Most people think that if someone is ambitious, they’re spending their lives in a state of permanent dissatisfaction and angst, always chasing the next deal, the next promotion, the next new friend or even a new house. To be happier, many people think, involves blunting those ambitions and goals so that they can be happy being ordinary.
It doesn’t have to be this way, it’s not an either/or situation because you can follow your dreams and ambitions and be comfortable with what you already have. It’s more about enjoying the present while looking to the future.
Here are some great ideas to help you keep moving forward in a life that’s already pretty good.
Don’t focus too much on one ambition or life goal
Ask any successful investor about diversification and they’ll tell you that if you spread your money between several different commodities and companies, you’ll be much less likely to lose it because one investment will always be up, even if a few others are down.
The same applies to your energies, your relationships and your hopes. If you have a few different groups of friends, a garden, a pet or two and your job, then there’s always something to look forward to and to fall back on when something gets tough or comes to an end. It’s dangerous to put all your eggs in one basket.
Tweak the way you run your days
Look at your routines – your commute, your meal-planning and your social life, as well as your financial commitments and habits. If you’re not saving enough money each month, for example, then using Creditfix for its budget calculator might be an idea. Similarly, if you’re not finding enough time to study for a professional development course, then what is it that’s getting in the way? It could be that you spend most evenings after work cooking and by the time you’re done; you’re too tired to study. If this is the case, then look for quick recipes or batch-cook so all you have to do is heat up a stew.
Appreciate what you have
If you live in a developed country, you’re probably not going to die from bubonic plague, be worked to death or develop sepsis because of a splinter. You have loads of human rights and you also have central heating, clean water and endless cat videos online. You’re already winning at life, so stop looking at the neighbors’ new car.
If you do still find yourself comparing your life to others’ and feeling at a loss; then there are a few things you can do to break this cycle. You could stop coveting your friend’s lavish holiday in Tuscany and listen to how much your other friend enjoys his karaoke nights at the caravan site he takes his family to each summer. He’s happy with it, so what’s the problem?
Turn off the TV so you’re not permanently bombarded with shiny things that cost lots of money, or images of perfect skin and million-dollar birthday parties.
Stop making yourself unhappy
The image of the stressed, exhausted, burned out high-achiever is just a myth. Most people get the same end results by working happily and steadily towards a goal as they would do if they were turning down dates; staying up until 3.00am and being thoroughly miserable in their pursuit of success. It’s really not success or happiness, you can have both.