Stop Chasing What’s Next and Learn to Enjoy Your Now

It's okay to enjoy a moment before rushing to create a new one.

A good thing happened. After three years of blogging on my own platform, I was asked to become a contributing writer for a major digital platform for women of color. I couldn’t believe that my ‘side hustle’ was finally manifesting itself into a paid gig. The best part: I’d be impacting even more women than I was on my own side of the Internet. It was a dream come true!

I had a few glasses of wine and a steak dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, and the next night stepped out with my sorority sisters to celebrate. But shortly after, my excitement faded. Not because the opportunity wasn’t still amazing, but because my mind started thinking about what I should conquer next.

I had previously talked myself into believing that my credibility and worth as a writer was dictated by how many bylines I had. I secured my first and immediately started thinking about what was going to be next.

What would my next pitch be? What would the next outlet be?

In rushing to identify my next opportunity, I forfeited the opportunity to enjoy the current accomplishmentI was so concerned with rushing to my next goal, that I hadn’t taken time to truly sit in the one I had just achieved.

That wasn’t the first time this had happened to me. I’ve been known for allowing my excitement to push me right past the present and into the future. I do it with everything — jobs, relationships, my own journey toward self-discovery. I’d reach one milestone and immediately begin working on the next. “I got a new job, now I must get a promotion,” or “I’m in a relationship, now I must get engaged.”

I would get so consumed with crossing off items on my checklist, that I never fully embraced or enjoyed any current moment. Living like that put me in a perpetual state of doing. Not growing, not living — just doing.

What kind of life is it to so quickly proceed to the next moment, that I can’t enjoy the current one?

I’m not the only person I know who operates in this way; perhaps if I was, this piece wouldn’t be necessary. Many of us commit ourselves to the continuous pursuit of our goals, that we rarely have time to celebrate the ones we’ve already achieved. We don’t allow ourselves the time to bask in the greatness, or in the lessons, of our current moment because we’re in such a hurry to get to the next one.

Many of us rush — or worse, minimize — our accomplishments in pursuit of our next big moment. We get high off achieving things, despite never giving ourselves the chance to enjoy those achievements.

What we have will never be good enough if we’re constantly looking for what’s better, what’s new, or what’s next. 

If you never allow yourself time to settle into what you have or what you’ve accomplished, you will never be satisfied. You will be so consumed by the constant pursuit, that you will miss all the great things that are already in front of you. You’ll dismiss everything you’ve already accomplished and all the work you’ve already done.

This isn’t to encourage you to stay stagnant or get comfortable, it is a suggestion to give yourself a moment to enjoy who you are, what you are, and where you are in every given moment

It’s critical to stop running on the hamster wheel of “what’s next” and to, instead, bury yourself in joy, gratitude, and thanksgiving for what’s already been done. It’s imperative that you take time to truly enjoy your ‘right now’ moments and honor yourself for them. Take time to learn the lessons they offer and the preparation they provide.

Good or bad, take time to find and celebrate pieces of yourself in the journey you’re currently on—it’s a marathon, not a sprint. And allow yourself time to relish in what is, before rushing off to what’s next.

This post was originally written for xoNecole.

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