One of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started to get motivated in my life (and career) was going to a very extreme end of the spectrum. I shut myself off from so many areas of my life because being so “newbie” motivated, I believed that you had to go all in and sacrifice everything in order to achieve your career (and passion) goals.
But I quickly realized that while work ethic and focus toward your goals and dreams are paramount, it doesn’t work when you extract everything else from your life at its expense. There is a middle ground that allows you to maintain a life while building your dream career and sticking to your personal development.
The middle ground?
Keep pushing yourself towards success, while continuously grounding that pursuit of success in gratitude for who you are and everything you have right now.
If you push towards success too hard, with too much of a tunnel focus, your entire life passes you by because you’re so focused on being successful that you take so many of life’s most important things for granted. If we live with too much focus on the future or this “future successful version of ourselves”, then our life can unravel from beneath us, without us even knowing.
Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to be successful, making money, and making our lives better, that we forget to actually enjoy our lives for what they are right now. We live in this perpetual state of living for the future, that we don’t relish the present moment.
This is where we must always remember that success is an uncatchable carrot. We’ll never be 100% satisfied. Our thirst will never be fully quenched. When we achieve one goal, we’ll set another and it will keep going literally until the day we die.
If you think you must forgo your present moment happiness in order to be successful and achieve your goals, you will never actually be happy at all. That’s because success can add to what you already have—but relying on it to fill you entirely is a trap.
If you can learn to practice gratitude on a daily basis, know when to stop and unplug and reprioritize, and know that no success is worth ruining the most important and valuable relationships in your life for—then you’ll be able to push forward to success in a deep, authentic, connected, and mindful way. That will not only allow you to be happy right now, but also achieve the success you desire.
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