Almost every decision we make is geared towards an end goal.
Getting that promotion. Embarking on that adventure. Securing that dream person or job or apartment.
Everything we do slants toward an outcome. Every decision is measured by its result.
But here is something we too often fail to keep in mind:
The outcome of our decisions is ultimately a lot less important than the motivation behind them.
Strayed suggests that no matter where we go in life, no matter what we do, no matter how far we run in any given direction, we can never put any real distance between the people we’re trying to be and the people we actually are.
Our true motivations will always be guiding us. Our core truths will always win out in the end.
Which is funny – because our core truths are often the very things we try to avoid when making decisions.
We want to make more money, so we compromise our passions.
We want to feel secure, so we stay stuck in a place that doesn’t grow us.
We’re afraid to take a leap of faith, so we ignore everything inside of us that’s urging us to venture out and explore.
We focus so intensely on the outcomes of our actions that we forget they are the least important part of the whole shebang.
At the end of the day, our happiness, our fulfillment and our pride will always be hinged upon the answers to three very simple questions:
Do we like ourselves? Can we live with ourselves? Are we proud of the choices we’ve made, even if they haven’t worked out as we hoped?
Because these are much more important questions to be asking ourselves than, “Am I impressive? Am I well-off? Do others envy me, even if I don’t like my life from the inside?”
At the end of the day, our happiness will always come down to a simple measure of how much we like ourselves.
How much we trust ourselves.
How confident we feel in our ability to go for the things that we want in life.
How capable we are of picking ourselves up off the ground if it all falls apart.
Because when we’re happy with the people we are at our core, there’s no obstacle that can ever truly destroy us.
There’s no change that can break us irrevocably.
There’s no complication that can possibly keep us apart from the life that we were born to live.
When we’re honest enough, strong enough, brave enough to let those core truths win out, we are always going to become the absolute best, brightest versions of ourselves.
We’re always going to feel the most vivacious.
We’re always going to do our greatest work.
We’re always going to fight the hardest, shout the loudest and run the furthest in the direction of the people we are meant to become.
Because we’re being propelled by something bigger than ourselves. We’re being fueled by the absolute core truths that have been guiding us since the very beginning.
And those truths are always, always going to lead us somewhere worth going.
Somewhere we’re damn proud, at the end of the day, to end up at.