Friday, April 4, 2008
How Many Baskets are YOUR Eggs in?
From time to time I will hear someone say to me..."all I ever wanted to do was....". This phrase is often followed by a lamentation about how that person's happiness has been diminished due to the inability to accomplish that one life's goal that they held. Hearing this reminded me of the saying: "Never put your eggs in one basket!" Although sometimes it seems more like we hold too tightly onto just one egg.
It has taken me 50 years, tons of life experiences and a couple of really great books to come to the conclusion that we too often tie our happiness into one single thing. Our perceived source of happiness might be another person, a hobby, a sport, or an occupation. Or perhaps that one single thing is whatever lies around the next corner...that is...some event in the future that will bring us happiness. It seems to me that making just one goal the source of your happiness is a recipe for disappointment. There is one certainty in life....change is inevitable, we grow older, and tomorrow never comes. Today is all we ever really have.
I truly believe that setting goals is necessary in life...especially if you ever want to accomplish anything. But happiness cannot be dependant upon accomplishing those goals. Happiness has to be found in whatever the task at hand is. My conclusion is this. Develop lots of interests...don't be afraid to try new ideas, new hobbies, new paths. The more varied the activities that you involve yourself in, the more diversified your "happiness" will be. In other words...find lots of different baskets within which to place your eggs. And, perhaps even more importantly, don't hold on to just a single egg....carry lots of spares with you....just in case one get's broken.