By Cathleen Miller
One of my clients, who just recently retired, is trying to find a new life direction.
Now a multimillionaire, from the sale of her company, she's now bored and feeling emotionally paralyzed regarding her perspective future.
After crossing her own "financial finish line," as millions of us aspire to -- instead of booking a five star spa vacation -- she hit a dead end. Her expected magical sense of fulfillment and completion from achieving her goal was missing, leaving her feeling deflated and lost.
Is it possible that the process of getting there was more fun than any final result?
The many small compromises made along her route to success ended up costing her a true sense of self. Like many others, she bought into the misguided illusion of "I'll be happy when ... " and then felt hollow once she arrived at "when."
But, what if there's a way we can keep our authentic self, still kick ass in business, and genuinely feel happy along the way. Seem impossible? It's not.
Here are 5 ways to obtain that healthy hybrid of reaching for your future while also living in the now:
1. Transform goals into transitions, not destinations.
According to a Stanford study, raising children is highly stressful, providing "meaningfulness" to our lives, but not always "happiness." Likewise, retirees and "empty nesters" find themselves feeling lost or in despair once they're alone without a specific goal, purpose, or direction. However, relief comes when we let go of any notion of one ultimate finish line and allow ourselves to enjoy the never ending leap from one life chapter to the next.
2. Let every moment truly count.
Einstein theorized a "continuum" of time because, as far as we know, there are no missing points in space or instants in time. This translates to each moment being as relevant (and potentially whole) in and of itself as any other. Highly successful people use this awareness to enjoy all of their moments (big and small) and squeeze sweeter "feel good juice" out of every experience and interaction.
3. Celebrate every step.
Change happens (endlessly)! Learning to appreciate every baby step and stage of development, while acknowledging the relevant growth in each step, is crucial to attaining wisdom and enjoying life. Savoring (and welcoming) ongoing change helps you feel stable as inevitable, unexpected turns in life occur. Flexibility supports longevity in any relationship or venture.
4. Choose "authentic" over "busy."
Keeping an overbooked schedule is not necessarily more meaningful or important, nor is it a benchmark of actual success. Conscious living is more about being an active contributor in everything you do, whether you're a mom, CEO, or non-profit volunteer, using your capacities to, both, receive from life and share your own time, skills and knowledge. Staying "busy" keeps your wheels spinning, but powerful, positive presence helps you actually go somewhere.
5. Discover and express the REAL you.
Through many stages of life our identity, style and nature change to adapt to stress. It is, however, when we alter our voice (and true sense of self) compromising ourselves for the sake of conforming, that we get into trouble. Although, seemingly an honorable self sacrifice to keep peace for the family or ones work place, it leads to resentment, regret, and even illness. And after awhile, you lose your authentic self, which only you can reclaim.
Most of us feel "lost," from time to time, in the tunnel vision of daily details or hyper-focus on a specific goal or outcome. Learning to celebrate and balance your work, home, health and family while cultivating daily fun time supports easier transitions into later post-goal chapters of life.
Let yourself start leaping fearlessly forward into what feels good in each moment, without knowing what the future holds ... THIS is what our whole earth race is all about!
There is a thrill in nothing ending, or any one point in time being "everything." I love knowing no matter what I achieve, there are always new possibilities to eagerly anticipate in the endless game ahead.
Cathleen is a Holistic MediumTM Practitioner & Intuitive Life Coach guiding clients around the world into greater health, relationships and soul success.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.
More great content from YourTango:
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more