In the past few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about how my mentality towards life has evolved ever since I graduated college. In many instances, I was so sure of what my future needed to look like, and thus put very specific expectations on myself. Doing this has been both depressing and exhausting.
I do think it is important to have long term goals. The process of identifying what goals I want is important for myself to know what I value. But what I have come to realize is that it is also important not to let myself be tied down to goals that I have created in the past.
I've been caught up in the mentality that these goals are so important to my life that they end up affecting my mood and overall satisfaction. I've admitted to a few people that if I go through a day without completing steps towards such grandiose goals like starting my own business, I would feel like that day was a failure.
This is a negative mentality that is completely unfair to myself. Taking a day off to pursue my other interests shouldn't result in a failure. In fact, it should be celebrated. If I think about what a goal should be, it should be the end result of what I truly want to do, and what I think is meaningful enough to provide me satisfaction. What a goal shouldn't be is something I think I need to do or what I think will result in other people being impressed.
This realization goes beyond just goal setting. The more I go through life, the more I find my beliefs and values changing. And similar to goals, it can be dangerous to hang-on to ideas that I no longer really believe in.
So something I've introduced in my life is the concept of Inner Flux (this is a term I've coined myself but the idea of it probably is not very original). The basic idea of it is that human minds and mentalities are constantly changing, thus are in flux. Accepting and acknowledging this fact I believe is really important to personal growth and overall satisfaction in life.
I've always seen myself as someone who was pretty headstrong about the ideas and beliefs that I declared were correct. These ideas included politics, lifestyle choices, and as I mentioned before, goals. I don't necessarily believe that being headstrong is inherently bad, but it can make it really difficult to change an opinion or a desired life trajectory. This can result in working towards ideas and achievements that I might no longer believe in. When I'm stuck in this situation, it's really hard to feel satisfied with how life is going in that moment.
So there are two things that I have changed in my life that I feel has made me overall happier and more content with the way I am living. First, allowing myself to do things because I want to do them at that moment. Whether that is starting a new project, continuing an existing project, or even allowing myself to turn off and enjoy watching a show or playing video games. For this to happen, it's important for myself to trust that eventually, because I am doing the things that I want to do, the goals that I truly do want will be achieved and those goals that I superficially created will be exposed and won't be forcefully worked on.
The second thing that I have changed in my life is acknowledging that most of the ideals and values that I currently hold are a result of what I currently know and the environment that I am in. This acknowledgement makes it way easier to change my opinion in the future if my knowledge and environment changes. It's unreasonable to hang-on to ideas of the past when circumstances have changed and I have evolved as a person.
Allowing myself to welcome this Inner Flux takes a whole load off my shoulders. This weight that I created in my mind would bring me down when in reality it was something that I was creating and thus was something that I could stop. Letting myself be myself allows me to trust that this will result in myself becoming someone who I will be happy with and proud of in the future.