Learning From The Past To Stay Present, Grounded And Grateful
I realized that I am living my dream life. It was a dream I had five years ago when I just moved alone to London, with my then 3 and 5 yr. old. while my hubby continued to work in Qatar. I was supposed to lay the foundations of the new life that we, as a family, had planned. I remember being scared and frightened then because the responsibility that lay on my shoulders was mammoth. How on earth was I supposed to do it? I knew no one in London except for a friendly couple who we met on our honeymoon some ten years ago. Yes, we had occasionally kept in touch. But that was it, and they lived an hour away from us. The whole task seemed daunting, but I was never one to give up — so I put on my big girl pants and did what I was supposed to. All the while I waited and hoped for the day my family would be together, and well-settled with London as our new home.
And today I can confidently say that we are there. We are all settled as a family. My daughter goes to a lovely high school now all independently by bus, and my younger one too has a gang full of friends. My husband and I have the career of our dreams, and I am also getting time to pursue my dream of writing. At the same time, hubby is having his fair share of golf. Life has come a full circle.
We have all we ever wanted and couldn’t have asked for more. And for that, we are grateful and feel blessed. But that hasn’t stopped us from pursuing more goals. We are humans and continue to evolve, and so our dreams continue. For example, I have started a blog to write and inspire people to do the same to live their dream life. I am doing all I can, but there are days when it looks like the road uphill is quite steep: frustration and anguish creep. Sometimes I feel like giving up; other times, I am desperate and sell myself short. Other times I chug along.
Everyone gives you different advice, and there are some you feel strongly about and others you resist. Besides the conflicting advice, there is the fear of it not working out, or it being a waste of time and energy. Sometimes it makes me spiral downwards. It has made me face some demons I forgot existed.
It is then that I realize we don’t spend enough time relishing and savoring the dreams that we have achieved.
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I have learned there are five ways in which we stop enjoying the present
- Lack of clarity of life vision: We will always have goals and dreams because we are evolving beings, but moving towards the goal must not stop us from savoring the present, what we have achieved, where we are, enjoying our journey, and being proud of where we have reached.
- Lack of appreciation of ourselves and our purpose: While it is essential to have a perspective and not lose sight of the goal, we must not forget why we do what we do, or else the dream or goal post can hold us hostage and prevent us from enjoying the present. We must appreciate our journey, our starting point, where we are currently at, and the roadblocks that we crossed to get there even if we have not reached our destination. We must appreciate ourselves
- Fear: This is another thief that can rob us from enjoying our present or be the spoke in the wheel of the achievement of our future dream. Some of the ways fear manifests itself is ‘fear of the unknown’ or doubts like ‘what if we fail or ‘what if it doesn’t work’.
- The desire for new things also can sometimes sabotage us: It comes in the form of desperation — the need to meet our goal at any cost. This stops us from appreciating our hard work and efforts and the journey we’ve made. It manifests itself in the form of a voice that diminishes all the effort we have put in. It wants instant results and is desperate for attention. We shouldn’t let it take us hostage.
What are things we can do to keep present, grounded, and grateful?
- Self-appreciation – Remember the starting point. Where you started, look where you are now, and appreciate how much you have evolved.
- Avoid Comparison. Don’t look at another’s journey and compare their journey to yours.
- Sometimes, all you must do is put on your blinders and work. Sometimes, it is days of action and some of rest. Find out which day you are in and pivot accordingly.
- Remember earlier feats and use it as a memory to boost you up.
- Remember the roadblocks and how you’ve overcome them. Use them to give you hope that you can indeed do it.
- Remember the determination you had to stick through it no matter what curve balls life threw at you. It helped your earlier dream to see the light.
- Gratitude – Be thankful for where you have reached. Many haven’t. Be grateful for the opportunity you have got. Remember the numerous blessings and unexpected help that came unannounced. My friend showed up as a guardian angel every week for six months taking me around the place and making me feel at home.
- Remember your vision – why did you want the old and new dream? What were your real reasons for these goals?
- Introspect -How will it enrich your life? How much of your effort is it worth it? If I am miserable, it is a sign that I am doing something wrong, and in no position to help others. If we don’t give ourselves time to introspect our life decisions, we end up chasing our tails, not knowing where we want to go and why. So, take the time to rest, recoup, rejuvenate yourself. It also helps you clear your vision.
- Remember that success is not linear. It has its ups and downs. Some days are better than others, and it’s best to enjoy the ride.
- Give your self grace for the mistakes you make.
- Provide yourself with compassion. Know that you always deserve a break. Take a time out from new goal posts to savor the old ones that you have achieved, celebrate yourself, the victories, and the mistakes you made.
- Don’t be hard on yourself because the current goal seems difficult and frightening or you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Learn from the past. Remember the times you didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. What did you do then? What can you do now?
While we continue to evolve, the small setbacks and uphill road ahead shouldn’t disappoint us. We should use our experience of beating odds uplift us. We should let the feeling envelop us and make us not only lose hope but also not dim the light of what we already have achieved. We are warriors and action-oriented, evolving people. Let us use our experience to motivate us and remind us that we saw victory in our earlier dreams because of our mettle. Let us not forget that.
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