Are you constantly chasing things to make you happy?
Whether that be materialistic things like clothes, watches, make-up, designer handbags, or sports cars. Or whether that be chasing a better body, a job promotion, or fame and fortune?
I used to constantly chase things to make me happy. I’d spend months and months chasing one goal, working my butt off, naively thinking I’d be happy once I achieved my target.
I’ve lost count of how many times I achieved my goal(s) but never felt fulfilled. It was like chasing a rainbow, and no matter how hard I tried I could never reach what I was looking for – because like a rainbow it was an illusion in my mind.
5 years ago I thought the following would make me happy:
- An amazing body with a 6 pack
- A 6 figure income
- 4 holidays a year
- A successful business
- Owning a house
In order to get the above I was relentlessly working my socks off, I was working 60-80hrs per week, and doing everything in my power to achieve the goals i’d set. It got to the point where I was sacrificing my relationship(s) with loved ones, my social life and jeopardising my health.
I’d wake up at 5am, go to the gym for 2hrs, work a 12hr day and live of energy drinks and caffeine just to keep me going. I remember once having 8 cups of coffee and 2 cans of the energy drink… Red Bull (my heart was racing faster than a McLaren F1).
My sleep was restless, I had aches and pains, my stress levels were through the roof. Despite me getting closer and closer towards my goals I was paying the price and losing things which I now realise are far more important to me.
When I achieved the goals above I felt somewhat empty, the dream I had envisioned felt like an anticlimax. I felt flat and disappointed and couldn’t quite figure out why. I buried my head for a couple of weeks and then went back to the drawing board…
Time to set even more goals!
Maybe if I could get an even better body, a sports car, a bigger house, and a higher income I’d be happy this time?
Then it hit me…
WTF was I doing? If I was to carry on down this route it would only lead to more of the same…
Light Bulb Moment…
I realised I was doing things for the wrong reasons. I wasn’t enjoying the journey, I was living for achievement and basing my identity on things that would only lead to further unhappiness.
After reflecting I became aware of the fallacy i’d been living. I didn’t want this life anymore and I made some serious changes:
- Working less hrs
- Restructured my business
- I spent more time working on relationships with friends, family and clients
- Changed my gym routine so I spent less time working out and did exercises I enjoyed (rather than trying to do it to look like a bodybuilder!)
- I Invested in private business and lifestyle coaching
- Read books on self development, philosophy, happiness and mediation
- I worked on my mind just as much as my body
And guess what?
When I focused on what was important…My life totally transformed for the better.
Rather than chasing goals all the time I was chasing enjoyment from my everyday activities and appreciating the journey.
I started filling my days with things that give me real pleasure: walking in the park, reading, writing, reflecting, learning, developing, spending quality time with people I love. No longer would I pursue goals if they jeopardised my health, and happiness.
I figured out what I truly wanted and came up with this philosophy which drives my actions everyday…
I figured out what was most important to me…
- Friends & Family
- My Business
And I made a vow to work on the above everyday, relentlessly devoting my time to what I valued the most. I realised that before I was aiming for perfection but now I realised I just want to COMMIT TO CONSTANT AND NEVER ENDING IMPROVEMENT. I made a promise to myself to never stop learning and keep trying to work on the things that are the most important to me.
Don’t Fall into The trap…
I see so many people chasing things… for example a better body, but they are so focused on the end result that they either 1) never get there because they don’t enjoy the process or 2) Get there but feel unfulfilled.
When you start to enjoy what you do and appreciate the small steps in between you’ll gain so much more from chasing your goals.
It’s great to set goals and be ambitious, in fact i’m all for that stuff but make-sure that you’re not like I was… constantly chasing the next thing and wishing life away in order to get to the next milestone.
Set goals, and take action but most importantly enjoy the journey along the way…