“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as who you become by achieving your goals.” (Henry David Thoreau)
This statement has a special depth, a meaning that often eludes us.
Most of the time we are driven by the next result or accomplishment in order to show how good we are, to be able to earn the admiration, the love and respect of the people around us. But we ignore that what we do with focus, commitment and attention has the power to shape and mould us, to affect and transform our way of thinking and being.
If you manage not to forget this little spark of awareness you could really master a way of living that is so much more meaningful and fulfilling.
How many times have you been cornered into experiences that do not respect who you truly are, that are unfair to you, that are changing your mood, flattening your personality, enslaving your creativity and turning you into a sad, unsatisfied and unhappy person?
Knowing that everything in which you engage yourself has the power to influence your evolution should make you much more careful and wiser in choosing what to get involved with.
Nothing passes over you without leaving a trace in your mind and your soul. So, learning to become more critical in assessing what deserves your time and attention is essential. This means learning to choose and stopping giving others the power to choose for you.
I know this is not easy. I spent many years as a really easy-going person, always keen to delegate my decisions rather than to impose myself, much more interested in fitting in than in standing out. I behaved this way to the point of feeling completely alienated in my own skin, impoverished in what I was living because it didn’t fully belong to me.
This is not worth it. It's not wise and it is certainly not a proof of love or devotion to annihilate yourself and only give space to someone else’s desires or projects. Doing so simply feeds a sadness, a sense of disconnection and a void in your heart.
What could you do to reverse this pattern? My personal solution has been to ask myself “Who do I really want to be? In what way do I want to express myself and impact the world? What is truly important for me to live and experience?” And then I have learned to choose my goals with care and attention, picking only the things that have a deep meaning for me and that are helping me to become who I really want to be.
(picture courtesy Flickr - Phil Roeder)