Some day you will have a perfect job. Some day you will be twenty pounds lighter. Some day, your kids will all be independent and you can spend your days as you please. Some day your spouse will be able to read your mind and fulfill your every need without you having to tell him or her. Some day you might be elderly, looking back on your life realizing you missed a good deal of it waiting for ‘some day.’
It is healthy to aspire, to have dreams and goals, but these dreams and goals can very easily get in the way of your day-to-day peace of mind. So how do we balance ‘some day’ with the ‘here-and-now’?
‘Some day’ can be a great place to hang out, as long as we don’t spend too much time there, and we are mindful that our ‘some day’ thoughts are not tinged with revenge or envy.
Here’s today’s letting go exercise: Let go of ‘some day’ ~
1. breathe, relax, allow your mind to settle
2. Look around you. What present-day achievements were once ‘some-day’ ideas?
3. Chances are that your present-day achievements are bittersweet – that there was something that you had to give up in order to get what you have, whether that was a job in a different town, a bigger family, or more opportunity to travel. Acknowledge this fact, and spend some time appreciating all the lessons you’ve learned and the blessings you have given by the way “some day” played itself out.
4. Now let go of striving all together for the next five minutes. Take this break from ‘some-day’ thinking and focus on some aspect of ‘this day’ that brings you contentment and joy.
5. Use your mindfulness practice to bring yourself to ‘this day’ mind on a regular basis. The key is to balance healthy ambition with gratitude.
‘Some day’ can be a great place to hang out, as long as we don’t spend too much time there, and we are mindful that our ‘some day’ thoughts are not tinged with revenge or envy…. and don’t let your ‘some day’ dreams be shaped by anything but your deepest values. Feeling wishy-washy about your values? Take the UPenn VIA signature strength survey.
How do you balance striving with appreciation for what you have? Share your thoughts with us.
We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness everyday!
Check back tomorrow when we will take a closer look at breaking down envy.