Gratitude, Goals, and Growth
I got a note the other day from a client asking about how to be grateful and still to be in goals. It was a great question. If you’re grateful, why would you need to ask for more?
Gratitude is an essential practice because of what it does in your brain — it brings your mind to the present. It’s impossible to be stuck in the past, regretting the choices you’ve made when you are grateful to be breathing, for your delicious lunch, for the phone you are using, for the sound of birds chirping, for fresh air. It’s also impossible to be in the future, where you have a to-do list a mile long, or emails that need to be sent, or a packed calendar. When you are in a moment of gratitude, there is only right now.
Right now is also the place where you can create a future that you are excited and energized about. The universe is in constant expansion, and you are designed to expand along with it. When you stop growing, you start to contract, and parts of you start to die. It’s why you get so impatient with a job where you are bored; you need to grow and be in continual challenge. You inherently want to get better at whatever it is you’re doing.
In fact, your job as a human on the planet is to grow. It’s the most important job you have. Goals are a key way to keep pushing yourself into growth, to challenge yourself in both the short and the long-term. It’s also, frankly, what keeps you happy and feeling good. Think about the last time you were bored or were frustrated by something. It’s likely because there wasn’t any growth. It applies to relationships, to jobs, to your physical health.
Whenever I have dialed something in, whether it is fitness or career, I know it’s time for me to look around again and find something that will bring in challenge. I let go of two yoga classes recently. It was HUGE growth for me to follow my gut call and to do it. It was time for me to focus more on my coaching business. But letting go of those classes also came loaded with all kinds of fears, like losing community or connection or my ego yammering on about giving up a coveted time slot. I’m also loyal, and it is hard for me to detach from something I have done for a long time. I also knew I would stagnate if I held on, that I would be overriding and causing myself to contract if I kept those classes. When it comes to career, my business is my path of growth. I am dedicated to putting my time and attention to the areas of my life which challenge me, and to keep growing.
It isn’t always easy. It is, however, simple.
Where is it time for you to grow?