“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
We talk a lot in this space about focus, and the importance of keeping a clear picture in your mind of WHERE you want your business to be. And it is certainly very important. With so many things coming at us on a regular basis, staying focused on what’s really critical and what we’re really trying to accomplish in the long term is one of the most important and challenging things for leaders to do.
It is possible, however, to be too focused on the end result. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we’re trying to accomplish down the road that we lose sight of what we’re doing now. And I don’t mean that from a make-sure-you’re-executing-the-plan-today standpoint. I mean that from a happiness standpoint.
I know a lot of leaders who seem to think that their own happiness is almost irrelevant, that if they were to spend any time thinking about actually being happy that somehow that would mean they’re not doing their job. Our goal is to grow, or to be more profitable, or whatever clever business type thing we want to do – not to be happy. At best, we say we’ll be happy when we’ve accomplished whatever that vision is down the road.
What kind of life is that? Nobody really hopes that the only part of their life that’s enjoyable is 5 or 10 or 30 years from now. You know why? Because it will never be 5 or 10 or 30 years from now. It will always just be today.
So make a point to enjoy today. No, not everything is fun all the time. But enjoy individual conversations, enjoy the fact that today is sunny, enjoy the fact that a friend called unexpectedly, or one of your kids gave you a hug, or there is cake at the office today (yes, we have cake here today!).
It’s OK – and important – to think long term and work towards achieving a vision. It’s OK to put the time and energy into something that takes a long time to pay off. Those things are absolutely worth doing. But don’t take those things to such an extreme that you miss out on something awesome today. The end destination is important, but most of life is the journey. Make sure to enjoy it.