So many of the leaders I coach have been on a journey, from a currently dissatisfactory “here” to what they imagine will be a better “there.”
Someday, they think, they will arrive at an ideal there.
They imagine that the current work, strife, and sacrifice will be worth it.
But there is no “there.”
There is only here. Now. This moment.
What I have seen, what I have lived, and what I teach, is that if you are not able to arrive here you will never arrive there.
If you are not able to feel the perfection of this moment, there is no moment in which you will.
Somehow, most of us learn that the way to feel better about ourselves in the future is to feel bad about ourselves now.
That self-punishment is a valid path, a requirement even, to self-improvement.
I want to suggest something different.
That the route to change is to fully accept where you already are.
That, to paraphrase the late Zen teacher Shunryū Suzuki, you are already perfect, and you could use a little improvement.
Walking that line is the way.
Seeing, welcoming, and even enjoying all that is here in this now. And seeing that there could be even more, even better, in a future now.
That might include struggle. That might include some long nights. That certainly includes learning. But even now, the hard work can feel enjoyable, fulfilling, meaningful, not a burden to be endured for some imaginary payoff.
And if it is only a burden, you are likely pointed in the wrong direction.