We make to-do lists and mental notes everyday. Perhaps imagery pops into your mind of goals you seeing yourself accomplish. You see yourself eagerly getting through these lists, yet you never actually do. At least not yet because there is always tomorrow…
A moment. Think about that word and then think about all that can happen in one single moment. A lot can happen. Meaningful moments and opportunities are presented to us everyday, but they are often taken for granted or overlooked. They are presented in the form of each new day that we awaken to, but we let the word procrastination slip into action all too often.
We skirt around them, leaving our reminders in our peripheral vision. I do it everyday. We don’t always attack our goals or desires head on. Valid excuses like kids, work, activities, and not enough time blur our quest. And what exactly is the quest? The quest has always been and will always be the same for everyone: happiness. We all desire to live a happy life.
Happiness is attained differently by each one of us. We are all born with a different sense of purpose that requires us to travel down varying paths. No one is right or wrong. If you are listening to your true self, then you are right. If we all walked in one another’s footsteps, not a lot of change and impact would happen in the world or within ourselves.
So what do these lists have to do with happiness? You are probably thinking that they are arduous and time sucking. I am not talking about the grocery list, carpool reminders, or even work agendas. I am talking about your happiness goals or the life experiences you wish upon- also known as your bucket list. Have you even written them down? What comes to the top of that list when you open yourself up to the world, when you allow yourself to come into focus?
Now think about when you finally accomplished something that made you really happy. Did the quest first come to mind weeks, months, or even years ago? When you finally accomplished it, did you give all the credit to timing? What really happened was you made a conscious decision in that moment to make it happen. A priority became non-negotiable despite the list of excuses. And you felt lighter and happier knowing that it was possible after all.
I have a personal bucket list. In fact, the top two items have been the same since I can remember. Yet over forty years into this life, they remain on my list. They beckon and call out to me, while I respond with “Shhh…not now.” Witnessing my kids growing up, in what feels like no time at all, often leads me to a place of reflection; how much more time am I going to allow to pass? While I am genuinely happy without checking them off, I know that accomplishing them will lead to an even greater satiation.
So what’s on my bucket list? While I am going to keep it quiet for now, I can tell you they have a common thread that involves personal growth. I am always thirsty to learn more and accomplish more. Once upon a time skydiving was on my list, but that goal doesn’t contribute to my happiness long term. And in all honesty, the older I get, the thought of it does quite the opposite. My list involves what seems impossible (for me).
While today isn’t New Year’s Day- the day we usually reflect upon our happiness goals- today is a new day. We have the chance everyday to make a new resolution to ourselves. In this crazy, fast-paced world, where we find ourselves giving piece after piece of ourselves to others, remember to save a piece for yourself. Allow that piece to be the one that matters most. If you aren’t happy, you can’t be happy for others. Look ahead to look back and ask yourself what you want to see.