A negative side-effect of our modern “instant gratification culture” is that we often measure ourselves by how much we are accomplishing in this moment, instead of how much we hope to accomplish by the end of our lives.
We tend to believe that all the things we’d like to have—like having a boyfriend, getting our dream job, or achieving spiritual enlightenment–are all things that we should be capable of achieving right away and with little effort. And why wouldn’t we believe this: we can send a message to someone half way across the world and they can receive it in an instant—so why can’t our dream be achieved with the same type of ease and alacrity?
As I try to manifest my own dreams, I am realizing that, for instance, just because I can get an uncooked meal warm and ready within 2 minutes (simply by throwing it in a microwave oven) does not mean that my dreams should be achieved with the same simplicity and swiftness.
I am learning that anything that is worth having takes time, effort, patience, and sacrifice.
But this truth rubs hard against our modern culture because modern technology has implied to us a false premise: that all things should be easy and fast. But not only is the “easy and fast” approach generally not possible when trying to achieve your dreams, sometimes “slow and difficult” is the more preferred route. Why? Because often times it is “the slow and difficult” approach that can assist in helping us process our experiences more effectively. Going at it more slowly can help us truly grow, truly learn, and truly appreciate what is earned at the end of the process.
Taking the slow and difficult approach to realizing our dreams takes courage, I know, but it also takes some planning. Part of the “planning” is writing the conclusion to your life story first so that this conclusion keeps you on track on a day-to-day basis, and so that you are constantly reminded of what end goal you’re attempting to reach.
Why It Helps To Know The Ending of Your Story (Long Before You’ve Reached It)
A great writer always knows where they’re headed. They know the ending to the story and they don’t finish a story until they know what that story is about.
Because you see, stories that have no focus come off as having no focus. You cannot hide that from your reader. Stories that do not know where they are going read like that from the very beginning.
It is very important to apply this rule to your life as well: picture the ending of your own life story and see if the way you are currently acting, thinking and being is leading your life to the conclusion you want.
If you notice that the way you are currently acting, thinking, and being could lead you absolutely anywhere, then know that your story lacks focus and even the people in your life can see that is the case. This lack of focus may be the key to your feelings of anxiety, worry, and panic. Create a conclusion that you are headed for and notice how much more peaceful and at ease you go about your daily life–because you, as the author of your story, know in what direction you want your life to be headed.
What is more, if you apply this principle to your life, it will become very clear to you that if you constantly have a negative way of living, then there is only one conclusion to a story with that focus: a tragedy.
Is this what you want?
I think not.
But then again: have you ever thought about what you want to happen at the end of your life? Have you every meditated about your life’s conclusion? Do you know how you’d like to be perceived, how you’d like to be remembered, and what you would want to have created by the time your life is all used up?
If all this time you’ve been asking life: “where is this all headed?” You may want to pay close attention to what I’m about to say:
When you asked life “where is all this headed” and life did not answer you, what if that silence wasn’t life being cruel by keeping the direction of your life a secret from you—what if life was waiting for YOU to respond to your very own question?
What if you are the one who’s supposed to draft up “the conclusion” to your own life story; and what if life is waiting for you to create the kind of life today that would lead you to that conclusion tomorrow?
What Is Your Life’s “Mission Statement?”
Every business has a mission statement: a formal written document that clearly states the focus and purpose of the business. The intention of every mission statement is to keep the company on track to staying true to its original vision, no matter how much time passes and no matter what happens, so as to ensure that the company is not distracted or led astray by whimsical desires or interests that have nothing to do with the company’s original intent.
A company that lacks a mission statement is a company that often lacks focus. Without one central vision, the company can find itself consumed by all sorts of distractions and temptations and this, in turn, affects everybody who works for and with the company. Because if you don’t know what your company stands for, be assured that no one else will.
A person is similar in this sense: if a person does not tie their life to one central vision, although they may experience great freedom by not being tied down to a singular vision, it will be very easy for that person to be distracted by the most random and mundane of interests, tasks, or personal dramas–and none of these things will help the individual achieve their dream and will only make it that much harder for that person to stay on track.
If you want to make sure you are on track to manifesting your dreams, while mitigating the slow and difficult path it takes to achieve those dreams, then having a written mission statement for your life might be helpful to you.
If you’re a writer, you can see this mission statement as a draft of the conclusion to your life.
If you’re not a writer, you might see this as an excellent opportunity to bring your life more focus: you can finally let yourself work out, on paper, what the central vision of your life’s story is so as to always keep yourself on track, no matter how slow or difficult it is to realize your dreams.
If all this time you’ve been waiting for someone else to step in and create the direction of your life for you, today you have to come to the realization that you are the creator of your life story–and its conclusion.
As soon as you accept this, the next part is being courageous enough to stop asking life where it’s leading you and, instead, start telling life where you want it to lead you.
Today’s Courage Exercise
Write the conclusion of your story.
Write a mission statement for your life.
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