What if someone told you you could have everything you ever wanted – your dream job, the love of your life, things friends, houses, whatever? What if you then found out the catch – that it would be common knowledge wherever you went that absolutely none of it was because of anything you did or anything you were. Would you still take it?
These are the kinds of thoughts that pop into my head as I drive to the gym.
This question about “the process” hit me like a ton of bricks as I pulled into the parking garage. I was feeling impatient towards my goals, sluggish in my body and of the mindset that if I could just have A and B, then the rest of the alphabet would magically fall into place.
So many of us constantly say “I wish I could just snap my fingers and have _____!” That [insert blank] simply seems like the path to happiness. It seems like it would make our lives so much easier. Finances are usually a common filler for [insert blank]. If we could just snap our fingers, have money grow on trees and have it harvested for us, life would be a whole lot easier. And we’d be happy.
I was once told that we work in order to make money “to do fun things.” This person viewed a job solely as a path to money, as something we had to do in order to enjoy life. My school of thought is: work is something we do to use our strengths to strengthen the world. Money comes as a by-product of the work, not as the sole focus. And when the work is what we are meant to give the world, we reap ALL the rewards. Immediate perks are alluring. The big paycheck, the benefits, the security. But while money is definitely a necessity (there are always bills to pay and checks to write), I am yet to meet ONE person who works solely for the paycheck and is truly happy with their life. They put on the smile, but something is missing. That spark. That excitement. That sense of purpose. Money is the cubic zirconium to the diamond of bliss.
Listening to an NPR report the other day, I heard a staggering fact: job security is the top factor when it comes to the job search of a twenty-something. Not room for growth, and certainly not passion for the line of work. This generation, furthermore, is said to develop low expectations and depression issues to last a lifetime. It is this urgency, this worry we will not be as successful as our predecessors and must see results NOW to put our minds at ease that drives not only the Generation Y set, but the rest of us into a rat race for the perfect job, the perfect mate, the perfect life with a little bow on it. We are only given this life – if we don’t have it now, will we ever?
Anything worth having takes time. Good things come to those who wait… but only if they wait with a fierce determination, only if they’re waiting for their work and struggle and highs and lows and constant action to morph into something beautiful. We are masters of our own fate. Every little step is an opportunity for action and growth and forward motion. We were each given very specific traits and very specific gifts to offer the world.
The sense of accomplishment is one of life’s greatest gifts. Rushing the process is robbing yourself of the reward.
To break out of urgency, we must not simply slow down and wait, but we must actively pursue our goals and embrace each step of the process as one that is continuously building the success we so desire. We must not settle for imitation jewels or prizes that seem “good enough.” We are worth the work. We are worth the diamonds.