What was the achievement of the day?
We all have achievements to reach in life, some of them have been made up by ourselves, others come from societal expectations… In this post, I want to talk a little bit about how I perceive achievements and how they can become an obstacle or a blessing if you let them.
I believe achievements are based on belief systems, and it’s common to show off our achievements of the day whenever is possible (particularly through social media these days). Especially those things we consider special (because they make us feel special). It all depends on the story we tell ourselves; in other words, on our beliefs and paradigms. So we have to question our beliefs all the time because they can be the root of our inner peace or suffering. I like to classify achievements into 3 types:
Achievements of survival:
When we leave home and decide to live by ourselves, we have to find a way to survive; we have to find a job, start producing money to cover our expenses and afford certain pleasures.
There are countries where kids need to work in order to help out their parents, so the pressure starts since they’re very young. However, even as kids living in the western world, we also had our own achievements to chase at school. I remember mine and I can clearly see how I compared my achievements with my friend’s achievements. It’s natural, right? We’ve been learning what is like to be human beings, using our minds and emotions for many years. However, I still wonder how long does it take to know ourselves 100%?
On the other side, when we have our own kids and have to provide for them, this survival need becomes our top priority and we have to become creative enough to find a job that gives us the amount of money we need and even a little bit more if possible. We want and need to see ourselves as independent individuals. Once we reach that level we start desiring other types of achievements (which reminds me of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) but the next type of achievements usually distract us and are never enough (for the mind). If we are not careful and mindful, they can lead us to suffer.
Advertising and modern society, in general, sell us new achievements every day; there are new courses, cars, clothing, parties, food, trips, hair styles, body types, and even job positions and businesses. Then our life becomes a bunch of dreams or achievements to reach. Our mind gets frustrated if we don’t achieve something “enough” important from the list. We tend to get addicted to material/superficial achievements because they usually give us a status in society (or a sense of meaning in life), they’re excellent to show off, and they make us think we are what we look like from the outside. These are the types of achievements that our egos love to get attached to. We have to be careful because we can even get confused and think that they define us, feeling empty when we don’t reach them. I consider these achievements fun when you don’t let them command your life.
We tend to get addicted to material/superficial achievements because they usually give us a status in society (or a sense of meaning in life), they’re excellent to show off, and they make us think we are what we look like from the outside.
Finally, heart achievements are just patiently waiting until we decide to take them into consideration, even if nobody knows about them. These, in my opinion, are the most fulfilling ones. They are not fancy, they can become our deepest secrets, but we love them and treasure them once we discover them. They live within us in our daily life, and nobody could understand them because they’re completely ours, and only we know what exactly they mean. They could easily substitute our material/superficial achievements if we let them do so spontaneously. We don’t care if we receive any payment or recognition from them. They are good as they are!
Heart achievements can be linked to creative achievements too; write a book, create a new painting, sew a new pattern of clothing, lead a yoga class etc. We can use these achievements as mandatory goals to feel good about ourselves, but we would be losing their true essence, and soon they would feel like any other material/superficial achievement (never enough to make us happy). They need to be treated with love and mindfulness in order to get all their benefits.
There are things our souls are meant to do in this life. However, it can be difficult to detach emotionally from them. Mindfulness is a brilliant tool to enjoy the state of an achievement in development or even one that is still incubating. Sounds complicated, isn’t it? But we have to keep going, as long as our lungs let us breathe. That’s why we’re here. To observe, to experience our life and find its sacred side, even if nobody else seems to understand it. We’re all on the same path, and probably learning the same things through different circumstances.
Yoga teachings have taught me a lot, at least they have helped me to think beyond what we consider “normal beliefs” I’ve connected with a part of me that it’s bigger than my own ego. It’s constantly training my mind and emotions as part of my daily achievements. My own world is changing at the moment, soon I’ll have to go through the achievements of motherhood too! I’ll write more about it when the time comes.
And what about you? Have any of your achievement goals become a burden? Share your experience. Leave a comment 😉