Everyone wants success. People talk about setting goals and positive thinking and getting to the top. However, most of these same people never really define what success means to them.
Instead they think only in terms of the next big promotion or the next raise or climbing the corporate ladder, but few ever stop to really look at where these goals are taking them.
World-renown motivational speaker Zig Ziglar says that to define success, you should stand on the goal line of life and look into the end zone. What you want to see there sets the parameters for your definition of success.
In other words, ask most people what they want from life, and they will say, 'I want to be happy.' That's great, except for two things: they seldom know with any certainty what happiness actually means to them, and secondly, they never actually plan to be - nor take the time to be happy.
Instead of taking the time to be happy now, most people fall into the when-I-get-over-there-then-I'll-be-happy syndrome. If you look, you see these kinds of people every day maybe even when you look in the mirror. 'When I get that promotion, then I'll be happy.'
'When the kids are back in school and I can do this, then I'll be happy.'
'When we get out of debt, then I'll be happy.'
Problem is, it doesn't work that way. If happiness is your goal; if having been happy is something you really want to see in the end zone of your life, then you have to start being happy today. Not tomorrow, not in a week, not when 'X' happens tday.
So, how do you do this?
First, you must seriously ask yourself, what makes you happy? What makes you feel alive and completely in touch with the essence of yourself?
Maybe it's hiking or skateboarding or baseball or running. Maybe it's painting or music or writing or dance. Maybe it's something as simple as taking a cup of tea out to the porch to watch a sunset.
Immediately you say, 'I don't have time to do that stuff. I'm busy making a living. I don't have enough time as it is.' And then you wonder why you aren't happy.
If happiness is a goal you have, then you must schedule time every day to do something that makes you happy. As Annie Dillard, the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, said, 'How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.'
The question to you then, is how are you spending your days? The reality is that what you have right now is exactly what will be in that end zone on your last day here. Is this what you want?
If so, congratulations! If not, you can start right here, right now to make a new ending. Decide today what will be in your end zone, and then make the changes to get that in your life today. You deserve it, but don't put it off. You don't have a second to waste.
Written by Staci Stallings
Many thanks to Staci Stallings for allowing me to publish her story