Living Big, Succeeding in Your Goals and Being Happy
Our Choices All Matter
Goals are a good thing.
Actually, goals are a great thing.
But... there are, at least a few, caveats.
Yes, goals must comport with one of the several versions of the popular, somewhat silly, but, frankly, also appropriate, SMART Goals moniker).
Success, Fulfillment & Happiness Reside in Our Habits
What we all desire, "success, fulfillment and happiness" reside in our routines, not in our external results.
There are no benign thoughts or moments in our crazy lives. Or, if you're one of the rare, fortunate few, your not-so-crazy life.
Even our quiet, simple moments of stillness have a profound effect on us.
They affect our life experience in the moment. And they affect our subsequent choices that, in turn, affect our lives.
Nearly, if not absolutely, every choice we make has a meaningful impact on our lives.
I know, that sounds like an overstatement. And perhaps it is.
But it also might not be an overstatement.
And, in any event, the effect on our lives through the compounding effect of our choices is
Is our choice in this moment one of commitment to and action on growth, purpose and positive contribution? Or is our choice for status-quo or the meaningless (e.g., Facebook, TV or gossip)? Positive and productive choices are ones that increase, or at least maintain, a high state of mindful presence, higher life purpose and self-discipline in our thoughts, feelings and activities.
Who Are We Anyway?
Rarely will a single action or day make us or break us.
And we all, to a large degree, default to the same thoughts, emotional states and activities each and every day.
Studies show that the vast majority (over 80%) of our choices are the exact same ones we made yesterday.
Ever watch the movie "Groundhog Day?" I hated that movie.
But as horrible as the movie was, even worse: we are all largely living that movie as our lives.
Again, studies show, we all make the same choices in thoughts, states and activities each and every day.
Aristotle: Excellence is a Habit (not a single performance)
Our choices are familiar, safe and comfortable. They are habitual. And they make life relatively easy.
And they are easy to justify: After all, an hour... or two... or three... wasted on Facebook, video-games or TV never hurt anyone, right?
Fundamentally, profoundly wrong.
Why? Well, the answer should be clear. But if not, re-read the above paragraphs: we make virtually all of the the same choices every day of our lives.
"Habit: The Best of Servants or the Worst of Masters" ~ Nathaniel Emmons
The compounding effect of most of our habits over years and decades is squandered potential. Limited life.
Successful and fulfilled people understand this folly and choose the path less traveled: mindful choice in resourceful habits.
Fulfilled and successful people know that choosing to spend their time each day pursuing growth, purpose and success will similarly compound over time. It will compound into a life well lived; a purposeful life.
We All Want More - For Things to Change. But Things Don't Change. People Change.
Nothing changes for the better until we change for the better.
And change is not a one-time event; at least not for the successful and fulfilled person. Nor is change an occasional event for these people.
To be fulfilled and successful, change must be habitual, constant and in the right direction. Small, incremental improvements made each moment, each hour, each day. Little, and sometimes big, actions taken that move us closer to our great potential and fulfillment; through our great contribution.
Success, Happiness and Fulfillment are Choices
Just like the surgeon must spend years training, then constantly practice their craft, if they hope to become and remain brilliant, so too must we if we hope to master our potential and our lives.
We must develop and practice our excellence each day, hour and moment of our lives if we hope to actualize the brilliance that lives within us.
Are we growing and applying each day? Or are we existing? Are we pushing ourselves out of our habit and comfort zone? Or are we stagnating?
Each moment matters. They all count. They compound over days, weeks, months and years to the sum total of our life and our legacy.