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In the last couple of weeks, I’ve put renewed effort into building my own business. As with many of you out there in social media land, I’ve found myself getting buried in worrying about metrics, likes, reach, engagement, etc. This morning, while fretting about the relatively poor reception of a video, I had a flash of recall that I really need to just focus on the journey and not worry about perceived wins or losses. In putting my attention on success or failure — both of which are subjective judgments — I get goal-oriented and end up missing the whole point.
Now, I can’t speak to all cultures, but I’m North American and that reflects an overwhelming weighting towards success/failure over process. It’s a win/lose paradigm, where second place is the first loser. In fact, I’ve quite often heard whining about people getting awarded for just participating and that only winners should receive accolades. That might seem reasonable on the surface, but if you extend that to life itself, I don’t think it’s a healthful outlook.
If you look at life as a goal, then the ultimate destination is your final breath. He who dies with the most toys wins is a common expression/meme, but it ignores that life is a journey of experience. Should your experience be focused on collecting trophies? I certainly wouldn’t have that aspiration. When I heave my final sigh, I want to reflect back on a life that I enjoyed living, not one where I fretted over whether I was winning enough.
When I think of people we might have lost (yes, in that way) through the pressures of being goal-oriented, the first name that comes to mind is Yvette Young of the band Covet. Yvette is a wonderfully talented musician. She might not be with us today were it not for her losing herself in the process of being creative in a way that honoured her soul. In losing herself to the process and being fully in the moment, she found reason to remain among us. I think that’s important.
We always have a choice of perspective. Nobody forces you to adopt a way of living life. Allow me to encourage you to forego a perspective that includes that big L on a forehead … that proclaims 2nd place being the first loser … that discourages participation at all unless you can be a winner. Leave that all behind and embrace each and every moment of your journey. Your goal comes when you sigh your last breath and transition to pure positive energy. I’m going to posit that by focusing on the process of experiencing every moment in life to its fullest, you’ll find yourself in the hereafter looking back on a life well-lived with few or even no regrets.
No regrets at all is a worthy aspiration. Avail yourself to possibility. You can only really be open to possibility when you’re fully present to glean the inspiration that comes with it.