It’s not better “there” than here

It’s just different.

When we set goals for ourselves, it’s easy to start thinking that when we finally achieve those goals, our lives will be better. 

Our lives will be different, not necessarily better. We may not have some of the problems we had before achieving our goal. But then we may have new problems after achieving our goal.

Life will still be 50/50, positive/negative.

But it’s tempting to think that “there” is better than where we are right now. We might start thinking:

“Once I get that promotion, I’ll be satisfied.”

“When I find my perfect partner, I’ll feel worthy.”

“Once I’ve lost the extra weight, I’ll love myself more.”

“When I buy a house, I’ll feel complete.”

“Once we have kids, our marriage will be more fulfilling.”

We can get focused on the “there” and forget about being here in the present moment. And when we place a lot of weight on getting “there,” we may be disappointed once we are “there” and we still don’t feel satisfied, worthy, loving, or complete. 

This is not to say that our goals aren’t important or that we shouldn’t have a vision of what we want for ourselves. But when we place so much responsibility on the future for the way we want to feel, we forget that we’re responsible for the way we’re feeling right now. 

“Being aware of the present moment simply means you never believe the illusion that the future is going to be better than what is going on right now.” – Mateo Tabatabai, The Mind-Made Prison

We can feel satisfied, worthy, loving, and complete right now by what we’re thinking about our life circumstances and ourselves. Our thoughts generate our feelings. We can fuel ourselves with the feelings we want to feel, take aligned actions, and create the future we want from here. 

Being “here” and creating our future from “here” is just as valuable and important as being “there” can be.

“Plan, dream, and organize all you want, just don’t start believing that what you have planned for the future is going to be any better than your current moment. You are going to be in the present moment your entire life. If you are focusing on how good the future is going to be, you are just running on the hamster wheel hoping to get somewhere. Life is right now in this glorious moment right in front of you. I believe that if you’re not allowing yourself to be happy right now, nothing external in the future is going to change that permanently.” – Mateo Tabatabai, The Mind-Made Prison

Your turn: What feelings do you think achieving your goals will generate for you? Do you believe you have the capacity to feel those feelings right now? What would happen if you didn’t need to wait for future circumstances to provide the feelings you want and that you can feel that way now? What would it look like for you to move towards your goals feeling now the way you think achieving those goals would feel?

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