When we set a goal, we often become so focused on the outcome that we lose sight of what is actually important: the journey.
Life is about living in the moment, but when we are preoccupied with winning versus losing, and completely focused on simply crossing the finish-line of achieving our goals, it is easy to forget that. Today’s blog is about how to detach from the outcome of any given situation -- even when it is something you really want -- so you can enjoy the journey of life. Every experience is gift. Finding that gift in the moment is the key to unlocking it all. Let me share a personal story.
My daughter is a prime example of being in the moment and soaking in the experience. When she was in sixth grade, she wanted nothing more than to be a cheerleader for her school. She had practiced tumble since she was three and had been on the county summer cheer league, but this was the first year she was eligible to compete for a spot on her school’s team.
As her mother, I was beyond excited for her. And, I was 100 percent certain she was going to make the team. After all, she is super cute, a good gymnast and a good cheerleader. She had it in the bag!
As the day of the tryouts approached, we practiced positive thoughts and rehearsed her routine constantly. When the big day came, I kissed her on the forehead and said, “No matter what, I’m so proud of you for trying out. It takes courage to get up there and most girls don’t have that courage, so you’re already amazing. It’s not about winning a spot on the team, it’s about the fact that you faced a fear and went after a goal!”
Now, I would like to say that I meant what I said, but really, I knew she would make it and it just seemed like the right thing to say to feed her confidence. After the tryouts she ran to me crying, full of nerves and just glad the whole ordeal was over. At midnight, while she was fast asleep, I pulled up the tryout results and my daughter’s number wasn’t there.
I remember reading the list over and over again, hoping my eyes were deceiving me. But they were not. Her number just was not there. I started to cry - yes, me. The one who had told my child it did not matter if she made it or not.
I wasn’t crying because she didn’t make the team. I was hurting for her because she wanted it so desperately and I didn’t want to crush her hopes and dreams. I needed to put on a brave face and remember what I told her that morning: It’s not about the outcome. It’s about being in the moment, and feeling successful because you went after your dreams.
The next morning, I went into her room and asked her to come downstairs with me. We sat in our favorite chair and I shared the news. I saw the tears welling up in her eyes. We spent ten minutes crying together while I told her how proud I was of her. She then asked to see the results and immediately began texting her friends to congratulate them on making the team. I was simply amazed. What a brave soul. She then proceeded to tell me she was happy that she tried and would practice some more and try out again next year.
She understood what I meant by living in the moment and being proud of what she had accomplished, even if the outcome was not what she had hoped for. She also understood what it meant to not give up on her dreams. She had a plan and was ready to start putting it into action for the next opportunity.
The moral of the story? Your perspective on life and the things that happen to you is all that you have. Reframe your mind and set goals with the intent of truly experiencing and feeling each moment, versus putting your value in the outcome. I promise, you will experience life in a far more positive and joy-filled way. Just ask my daughter!
Want to share your story? When you look back over your career or moments in your life, when did you live in the moment?