I always think of the word goal as something we relate to the future. I have always thought that a goal should be something big --- like a four-bedroom house or an SUV. I have always thought that a goal is just like a stretch of green fields --- with many obstacles in the way. When achieved, I would scream in triumph and collapse in relief.
However, I have low EQ and even if I've succeeded in long-term goals, I feel exhausted after -- and surely, delayed gratification is a sign of strength --- I have come to set my life goals to be happiness. After all, it is an effort to stay happy and to conscientiously make the decisions that lead me to my heart's contentment. When I feel that I am sinking into sadness on some days, I confront myself and reiterate my goal: that is to be happy through life's instances.
I remember this paragraph from a favorite book, Eat, Pray, Love:
Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it and sometimes even travel around the world for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved you must take a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat it.
A friend and I have this iconic question: his being What makes you happy? and mine being When was the last time you were happy? If I think too long to remember, then it's time to work on my happiness. And that is my goal, to follow my heart and make everyday a happy day and with no regrets.
So. When was the last time you were happy?