I set goals for myself and reach them, but don’t seem to get that much enjoyment. It feels like I have missed something along the way. I have been wondering if that matters since I accomplish what I set out to do?
Dear Goals in Fort Lauderdale,
Life is both the journey and the destination. You cannot have one without the other. When you say that you miss something along the way it must mean that you miss the experience of reaching your destination and the growth that comes with it.
The journey is the experience of life, the ups and downs, good and bad. When you reach your goal without experiencing the journey, do you truly appreciate it or are you on to setting the next goal. If you are missing the journey then you can’t enjoy the accomplishment of the goal. What is missing is your experience of life at this present moment. When you plan for something then your focus is on reaching that destination, but what about all that is happening right now?
A good way to start becoming more aware of the present moment is to stop what you are doing periodically throughout the day and just feel with all your senses what is around you. For example, if you are drinking your coffee in the morning, stop. Then pay attention to the air around you, the touch of your hand on the coffee mug, smell the coffee, taste it, see what is around you. This will help you become reacquainted with life. Using all your senses to feel what is happening in little things such as drinking coffee will help you start to do the same with more intense and complex experiences such as sex, relationships, accomplishments and intimate moments.
The journey is happening right now as you read this article; it is what life is about. The goal may change or may be discarded. If you truly want to enjoy life, experience the journey moment to moment and when you reach your goal enjoy that moment as well.
Please be advised that the advice written in this column is not a substitution for psychotherapy.