I wanted to share a mistake I made that left me searching for something – something that I already had, but did not see.
When I started working, my goal was to build a company and sell it before the age of 30. At the time, 30 seemed really old, so that number made sense to me. We sold the company at 35, which I later realized was still super young.
I worked really hard for 10 years without much celebration because I did not want to celebrate until we reached our ultimate goal – the sale.
Here is the mistake
I thought that when we sold the company I would feel a sense of calm, joy, peace, and/or fulfillment. As if I climbed a mountain and reached the top and that experience would create a shift in my life that would be everlasting.
We sold the company and I was happy. Of course it was a positive moment.
Here is what I did not expect
I was overwhelmed. The truth is I was having a ton of feelings and in sum total, it left me overwhelmed. I was proud that I completed my goal and happy to have the security from the sale.
However, I was also sad because we built the company from infancy to adulthood and I was handing my “baby” over to the world. I was stressed because we had a ton of goals to meet right away because of the sale. Like the time clock had to be installed in 14 days or no one would be paid. I did not have the clock, nor did I know who to call in the new company to find this clock.
I wanted to have a sense that I believed existed when we attained the American dream. The “ I have arrived” moment. I had the house, child, relationship, and now money. I was supposed to feel perfect. What was missing?
What I missed
I did not realize that the top of the mountain does not exist. The moment of arrival is just another moment and is not where the feelings of contentment, peace, or joy come from.
I was stuck in the “When I Am” game. When I am thin enough, rich enough, loved enough, and every other Enough there is, then I will be happy. Worse, I wanted to feel all of those “Enoughs” at the same time!
When I started over to write this book, I also started over with the approach. This time I celebrate. Every moment is a win.
For example, my editor read my book and she thought it had a lot of valuable content. That is a win. She could have hated it. Just the fact that she enjoyed it is already a win.
My website went up without crashing. Win. Got a call with someone I wanted to talk with. Win. The call went well. Win.
I am not waiting until the end this time to celebrate. I do not mean that I crack open champagne, but I privately take a moment to smile, appreciate the opportunity and enjoy the possibility of what is to come.
Every moment that goes well is an opportunity to celebrate, even if the thing that I want does not come to fruition. I am celebrating that I do have enough. I have just redefined what “enough” means for me.
It means that I do not need more than I have in this moment. Since I feel fulfilled, I can celebrate the smallest achievement. Enough does not have to be the end game.
What I did not expect –
The losses are not as bad. I have so many wins because I have redefined them so one loss is not as upsetting.
I don’t get tied to the losses either. There are no losses because I have already won so many times that the losses are not defeating. I can’t get too unhappy about a loss when I have been celebrating so much. You can’t win every time, right?
Can you find a few things to celebrate this week? I am celebrating that I finished another blog post! Win.