What Tiger Woods Can Teach Us About Happiness
So, I've set my goal, I know where I'm going, and with steadfast attention, I move in that direction.
Things progress smoothly, an odd hurdle here and there, but I jump over them and continue on my journey.
Then, after some time, I arrive. I did it! My goal is achieved! Hooray! What a relief!
Then the sheer delight of having accomplished my goal subsides. The adrenaline dissolves.
I start thinking. I know, I'll find another goal. Yes, that's it!
So, I've set my goal, I know where I'm going, and .... the cycle begins all over again.
Here's the interesting thing about life: no matter where you're going, once you get there, there will always be somewhere else to go.
Whether it's a physical goal, a mental goal, a spiritual goal, there isn't really an end.
I always thought there was a milestone I needed to reach. If I could just get to enlightenment, then I'd put my feet up and just be. The journey would be over and there'd be nothing left to do but bask in the radiance of Light.
Well, guess what? It just keeps going.
Let's choose someone to study as a case in point. How about Tiger Woods?
Say your goal is to be the world's number one golf player. You set your sights and do everything possible to manifest this outcome. You reach your outcome: You are Number 1.
Does that mean Tiger Woods' journey is over? Perhaps in the time spent striving for that one goal, other areas of life were unattended, and they need some refinement? The journey continues and another goal is set.
Let's look at Bill Gates. His goal possibly was to be the world's leading supplier of software or the richest man on earth. He succeeds. Hmm, well then what? He needs a new goal. How about eradicating malaria? And then what? Surely, there will be something else.
It sounds defeatist, I know.
Am I saying to have no goals?
No! But we need to accept that it's is a continual process with no end point. And if your fulfillment will be determined by the outcome, rest assured, that fulfillment will dissolve once the goal is achieved (or not achieved).
This is "outcome-oriented happiness" and will leave one forever in a state of discontent. A mild state of discontent isn't actually a problem. I was once told by a Rishi in India that discontent is the engine of evolution as it propels you forward with change.
Once we acknowlegde there is an eternal process that will continue to unfold, then we can let go of the attatchments to the outcomes and enjoy the ride a little bit more.
Have fun, keep it light, and remember it's just like the game Monopoly: it never really ends, but that's not why you decided to play it anyway.
It's all for fun right?