Your Life Is More Than A Checklist To Get Through

You say you’re behind in life, ruminating on where you should be instead of focusing on where you are now keeps you stuck. You cannot change the past, and you cannot predict the future, but you can make every effort to guide it in the direction you want to go. 

You tell yourself that you have milestones to achieve by a certain age; otherwise you’re a failure. You tell yourself you can’t be happy unless you get the next life goal checked off your list. What you don’t realize is that this list never ends. This obsession with your life keeps you from living it. Your life is more than a checklist to get through. Your life is the collection of highlights celebrated and defeats mourned that make up your unique story.

Your life is more than a checklist. It’s a growth tool. Think of anyone you’ve ever admired. You connect with them because there’s an aspect of their personality you love, that you aspire to cultivate. It could be what they stand for or their survival story. We connect through our common struggles, which pushes us to grow. Hardship brings resilience. It asks us to look at ourselves in areas where we might be wrong. It forces us to become a better version of ourselves, which helps inspire others along the way.

Your life is a collection of small moments that have made lasting impressions. When you look back on some of the best moments of your life, they were experiences that made you feel relaxed, happy, or excited. It isn’t specifically the job promotion you want; it’s the thrill of the new learning opportunity and the income it brings. It isn’t specifically buying a house you want, but the feeling of security and accomplishment that comes with it. It isn’t specifically the relationship you want, but the intimate conversations, time spent together, and feelings of love you crave. You see, life isn’t just about meeting milestones. It’s about the emotions they evoke in us. It’s the need for comfort, satisfaction, and safety that we’re really after. 

Once you pinpoint your specific need, balance, freedom, comfort, privacy, or ease, you realize there are multiple ways to get there. You realize that you can create moments of happiness even before you reach the goals you’re striving for. You realize that you can collapse time and enjoy the journey along the way. You realize that success is whatever you want it to be. It’s the places and people that bring stability and safety, not what you think will make you happy or what society says you should achieve. You realize that life is more about the series of small decisions you make along the way than items on your checklist.

I hope you dream big, go after your goals, and create a legacy. I hope you achieve all you want and desire in this life. And in all of your dreaming and planning, please remember that your life is more than a checklist. You do not need to wait to achieve your goals to feel this. You can experience joy by cherishing the small moments in life.