We were asked at a very young age "what do you want to be when you grow up?" If your elementary school was anything like mine, we all sat around in a circle and talked about our biggest and wildest dreams. Some wanted to be a fairy, some wanted to be a princess, a firefighter, a doctor, and some didn't know. But in that moment our teachers wanted us to start thinking about what we wanted to be when we were 20, 30 even 40 years old.
And from that moment on we were always taught to look ahead. What classes are you taking next year, what colleges are you going to, what's your 5 year, 10-year, 20-year plan? When are you getting married? When are you having babies? Have you planned for retirement?
I mean, the questions go on & on. We're always thinking so far ahead & wanting and trying for more. And that's a great thing. I believe that striving to be better each and every day is a goal we all should have. I believe that making a plan for certain parts of your life is important. No one wants to be 50 and just starting to think about retirement. Nothing is wrong with a plan. But, what I am encouraging you to think about today is how to live in the moment, be grateful for what you currently have, while knowing you still want more.
That's an interesting thought, huh? You may be wondering, "how can I be so happy with today if I don't currently have what I'm wanting?" And I hear you. I totally hear you. But I can tell you from personal experience that I've had so many missed moments simply because I wasn't present in them. Simply because my attention was on the next thing, rather than the right now. And now, I'm looking back wishing I would've experienced them a little bit more.
Do you want to know the two things keeping you from being and staying grateful in the present moment?
Worry and fear.
These two things alone are causing all of the ruckus. It's not your money, it's the fear and worries about not having enough money. It's not your job, it's the fear and worries within your job. It's not your actual, physical body. It's the fear and worries you have about your body. These two emotions are why we aren't able to stay present and grateful. We're too busy trying to catch the next thing for fear that if we don't try harder, do more, say more, that we'll be without something in our future. Which is simply not true.
Oh, there's one other thing that's keeping you from enjoying your life right now and that's comparison. We constantly compare our lives to others and feel like we're missing out in some way. Simply because our life doesn't look like theirs doesn't mean our life isn't good enough.
Let me give you an example that I recently shared on Instagram. Two years ago I was living in New York City with the dream to become a spinning instructor. I had fallen in love with the practice of spinning in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio and knew I was meant to be a teacher. I had big dreams of teaching at a SoulCycle, filling up my classes, wearing really cute workout clothes & having students be inspired by the rides & the messages each day.
Except for, working for SoulCycle doesn't quite work like that. And I felt intimidated really quickly. I started to believe that I couldn't teach like they taught, I couldn't find the same type of music, I couldn't be as inspiring as them. I didn't have abs like them or sprint as fast as them. I convinced myself that I couldn't do it. And so two years later I left New York without ever teaching a class.
Once I moved home I was given the opportunity to teach at a gym in the downtown area. I was really excited but had my eye on a few other premiere studios around town. After auditioning for those (while still teaching at the gym) I felt defeated. I believed that, if I wasn't good enough for the popular studios then what was the point. I either wanted to be the best, with the best or not at all.
And then, I stopped myself because I realized something magical. Why isn't my teaching job at the gym enough? My classes are filling up, I'm even growing a waitlist. My students tell me how much they love my classes & playlists. One girl even said she rearranges her work schedule so she could get to my classes. WHY WASN'T THAT ENOUGH? So I chose to be grateful. Gratitude is a choice.
I could still have the mindset that my current class isn't enough and that I wasn't good enough since I didn't get accepted into another studio. But you can't want to be good at something you don't have when you're not willing to be great at what you DO have. Stay present, stay grateful, stay positive, stay open to what you currently have. What you think you want isn't always what you actually need. There is no reason to worry or be fearful about if it will come to you. Those feelings only rob you of the amazing things you already currently have.
Keep making goals, keep striving for more, keep bettering yourself. But never, ever lose sight of the beauties that surround you every single day - inside & out. And remember, what is for you won't pass you by.