If I achieved all of my goals in life, how would I feel?
I asked myself this question and I really didn’t know how to answer it. For most of my life, I thought of goals with materialistic tendencies and career related idealisms. I vividly remember the goals of my early twenties. I was still in college and driving my old Buick from school past the BMW dealership every day. I would tell myself that someday I would have that car. In my early twenties I wanted the best life had to offer but I didn’t realize I already had it.
Always Wanting More
I’ve always had a desire for luxury and material things like the car and a beautiful home, amazing clothes and shoes. I did eventually get that car and many others since then but the feeling of satisfaction was brief and it soon became just another possession. I have set many more goals like this since then, always wanting more.
When I look back on my life’s journey I cannot think of one material thing that I own or have owned that has made me truly happy for more than a few months. A car is a car and a house is a house, sure some are nicer than others but inevitably I would begin to take them for granted. The more I accomplished the more I wanted but I was never truly happy. The house could never be big enough and the clothes change every season.
A Happy Life
The only memories of my life that made me happy and make me happy thinking of them now, are the moments I spent with my family. The memories of my daughter’s childhoods and watching them grow into beautiful young girls. Talking to my husband about how life used to be in our little one bedroom apartment and how wonderful those times were…now looking back.
I know so many people that would give everything up to see their mothers face and feel her arms around them just one more time…the precious moments of life are so fleeting. My mother is getting older and my daughters are moving on and I want to cherish every second I have with them. Listening to my mother’s voice on the line used to feel like torture to me because I had so many other important things to do…now her voice is like coming home. The screaming of a three-year-old running down the hallway is no longer a frustration but music that I can still hear faintly in my ear.
Letting Go of Possessions
Nowhere along this journey through my past did I think back fondly of a car or a pair of shoes…they are just not that important anymore. I spent my life trying to possess these things, but ultimately they are just things. I traded my precious time working for material objects. In the end, materialistic goals are simply an ocean of lost time and the realization of this has washed over me like a wave crashing on the shore.
And so I have changed the way I look at goals and what I want. My goal is not to have a more powerful job or a bigger house. I want to simply be happy. I want to make others happy, I want to cherish the gifts that I have been given. My new goal is to create beautiful memories to look back on in the years to come. It will take a lifetime to reach this goal but in the end, on my death bed when I take my collection of memories and contemplate my journey, the sense of accomplishment will have been amazing and full of love.
To My Children and Yours
Strive for your goals. Don’t settle for goals that only elicit an emotion in the present. Give your life meaning for a lifetime in any way you choose to do it and allow yourself the satisfaction of realizing your dreams.