You’re hard-working, you’re constantly striving to do better, and you’re always looking at how you can improve yourself. You’re ambitious and you want to achieve more and more. That’s fantastic!
I believe that we wouldn’t have invented all the amazing things that exist today if it weren’t for that eagerness to innovate and evolve. I wouldn’t be typing this blog post on my laptop on an airplane high up in the sky right above the Alps heading to see my family in Bulgaria. You wouldn’t be reading it on your electronic device wherever in the world you are, however you found this article.
When I was doing my personal performance coaching diploma, it was all about setting goals, identifying that next big dream and helping people to get to that next level in their life.
But are we striving so much for what we don’t have that we rarely, if ever, pause to appreciate everything that is already amazing in our life?
Over the past month, I’ve had a couple of clients who’ve gone through my Jump-Start Your Way to a Successful Balanced Life programme who had one thing in common. On the back of the exercises that we did together, both clients realised that they had so much great stuff going on in their life that they hadn’t appreciated until we’d worked together.
In our constant drive to improve, to have more, to be more, we often forget to look at what’s already amazing in our life right now. And sometimes, we only appreciate what we’ve had after it’s gone.
Last week was a tough week for my family…
If you’ve known me for a while, you’ll know that my family is very important to me. You may not know that I speak to my parents a few times every week and I visit them a few times a year.
In fact, I’ve already booked my three trips for this year. (I’m on my way as I’m typing this). Last month, I hesitated about going back in October. But then, I reminded myself that one of the reasons why I chose to change careers and I love running my own business is because it gives me the freedom and the flexibility to work from anywhere.
Last month, when I booked my third flight ticket to Bulgaria for this year, one of the reasons was to see my ageing grandmothers (one is 88 and the other turned 91 two weeks ago!) and because I had no idea how long they’d be around.
If I’m completely honest, I took it for granted that when we’d go back just now in June, I’d see both of my grandmas.
Unfortunately, earlier this month one of my grandmothers had a stroke, and she started to refuse to eat or drink water. Ten days ago, I pleaded with her “Grandma, please eat! We’re coming to see you in 10 days’ time.” On WhatsApp I saw her eyes light up and she ate more than she had in the previous days. This gave us hope that I’d get to see her in person when we visited.
Every day, I’d call my mum once or twice a day asking to check-in on grandma. Unfortunately, the glow in her eyes didn’t last long. In the following days, she stopped eating altogether. She couldn’t get out of bed.
On Tuesday morning, I had this urge to tell my grandma something I hadn’t said in a long time. So when I rang I said, “Grandma, I love you. I love you very much, Grandma.”… I paused… I wondered do I say “See you on Friday” or do I say “Bye”?… I uttered, “Bye”. Just in case, I thought to myself…
I called my mum again 12 hours later. Grandma had just taken her final breath – 72hrs before we were due to land and be with her.
The tears started rolling down my cheeks, my lips twitched, my heart tightened and felt heavy with loss. Yet in the midst of my grief, there was a moment of peace. I was happy that I had said those last words in the morning to my grandma while she could still hear me. Before it was too late.
We just never know what’s around the corner… What could you be more thankful for today? Who do you love that you haven’t told them “I love you” recently?
Yes, do keep striving but also remember to appreciate the present moment and what you have today, who you are and who you’re surrounded by.
Let me know in the comments below: What are you thankful for today?