For years I had spent all my energy focusing on my goals.
I had that common thought that ‘when I get here’ or ‘when this happens’ or when I achieve this’ I will be happy. I will be fulfilled.
Well, I was wrong.
Yes, I was moving towards my long-term goals but at what expense?
What was I doing with my life on the way to these goals?
This changed me forever!
There is one moment that really sticks in my mind and its one of those thoughts that circle in our mind all the time but until we actually say the words out loud to somebody else, we don’t really understand the power of what we are thinking.
Back in 2016 I was on a call with a potential new business coach when he asked me to give him a few reasons why growing my business was so important to me.
One answer I gave him truly shocked me when I heard the words out loud!
“At the moment I am so busy that I am walking Oscar (my golden retriever) in the hope that he sleeps when we come home and I can have some peace and quiet to work” I told him.
Then there was a pause.
Was I really doing this every day?!
Was I really just treating this gorgeous dog as a chore so I could enhance my life?
I could have cried there and then once I realised what I was doing.
Ironically, one of my main drivers for growing my business in the first place was because I wanted to spend more time with Oscar. More time on walks, more time in the country and taking him on days out.
And yet here I was wasting our days together in pursuit of this long-term goal.
We were not making memories or enjoying our time together as we should have been.
That was all my fault and once I realised what I had done, I signed up to the business coach there and then to get me out of this cycle.
Straight after the call I went out in the middle of the garden with Oscar and gave him the biggest hug apologising over and over to him for how I had been. That was a really emotional moment for me and one I remember vividly.
I should have been enjoying the journey, the moment and the playtime rather than fixating on a ‘finish line’
This moment in the garden with Oscar led to big changes in how I run my business and my life as a whole.
These changes have ultimately led me to this weekends activities.
Yesterday, a beautiful Sunday was spent at a national trust venue deep in the heart of Buckinghamshire with Oscar, my girlfriend and a lovely picnic!
There was no work, no destination to reach and no time limits or deadlines.
We went, armed with a map and our picnic food and just walked. Taking in the sights, sounds and smells of nature (I’m only able to do the smelling part due to my new hayfever remedy!)
To paraphrase the old CentreParcs advert ‘We took time to stand and stare’
What a difference it makes to your happiness and general well being to relax and be outside in nature.
And with Oscar curled up next to me in the early afternoon sun whilst we finished our picnic and relaxed in front of the big lake on our picnic blanket….
It was a blissfully peaceful and happy afternoon.
How does this help you?
Well, what I have learnt is to not just focus on the top of the staircase.
Enjoy every step and even if we stumble and take a step back, just see it for what it is, learn from and start to ascend again.
This valuable lesson that was there, right in front of my face the whole time, has totally changed the way I view my life.
As a result, my blood pressure is low, I am calm, stress free and live a largely healthy and happy life as a result.
‘Stand and stare’ more. Your body, mind and spirit (and your dog) will love you for it.