in reverb10

What’s Next, or What’s Now?

I’m a “project” guy. I’ve got to have something to do, somewhere to go, something to overcome. It’s in my nature not to be complacent, to take anything for granted, or to get too comfortable with where I am or what I’m doing.

It’s a blessing and a curse. My wife diagnoses me with “Life ADD” – a problem that has only one cure: Relax.¬†Easier said than done for a young go-getter like me, right?

The thing about aspirations and goals is that they have the uncanny ability to overwhelm us – when you’re constantly thinking about what’s next, what’s ahead, where you’re going – you forget about the most important thing: How you’re going to get there.

So instead of constantly thinking about “what’s next”, how about we start thinking about “what’s now”?

Keep you goals in mind, write them down, pin them on the refrigerator – whatever you have to do to make sure you don’t lose track of the destination – but instead of focusing soley on the end result, start focusing on what you can do today, right now, that will directly contribute to your goals.

When you break down those BHAG’s (big hairy audacious goals) into smaller, easy to digest portions, suddenly those goals don’t seem quite as hairy – there’s less pressure looming over you, and you can free yourself of the “I have to get it all done today” stress that will forever hold you back.

I’ve never been a huge fan of bucket lists – because – it’s just a list. And while a list is good at keeping you on track, they also force you to constantly think about the future – so much so – that you forget about today. If you’re going to make a list, maybe you should stop making “life lists” and start making a list for this month, this week, even today.

That’s what’s next for me, that’s what I’m committing to moving forward, not focusing on the end result, the final destination, but spending more time to relish in the little moments and embracing the “now” more often.

What goals are you working toward? What’s holding you back from achieving them? What can you start doing right now to make those goals a reality?

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  1. Matt,

    A very wise woman has been repeating the phrase “it’s all about the journey” in my ear of late. It is very true that we have to relish getting to the destination more than the destination itself. After all, the destination is simply a snapshot in time. Having a goal is the first thing in starting journey, but after it is established, the work and the fun start.

    Take the time to realize how lucky you are and savor every beautiful moment of life!

    I also agree that getting to those BHAG’s is all about breaking it down to manageable chunks. A journey is broken down in to individual steps in the end. Now, if you can be lucky enough to enjoy each and every step of the way, you are truly blessed.

    Have a great Monday sir. Good post.


  2. One of my life mantras, so to speak, is don’t spend so much time making big plans for the future that you forget to enjoy the present. Like you, I’m all for setting goals and working to achieve them, but some people get too caught up in the big picture. Every day brings with it new opportunities and possibilities. We’re doing ourselves a disservice if we don’t take advantage of them. Great post, Matt!

    • Planning is great, and I think it’s important to know, or at least have an idea, of where you’re going – but you can’t neglect to think about how you’re getting there today. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Thanks Matt! I think many young professional worry too much about the future. It is important to have goals, but it is also important to do exceptional work today.

    • Agreed – young and old alike, we get caught up in our futures and forget about the present. But, what we do today has a direct effect on what we’ll do tomorrow, the next day, the next month, and so on…

  4. I’m taking a chapter out of Alice of Wonderland and focusing on “6 impossible things everyday.” Life seems simpler when you don’t have too many outrageous goals but just a few tasks everyday that you need to take of. However all these tasks led up to one ultimate goal or a few different projects but if I tackle them into segments; it’s not as overwhelming and I actually feel productive.

    • Exactly – it’s about tricking yourself a little, isn’t it? Not getting caught up in the huge goals that will, without a doubt overwhelm you – but instead focusing on what you can do TODAY that will contribute to the bigger picture.

  5. I feel your pain. I feel like if I’m ever just sitting down that I’m missing out on time to get something done or learn something new. I think being present in the moment is the hardest thing for me to do. Great post to remind me to do so today!

  6. Ha – I’ve always said that I have “Life ADD.” I think a better term for people like us is “Renaissance Souls.” I hear you, and I’m working on setting manageable steps towards bigger goals myself!