Goals are important. They drive our life. It gives a sense of direction when you are oriented towards any goal whether its your job, fitness, wealth or relationships. Focussing on something gives a sense of purpose which is an ingredient for active life.
The normal human tendency is that often, while pursuing our goals we become fixated or obsessed with the end result.
Let’s admit, goals are not accomplished overnight.
Most of the times it is a long journey stretching into weeks or months or may be years depending on your time frame.
For example, one wants to crack the civil services or some prestigious exam. This calls for unlimited dedication and long study hours daily. You put your heart and soul into your preparation. And finally the D-day comes when you appear for the exam. When the results are out, there is a sense of reward that you nailed it. Yipee!
The feeling of happiness lasts for few days, till you get congratulatory messages on social media after you post your clicks. After that, the sense of being high starts waning and you are back to your old self. A sense of direction vanishes and people sometimes feel sad and clueless as to how to go back to their happy self.
Enjoy The Process
Does it make more sense to confine your enjoyment from achieving your goal to one, two, three or few days after several months/years of consistent effort in this case? Or does it make more sense to enjoy the time of preparing for your goal?
The latter option is better for your mental health when you enjoy the process of reaching out to your target. Neuroscience confirms this. It is what spirituality has been advocating since time immemorial. I will dwell on it further but first the scientific perspective.
According to leading neuroscientist and professor at Stanford University, Andrew Huberman, enjoying the process of reaching your goals, releases higher amount of pleasure chemical called the ‘dopamine’, over a significant period. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical that gets released in our brain when we receive pleasure out of something, or when we feel rewarded.
This is the reason why so many high performers who dazzle the world with their creativity, talent and consistent track record recognise the need to LOVE THE PROCESS than the real destination.
This is what conscious living is all about.
Keys To Happiness
Untying your happiness with the achievement of one’s goal takes the pressure off one’s mind. Remember stress is the most degenerative factor in our lives that is the root cause behind most our illnesses.
Seal Of Wisdom On Enjoying The Process
‘Do the karma (or be in action), do not worry about the outcome’, is one of the most popular teachings of the Geeta, the most revered religious holy book of the Hindus. It means that enjoy the process of doing karma, that is all you can and should do. The result is in not your hands.
A lot of people would term the process of not being attached to the end result of your action or goal as unrealistic, when you invest so much time, energy and heart and soul into it.
Many a times we do not get the desired results even after giving our best shot for completion of a particular goal, it didn’t turn out the way it should have, then there is a lesson or greater meaning, waiting to be understood in it. So many times, something bigger and better is set to transition in your life. You can embrace it with open arms only by accepting what has happened.
A better way of looking at it is, you did whatever was possible in the process, enjoyed it and if it worked in the end for you, Voila! But even if it didn’t meet your expectations, you would be satisfied of having tried your best. That is all in our reach. Sometimes not getting or achieving you ardently desired, is a blessing in disguise.
Denial Is The Source Of Misery
When we fail and are not ready to accept the course of events, it actually is a disservice to our effort. After all you only know and feel how much effort, time, and energy you spent on chasing your goal. Recognise it, whether you crack the target or not.
The wheel of life never stops for anyone or anything. Nothing stays permanent. If the current phase is something undesirable, then it was not so always. Right. AND it will not be so ALWAYS. Change is the only constant. This too shall pass.
New possibilities arise when, we allow for acceptance and don’t hold ourself back.
This is uncaging your right to be happy and living it full, irrespective of how things turn out. I agree sometimes the course of events do leave one angry, frustrated or depressed but the key to happiness is treat them as momentary.
It is the need of the hour that we realise that clinging on to the realisation of our targets for being happy is like running after a mirage.
The “WHEN ” model of happiness i.e I will be happy when I achieve something important or tangible, brings in very few rewards.
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