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Living on the Verge
by Marnie Pehrson

Do you get that continual gnawing feeling like success is just around one more corner? When you get that promotion, when you get married, when you have children, when you get that raise, then you'll be happy. This big idea or this ''deal'' is the one that is going to solve all your problems. Then you'll have the courage to be the person you really want to be. Have you noticed that even when you close the deal or get the promotion, life doesn't dramatically change? You aren't suddenly happy. What happens? You set your sights on something new -- the next big opportunity -- and wait for it to arrive while happiness remains ever elusive.

It is our inherent nature as human beings to always be striving for bigger and better things, to never fully be satisfied. Is there anything wrong with wanting more and better and striving to improve? No, there's nothing wrong with seeking to be better than we are. That's a fantastic quality to have. But when we postpone our happiness in life for some future event, and set our sights on a moving target that always changes, we miss out on life. We'll never truly be happy.

Success isn't a destination

Life is an evolution process. We never fully arrive. Success isn't a destination, success is in the ''doing'' -- in the ''being'' not in the ''arriving'' or even in the ''having.'' An associate of mine lives his life waiting for a time when his problems will subside before he'll take steps to have personal happiness. ''When I reduce some of the stress in my business, then I'll start building a social life'' he'll say. I gently remind him that the social life would reduce his stress.

How do you ever reduce your stress if you live continually on a career treadmill -- ever waiting to have a personal life until you have fewer items on your task list? It's a law of nature -- 'to do' lists always have items on them. They never run out. The day you die, you'll still have items on your to do list!

I've watched people waste decades waiting for some future big event where they'd finally arrive and be this huge success. Yet even when they achieve many of their goals, it's never enough to make them truly happy. It doesn't have to be this way. You can be happy now. It's not complacency I'm advocating. You don't have to let go of your ambitions to be happy in the moment. The key is in finding the balance to enjoy the ''now.''

So you haven't reached all your goals yet? Who has? No one! What are 10 things that are good about where you are right now? Pull out a sheet of paper and list them. What's great about where you are right now in your career? In your personal life? In your social life? Don't wait for the future to be happy. Be happy now -- enjoy where you are while you're there. Relish in the process of being and becoming and you will find the secret to happiness that you once found so elusive.

 

 

Marnie Pehrson may be contacted at http://www.ideamarketers.com webmaster@ideamarketers.com.  Marnie L. Pehrson is a writer, content provider and marketing coordinator who helps coaches and consultants get the online exposure they need to turn prospects into clients. She is the author of "10 Steps to Fulfilling Your Divine Destiny" and can be reached at webmaster@ideamarketers.com or http://www.pwgroup.com.

Copyright Michele Caron, 2002-2005