past wins and everything coming up. This reminds me how amazingly blessed I am. What do you need to recall today and give thanks for?
After a recent speaking engagement my assistant asked "How do you think it went?" I immediately said, "It was ok" and started running down a list of things I wish I said or did differently. As I was having the conversation I looked over and saw the disappointment in her face. She said, "I want you to learn to celebrate your wins more!" Sadly enough it wasn't the first time I'd heard that. Often times we can treat our accomplishments like a "to do list" and never taking the time to relish in the moment. What recent events have you quickly checked off your list without celebrating and moved on to what's next? Pause, relish and celebrate this week!
Whenever you find yourself ready to complain, feeling discontent, or in a hurry to move from where you are to what's next, remember to slow down, give thanks, and celebrate!