Throughout most of my life I’ve been so concerned with reaching my “goals” or “endings” (which sometimes even change when I am mid-way to achieving them!) that I forget about simply living my life. Have you ever felt like that? As of lately I’ve been thinking that perhaps I’ve put too much emphasis on the “endings” and I have forgotten completely about the “processes”, “the rides”, or simply the “means” to my desired ends.
We often compare ourselves to others, in many cases to extremely successful people, and try to imitate them. We might focus on certain grandiose “ends” and forget about the “means”. However, a lot of successful people actually focused more on doing things they were passionate about or “the ride” and thus ended up achieving great “goals” they hadn’t even imagined. What good is it to become the best figure skater in the world if you hate doing figure skating? Alternatively, there are also those who achieved a lot by doing unethical actions, which really isn’t the best option. What good is it to become the richest man in the world by being a criminal?
On top of that, how do we measure success? With money, recognition, fame? We actually don’t know if someone else is truly successful because although we might be able to measure their wealth, their fame, etc.; we can’t measure their happiness (you can put on a happy face and feel miserable inside), and we can’t objectively measure how much they have really contributed to the world (we can easily debate who has contributed more to the world: a city garbage collector, a fire-fighter, a doctor, a farmer, a teacher, a nurse, Bill Gates, the Beatles, Mozart?), and we can’t measure how much that person got out of life.
So how important is the end? It might not be important at all, because there might be no end! You might want to become an important CEO, but once you get there, what will you do? You got to your “end”, but you are still alive… so there is no end (unless your goal is simply to get very old and die). It is time to focus our energies into the fantastic ride that life can be (yes, including the ups and downs), and into living one day at a time. There is nothing wrong with having goals, but not at the expense of our entire lives.
What is your philosophy on this subject?