When I was young I always wanted to be the richest man in Wales (I come from there! If you don’t know where that is, it is the country next to england look it up!)

In fact I should say that I was totally convinced that I would become said richest man.

Now that does not mean much unless you know what it takes to be the richest man in Wales. As we speak the two richest Welsh People according to The Sunday Times Rich List are

Sir Michael Moritz (Sequoia Capital) £1.6 Billion

Sir Terry Matthews (Newbridge Networks, Celtic Manor) £1.19 Billion.

So I can feel you asking how am I doing? Well I will tell you I am fucking light years away. Light years I tell you.

If I compare myself to my fantasy aspirations I’m a total and utter failure. An embarrassment to myself, my family and the Shaolin Temple. In fact I should be apologising to anyone who ever set a goal, to everyone for my very existence and all those who have ever helped me taught me or given me the time of day.

Does that seem a little strong?

Well the thing is this, this is how most of us treat ourselves. We compare ourselves to our idols, (Rockstars, Film Stars, Celebrities, Business Leaders even Spiritual Leaders) and we fall so far short of them. Jeez that’s depressing.

Why oh Why oh Why can’t i be more like the people I admire? Life is so bloody unfair!!!!

I’m definitely not the only person doing this not so long ago a guy I know asked me if I was upset that I had not achieved as much as Elon Musk (He owns Space X the first commercially successful private space enterprise. Not only that but he founded PayPal and also Tesla Motors) after all we are virtually the same age. Holy Cow. Look how far I am from the mark!

So does this mean it is bad to aspire to anything for fear of falling short and being a failure?

Hmm I think that is a good question.

Buddha said words to the effect of “All suffering is created through desire!” So maybe we should give up on the idea of betterment.

Or should we?

Well maybe we should ask a better question.

How about “How can we feel good about the pursuit of our goals without being reliant on the outcome?”

Thus far the best definition of success I have ever heard came from Jim Rohn. He described it like this.

“The progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal.”

You notice there was nothing about completion in the sentence.

Hey but that still may leave some of us falling short.

Let’s get a little bit more scientific with this and let’s make a measure that is a little bit more concrete.

Firstly we are going to do a little thought experiment.

Have you ever looked at the horizon? Yep we all have.

Have you ever traveled to the horizon? No you can’t! Why not? Because the horizon is not a real place, it is just our brains way of helping us deal with distance and geography. It is a trick of the mind and certainly not real. Agreed? Good!

If as a traveler you had to judge your success by how well you were in getting to the horizon you would be leading yourself down a very miserable path.

Ok this helps us with the second part of this.

We all have unrealistic ideas of how we would like our lives to be. You know when everything is perfect you have everything you want things life fame, fortune, glory, the big house, the Ferrari, the Yacht and the private jet. You have everything you ever wanted right?

(Some people get this and they are still not happy) But not you, you’d be over the moon right? The thing with fantasies is that they are always a moving goal post. That’s why some celebrities who seem to have it all are miserable because the posts always move. They are just like chasing the horizon.

Crikey Snowy you really are depressing me!!! Throw me a bone man for goodness sake!

OK so here is the bone and here is how you win the game.

First we have to realise that our fantasies are just like the horizon but instead of geography this is how our brain deals with time! Please take a moment to get the implications of that sentence.

Second, we have to look at three points.

1. Our fantasy life (or if you prefer, your compelling goals) We will call this Fantasy 1 (F1 for short)
2. Where we are right now! We will call this Reality 1 (R1 for short)
3. Where we have come from (our journey thus far) We will call this Starting point 1 (S1 for short)
S1 —————————— R1 ——————————————————————— F1
All pain comes from comparing yourself to F1 when you are standing at R1.

All pleasure comes from pursuing F1 but looking back from R1 to S1 and enjoying the journey and how far you’ve come.

So clearly I’m not the richest man in Wales (yet) but I am happy where I am and how far I’ve come, and I am still looking to the future with optimism. And well to be truthful by most peoples standards I’m doing much better than OK.

Each day is a win because I get a little bit closer to my fantasy and travel a little further from where I have come.

My friend Julian has tattooed on his arms the words Journey and Destination when I asked once asked him about them he told me that there was no difference in either word, he said “The journey is the destination!”
Snowy

 

Picture courtesy of the legend Julian Castaldi (c)