For many years I had this quote on my wall.
It was a reminder that I have a tendency to waste the current moment worrying about the future.
I would have enjoyed medical school much more, if I had known that I would pass all of my exams ( I did just sneak through pharmacology with a bare pass but that is another story!).
It goes on and on.
Even though I had this reminder stuck on my wall, I still found myself hooked by my worries.
I now take a slightly different ACT informed approach.
I accept that my mind has a natural tendency to worry. When worries come up I see them for what they are – my mind doing it’s best to look after me – and I let those thoughts play in the background. (This is called defusion)
I have a commitment to be mindful. I am training myself to notice where my attention is and to keep bringing it back to this minute now. This precious moment that will never return.
My definition of success has changed. Success now means living my values. Making moment to moment choices about the qualities I want to bring into a particular situation. (Rob has made a great list of values clarification exercises here). This shift changes everything. It means that in any moment I can move from being unsuccessful to successful.
For example, I value being authentic. So if I notice during a conversation that I am being inauthentic, I can choose what more authentic behaviour would look like in that situation and then in the very next moment, do it (which is sometimes incredibly scary!) and ‘Bam!’ I have just been successful. The interaction might go terribly or wonderfully but I have lived my values and that is my definition of success.