Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.
Achievement is a tough topic for me, as I find I often place too much value on being a constant and determined over-achiever. When I first read this question, I felt a little pang of anxiety, because the only think I can think of achieving right now is that I REALLY want a job. Yes, REALLY. Like, a lot. If you’ve talked to me at all in the last few months, you’ve probably had to hear me talk about it (thank you). And I’ve been doing everything I can to achieve this, focusing directly on it for the last four months, and working towards it indirectly for the last four years. I’ve made the goals, I’ve created the experiences, developed the skills, and DONE it. When I’ve wanted to achieve something, I have.
So the fact that I can’t immediately achieve what I want (getting a job) simply by putting my mind to it is frustrating. I have the skills, I have the soul-firing dedication to the cause, but apparently, my ‘dream’ position just isn’t ready for me yet. So let me say that I would rather not focus on achieving, and the feeling it will give me, but rather the small things I can do to make life fulfilling while I continue to work towards greater goals.
I know there are others out there going through the same thing, trying to find meaningful and fulfilling work and coming up against walls. While we truck through this together, perhaps we need to focus less on the end goals, and more on appreciating the moments we have now to live life.
There are a few things I have already started doing to achieve a more balanced and content state while on the hunt, and a few that I hope to make a habit in the days, weeks and months that follow. So here are my 10 ideas for keeping afloat while searching for my career boat:
1. Breathe. Anytime I feel overwhelmed or disheartened, take 10 deep breaths to bring myself back to my body and the present moment.
2. Stretch it out. It’s amazing how much even 30 minutes of yoga can do to get you back in alignment with the universe. I just bought a new video called Blissology from Eoin Finn, a yoga teacher whose previous work kept me limber in Micronesia – it’s a set of routines and meditation for every day of the week, just a little space for you to take for yourself and get your mojo going. Which brings me to…
3. Meditate. A practice which I have been slowly developing over the years, one which I have come to identify with greatly in more recent months – if I can take even just 15 minutes out of my day to find balance in my mind, I can take those small steps towards bliss.
4. “Que sera, sera.”
5. “This may be the last time you get to have so much freedom, enjoy it!! Just imagine when you’re 45 and are dying for this kind of enjoyment.”
6. Spend time in nature. Breathing in crisp air frees me, and always reminds me that my problems are small. If the universe can keep this glorious planet running, surely my little life will sort itself out too.
7. Create. Writing and painting for pleasure fulfill me – this reverb experience has given me a small sense of purpose that ‘work’ sometimes lacks, and I have come to realize how important a regular creativity session is for my bliss
8. Gratitude. I can list five things I’m grateful for, to remind myself how complete my life already is.
9. Look back. At the things I have achieved to remind myself that I am capable of doing great things and pursuing incredible opportunities.
10. Hug someone. Because it ALWAYS gets my bliss levels soaring!
To everyone out there struggling to achieve something, don’t let it get you down, everything comes in time, and sometimes only when it’s darn tootin’ ready! I would love to hear your ideas about how to bring bliss, contentment, and happiness into every day life when your goals aren’t quite within your grasp.