A Birthday Reflection
Every year on my birthday I take some time to reflect on the previous year and where I am in my life. I used to look backward and try to measure how far I’ve come.
I no longer do that.
While I remain aware of events I’ve experienced, I now focus more on what is happening in the moment. I take time to get a feel for how well I’m aligned with what I want rather than thinking about what has happened.
There are a lot of things I want – mostly experiences, opportunities to travel and more financial abundance – but I’ve discovered that the more I want those things, the less important they are to me. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. The more aligned I am with my joyful center the fewer attachments I have. Perhaps the most interesting discovery I’ve made is that as I allow myself to just “be,” I find that the process of taking steps toward the things I want is more enjoyable and less stressful.
I’ve developed a genuine attitude of, “I think it would be fun if ___.” I still have my moments when I stress out or panic when I have a looming deadline and I don’t have all the pieces in place to do something to which I’ve committed, but the overall process of “getting there” has become almost as fun as getting what I want.
I’ve heard teachers say many times that the journey is what makes everything worthwhile, not the actual achievement of a goal. I’m starting to really appreciate that principle, especially as I do more things for fun, with complete detachment from whether or not I get what I want. I’m seeing through my own experience that through the combination of detachment and taking steps forward just for fun, I inevitably get what I want (or something even better in many cases). I can say with complete honesty that I care about getting what I want without caring about whether or not I get it.
Weird, right? But that’s exactly how I feel.
In the end, I don’t really have a point to make today, except to say that as I celebrate my birthday and I move into the next year of my life, I’m truly happy. By living in the moment, doing what feels best right now, and enjoying the journey, I am experiencing the most joyful life I can. And that makes everything worthwhile.
About the Author
Appio Hunter is an author, speaker, spiritual guide, and self-described champion for living joyously. He uses his seminars and workshops to facilitate conversations about authenticity, alignment, and the daily experience of community, connection, and joy. Appio is also a weekly columnist with The Good Men Project and co-host of the Real Men Feel Show along with his good friend Andy Grant.