Happiness is the key

I am very goals driven. I have no idea how that came to be, other than perhaps the fact I am a control freak with parents who demanded the very best from me at all times, with an innate sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo I carry round with me permanently. Maybe. Just guessing.

Despite that, I’m constantly battling that part of myself which is actually happiest when I have nothing to do and all day to do it. Laziness is the first word that springs to mind. But is it, really? Is it lazy to take time out to recharge? Isn’t that why everyone loves holidays so much? Even the busy sight-seeing types are built around doing something inherently fun, not goal driven. True, visiting a certain country or city might be a bucket list item, but it’s not driven by the work/achievement reward system.

I’m a productivity junkie. I can’t help it. I love all that kind of stuff. Smarter, faster, leaner. Not harder. Better. Get the very most out of the time we have available. And yet…?

Increasingly it becomes clear that time out is the key to making that all work. Without it, the goals themselves come to lack satisfaction, even if they are achieved with speed and precision, excelling all expectations. We lose sight of what actually matters most, when it all becomes about ticking a box. All tasks, if we’re not careful, come to take on equal weight.

Life isn’t like that.

A three day weekend could have been about cramming something into every second to make sure the extra time away from work wasn’t wasted. Whilst it’s true that I got a few things off the list, yesterday was mainly about being still. About taking the time to think about what I was feeling as much as where I was going. I’ve recently switched up to writing my journal in the morning rather than the evening, so it becomes about being mindful at the beginning of the day, not simply reflective at the end. So far this appears to be working for me. It will need a longer run to see if it’s sustainable, but if it is, then I think it could be one of the keys to enjoying life more, rather than doing life more.

Time is short. Life is precious. But being successful – in our modern definition of the word – doesn’t automatically equate to looking back on a life lived with no regrets. I’ve spent the past few months letting go of dreams I’ve held too tightly for over a decade. It’s been painful, but it’s allowed me to see the bigger picture again. It’s opened up the space to allow me to dream more; dream bigger. Like letting go of your first love so you can actually make room in your life for finding your true love.

It can feel like losing a part of yourself, but like pruning a rose bush, it just allows you to come back bigger and stronger than you were before.

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