Many of us have felt “stuck” or in a rut at some point in life. Oftentimes it’s due to the fact we become focused on the “end-game” and not the journey.

If your happiness is dependent on accomplishing certain goals, what happens if fate intervenes and outside events interrupt? That’s the problem with allowing your happiness to be determined by things you can’t control. It’s a huge risk.

We are a big sports centered family from playing to watching our favorite professional teams and athletes. The lessons we’ve gleaned over the years as players and as parents in youth sports have helped us during times we sometimes feel “stuck” by a perceived trapping of life, desire, or circumstance.

Have you ever heard a good coach tell players during an intense moment in a game or after they’ve made a mistake to just play loose and enjoy themselves?  Don’t those athletes tend to perform better when they do?

Like these athletes, we should take pleasure from our actions rather than the results that come from them.  Our ambition in life should not be to win but to play with our full effort and enjoy the game.

Think about it, if our emphasis is not on what happens to us but on how it is we respond to life’s challenges and curveballs, we will always find resilience. If we shift our focus from doing things for a perceived goal (such as promotion, wealth, recognition) to our true purpose for doing them (such as fulfillment, desire to help, or doing what we think is right), we will always find contentment.

Life undoubtedly will always be full of challenges, stress, and hardships. But that doesn’t mean we cannot find happiness or joy. Start small by focusing on the enjoyment of simple tasks or pleasures. Or, begin each day with a quick reflection about something for which you are grateful. Then identify the one thing that you could do to make your day awesome.

These are just suggestions. Do whatever works for you. Just try to make it a daily routine. You’ll be happy you did.

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Orange County Estate Planning Attorney Kevin SnyderKevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney and elder law attorney. He is all about family and has a passion for educating his community. He enjoys helping people protect what matters most and inspiring them to be the best versions of themselves they can be.

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