Are You Pursuing Your Dreams Or Trying To Please Others?

Big house, new car, high-power career, 401k, marriage, kids, social life, nice vacations, gym membership, yada-yada-yada… Is this what it means to “have it all”? I changed my mind. I no longer want it all. Can I give it some of it back? Where is the returns department?

I’m not saying success is a bad thing. I’m saying too much success in the wrong areas might be. Things I pursued solely because I thought I should, because that’s what everyone else was doing. Being successful in those things might be a bad thing if they added extra stress and commitments to my life that kept me from focusing on what really matters. How do we know what really matters? Just look at social media, right? WRONG! We have to look inward. Only I can determine what really matters to me, by asking myself that question. It’s useless to climb the ladder of success only to find out our ladder was leaning against the wrong building.

When you look back on your life you won’t wish you had worked more but that you had taken more time to appreciate the people and experiences of your life. I know this to be true. How? I already look back and get an ache in my gut remembering how much time I’ve spent wishing my days away instead of being thankful for the present moment. It makes me physically and emotionally sick to realize how driven I am by the expectations of others and by an unreasonable need to please everyone around me.

If you can relate and have been running on the wrong hamster wheel, don’t despair. All is not lost. If you’re still breathing then it’s not too late to make some adjustments. First, give yourself grace and if necessary ask for grace from the significant people in your life. Then take the time to define what really matters to you. Write it down and keep it handy. Then look at your life and your calendar and make some adjustments on where you are spending your most precious, nonrenewable resource – your time. What do you want to spend it on? Who do you want to spend it with? Identify things that do not bring you joy and/or do not fit with your mission or contribute to the good of humanity and take action to responsibly remove them. Add time for what matters most to you. You won’t regret it!

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