This post originally appeared here on Medium.

Stop Looking Out For The Finish
Line It Doesn't Exist

Will I ever arrive? If I do, what does it look like?

Money, happiness, sustainability? It’s no secret that everyone wants a better life. It’s a non-stop pursuit. I fantasize about the castle I constructed in the sky of dreams. It’s not an easy climb, but people reminded me never to take my eyes off the much-coveted path. Armed with will and determination, I joined the race. Not because I wanted it that much, but because everyone else said I should.

There are days I crash. It’s easy to fall into dissatisfaction. I often wonder about the different kaleidoscopic versions of my life that could exist. Despite knowing there are no certainties, isn’t it funny that we always want what we don’t have? And it’s times like these I ask myself the question again: Will I ever arrive?

The vision is for an appointed time, they say. So I exercise patience and wait for its fulfillment. I labor and build, holding on to the image floating across the foreverland of ambiguities. The further I go, the higher my expectations rise. The bigger my dreams grow, the steeper the slope that leads to the mountaintop. The longing for a better prospect left me exhausted and frustrated.

Everyone is broadcasting their accomplishments, enjoying the fruits of their labor. They look ecstatically happier — everyone except me. I am constantly reaching out for something else, detesting the version of life I had built. Happiness seems so far out of reach.

We would do well to find happiness right where we are rather than obsessing over where we’re going. Let’s not compare ourselves with the best parts of someone else’s lives. Regardless of how it seems, the grass is rarely greener on the other side.

— Esther George,


Photo by Tiana from Pexels 


For years, I would do anything to fulfill the craving for acceptance. I belonged to a tribe where we all row in the same direction. Genuinely expressing myself doesn’t seem right. It’s hard to acknowledge where I am or to accept every aspect of my reality. A deep sense of inadequacy pushed me to pursue a higher life. My pursuit takes me out from where life is happening into an unidentified future moment. Since everyone aims to climb the highest peak, I should, too. After all, I don’t want to miss out.

Often when it looked like I was underachieving, I was further along than I thought. Every time I felt weak, I underestimated how strong I was. When life throws roadblocks on my path, I discover it was rerouting me towards a better outcome.

My perception of reality was undeniably skewed. I looked at life through a black and white lens with no tolerance for shades of gray. Either I succeed or fail, but I can never accept the in-between spot. I put more value on external appearances than on how I felt about a situation. I see myself as an underachiever by comparing my low days with someone else’s highlight reels. I fall short for not being good enough — especially for myself.

Sure, l have moments of joy, but they are short-lived. Soon my mind drifts right back to the gazillion aspirations I desire but have not achieved. I imagine myself as this successful, abundant, happy, fulfilled person someday. So I waited.

Focus on the journey, not the destintion. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.

— Greg Anderson


Photo by Tiana from Pexels 


Nobody tells me it’s okay not to have everything. There is no need to strive for perfection. I don’t need to gain thousands of followers, publish some books, or become a best-selling author.

It’s wonderful working towards a goal, but I need to develop the right mindset. It’s possible to find satisfaction where I am and not hold my happiness off to a future moment. I have not arrived because there isn’t a final destination. Life is a constant, fluid process of becoming.

There is no shame in dwelling among shades of gray. On my way up, I can still enjoy the view without stressing over when I’ll arrive. I don’t have to wait till I reach the top. I can celebrate what’s in front of me because where I am today was only a dream once upon a time. If I wake up in the morning and have the next 24hours to live the rest of the day, I’m doing pretty well. I get to decide what happiness means to me, and it doesn’t have to be that distant, elusive dream.

Original Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels 

Every aspect of our existence will continue to evolve and grow. Change happens. There is always something else that’s bigger and better, and that’s fine. Let the path unfold as we go along, but we need not be laser-focused that we miss celebrating how far we’ve come.

We would do well to find happiness right where we are rather than obsessing over where we’re going. Let’s not compare ourselves with the best parts of someone else’s lives. Regardless of how it seems, the grass is rarely greener on the other side.

As I sit here deep in my thoughts, I hear a still small voice inside asking, “When will you arrive?” Without missing a beat, I smile. It doesn’t matter anymore. I revel in the freedom to go after what I want without the pressure of having the outcome tied to my self-worth.

Almost everyone seeks happiness at some point. Some believe it hides in the future, while others claim they’ve misplaced it somewhere in the past. As for me, well, I’m glad because happiness to me is right now. And I hope with all my heart that amid all the seeking and wondering, you’ll discover that it’s the same for you, too.

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