Everyone has their own measure of success. How do you define when you cross the finish line or when you’ve finished doing something or accomplished something? I like to keep long term goals in mind. As a 9-year kid I wanted to be an astronaut. Talk about a long term goal. That’s crazy. Canada didn’t even have an astronaut program then, but I just thought Neil and Buzz walked on the moon and that wasn’t possible this morning so I wanted to do that. I wanted to set that as a long-term goal.
If you set yourself a near impossible long-term goal and it helps provide you with, not only the impetus to move your life that way, but also the direction in which to move your life when you’re making all the little decisions that decide whether you’re satisfied or not, whether you have enough knowledge or not, or whether you’re complete with something or not. If you have something that is really exciting for you in the far distance, an issue that is fundamentally heart tingling to you, then it will constantly give you the drive to get better informed, to exercise your body a little bit more, to push your life continuously in a direction that suits you and in a direction that in every step you move that way is a step towards a place that suits your nature better.
I’ve lived my whole life that way. You get in a habit of it. You get in a habit of constantly challenging yourself with new knowledge, with better understanding of what’s going on around you, and with being prepared for the next steps of things that might be coming. If you’ve got 10 minutes when something’s happening, spend your 10 minutes getting ready and almost your whole life can be defined in those little 10 minute increments. You’ve got some time here and then a thing, and then get yourself ready for that next thing. Don’t make yourself crazy with it, just keep it in mind. It gives purpose to each day and satisfaction at each bedtime.
The most important part of it is: love the life that results. Hopefully you’re moving life in a direction that suits you so that’s going to happen, but make a deliberate effort to notice and enjoy the life that is happening around you. It’s the little victories each day that actually constitute the joy and the full bucket of your life.
Keep a long-term goal in mind and keep driving yourself towards it, but at the same time, don’t miss the smell of the roses and don’t miss the joy and the beauty of the world that’s actually happening around you each day because all those little tiny decisions are the one that are your life and may be also someday, at the very end of it, you’ll get to fly in a spaceship.