Grass is Greener On the Other Side of the House
The sunroom in the back of my house has a beautiful view of our property. My wife and I love relaxing in our air-conditioned porch and taking it all in. From the porch, you can view our entire, quiet farmland — complete with a windmill and picture-esque dirt road.
As I work during the day, I find myself longing for the time when the day is over and I can sit on the back porch drinking in the view of my land. When the time finally comes to enjoy the view, I usually see our two cats in the yard — staring back at me. You can just tell all the cats want to be inside, curled up in one of our fancy chairs, or exploring the rooms they can’t see.
One could even say that I dream of being outside because I’m stuck inside, and the cats dream of being inside because they’re stuck outside. Does that mean we desire that which we cannot have, but when we get it, we no longer want it?
Consider The Journey
Sure, desire makes us work towards a worthwhile goal. Desire drives us to become better versions of ourselves, to provide value for others in exchange for the things we want and need, and to constantly look for ways we can improve the world in which we live. However, are we delaying our satisfaction until we actually obtain these objects of desire?
This delay of satisfaction is where I started to question my beliefs on desires. If we are always delaying our satisfaction until we have that which we desire, and we are always desiring something more, then aren’t we always going to be left wanting something? Let me say that differently -- aren’t we always going to be unsatisfied because we keep moving the finish line?
What if we all took time to not only desire the result, but we also took satisfaction in the journey itself? Yes, what if we could put just as much energy into doing good work for the sake of doing good work? We can then take satisfaction in knowing that we are doing what we need to do on the road to that which we desire. We can then take satisfaction in the fact that we are on a journey and that we are traveling well.
So we may not be at retirement yet -- who cares? Did we do what we needed to do today to work towards that goal? Did we do it well? Yes? Good. Let that satisfaction wash over you instead of denying yourself and ending your day wishing and wanting to be retired. You will not be retired today (unless today is your last day of work, then this is an oddly timed blog for you to be reading, congratulations).
So you are just getting back from vacation and it’s another six months before your next vacation? Do not fret. As long as you are doing what you need to do, you can take satisfaction in the fact that you’re on your way to that next reward.
Go down your list of desires. You're making progress towards each and every one of them and you do not need to wait until you have them in your hands before you are happy. By making the journey itself the reward, you will not only reach your goals, you’ll be giving yourself the gift of contentment and satisfaction that you can enjoy inside of each and every moment on your way to the final goal.
Paul Purdue is what most people would call a nerd and formed Attorney Computer Systems in 1980 with one mission. To help attorneys “Worry Less and Practice More.” Today, Paul and his team do this by selling, implementing, and customizing the technology systems law firms use to run their practice and training the staff on this infrastructure. When Paul is not out saving the world from porous infrastructure, he is tinkering in the recording studio or spending time with his wife, Barb. He also likes playing backgammon on his phone, reading a good book, or otherwise enjoying his empty nest while occasionally inviting his adult children (Katie and Spencer) over to see how quickly they can get on his nerves.