“People sacrifice the present for the future. But life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Many years back, I had the privilege of being selected for a prestigious assignment. It was a much coveted opportunity and resulted in me getting appreciated significantly as well as becoming the subject of much envious conversation. I was thrilled, it was something I had worked hard for and I was beyond delighted to have finally seen the success of my work.
As with every big opportunity, it required more hard work from me – Lots of travel, lots of research, lots of difficult tasks with short deadlines, lots of pressure. As the assignment progressed, I began to find my excitement dip considerably. Bereft of the initial adrenaline rush, I found myself disliking it everyday. To the point where I didn’t want it anymore at all.
I realized that in the quest for the goal, I had lost sight of the path beyond it. We spend a lot of time planning for the next big thing, but very little time on what we are ready to give up along the way. …And in the process we forget completely about what we already have and what we are likely to lose.
“There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice.” Simon Sinek
In coaching we often work on goal setting. Clients who are eager to get more out of life – looking for the next promotion, the next pay hike, the next venture, the next skill, the next list goes on. It’s a never ending list – the more we have, the more we strive for.
As their coach, I always ask the question “In the quest for this goal, what are you likely to lose and are you willing to lose it?” For that next promotion, it’s likely to be less time with the family; for the next pay hike, it may need more targets met and less time after work; for the next venture it may mean less sleep; for the next skill, it may mean less time for another skill and the list goes on. There is no right or wrong answer – there is just the informed, conscious and choiceful answer. Where we make our decisions with a heightened level of awareness that the choices we make will serve us long after the attainment of the goal itself and bring us closer to peace and happiness along the way. #GiftTheLight