Today I saw a quote that was attributed to the Dalai Lama on Facebook. It was his thoughts on what surprised him most about humanity, and he said, “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived”. I saw it first thing this morning, and it definitely resonated with me. I, like many young people of my generation, am so focused on the future and future goals, that I fail to take a breath and look back at how far I’ve come, and appreciate where I am now.
The thought took me through the rest of the workday, and on my way home, I had a good “life” conversation with one of my best friends. She had recently gone through some major life changes, and shared with me how happy she was to finally feel like everything was falling into place, how she was feeling settled. She felt like she had been doing too much planning planning planning, always running, never resting. And finally, FINALLY, she was starting to learn the beauty of living in the now.
What’s funny about that conversation is that it’s seemingly a constant theme amongst my friends and I, like we’re all having these mini epiphanies all over the place. After spending so much time worried about the future and being stressed about all we haven’t accomplished, we are finally understanding the value in enjoying what we have today. I created my vision board for the year last weekend (as promised in my previous post), and the activity proved to be time-consuming, but extremely cathartic in so many ways. While its focus was on my goals for the year, getting them all down in one place has appeared to free up the mental space for me to bask in what’s directly in front of me. My focus and goals are still there and always present of course, but now, they don’t consume me with constant stress and despair.
What truly is the point of working tirelessly if you’re never taking the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor? I would hate for people to remember me solely as a “hard worker”, as “ambitious” and “forward-looking”, but speak nothing to my love of life, my dedication to improving the world, my love of the beauty that surrounds us. Take a moment this weekend to just reflect on all of the wonderful-ness in your life, and appreciate where you are, right now. Enjoy this moment…you can worry about tomorrow, well, tomorrow.