One of the first things I did when I started my business in 2003 was to build a Dream Board. It was a collage of everything I could possibly dream of acquiring – a big house, nice cars, Rolex, boat, vacations, hair, etc.
I lived under the impression that if I looked at it long enough each day these things would magically appear, leading to more happiness than I could possibly imagine.
I threw it away after a few months.
Kate Bowler (from her bestseller No cure for Being Human) points out why I might have struggled with this exercise:
“The problem with aspirational lists, of course, is that they often skip the point entirely. Instead of helping us grapple with our finitude, they have approximated infinity. With unlimited time and resources, we could do anything, be anyone. We could become more adventurous by jumping out of airplanes, more traveled by visiting every continent, or more cultured by reading the most famous books of all time. With the right list, we would never starve with the hunger of want. But it is much easier to count items than to know what counts.”
In other words, stop obsessing over what the world insists will lead to satisfaction.
Instead, do the hard work of figuring out what matters most. (Hint: It’s not a Rolex.)