Einstein on a Happy Life

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” — Albert Einstein

I love quotes.  Great quotes pack a lot of power and wisdom in a small package, and when this one came across my email last week It really got me thinking.  This is pretty interesting advice on life coming from one of history’s greatest thinkers.

Some of our happiness is tied to people and that’s a good thing.   If we’re accomplishing our goals but have neglected our relationships to the point that we have nobody to celebrate them with, then we’ve missed the mark.   But we can’t tie our happiness solely to others, as we can’t control their feelings and responses, as much as we might like to.   We can control our actions and our aims, and a focus on inspiring goals can help us live happier, more fulfilled lives.

So how can we be more like Einstein and focus on goals?

Set long-term goals that can excite you. If you can read a printed statement of your goal and not feel energized or inspired, then you’re not on the right track.  You’ve got to feel something.  You might feel scared or intimidated because it’s a big goal you’ve set, but feeling nothing is a sign that the goal isn’t connected with your heart’s core and it won’t spark the excitement or fear that is necessary to get you moving each and every day toward that goal.

Set short-term goals along the way. If you only see the horizon, even if you’re making progress, it is easy to feel stuck.   You’ve got to find a way to make the process feel like progress, and the best way I know to do that is to set out some short-term goals.  Becoming completely debt-free may be inspiring, but it may take years.  How can you recognize and celebrate each time you pay off an account or make a payment milestone?

Remind yourself of this goal daily.   Daily reminders of your goals help train your mind to look for opportunities to make progress, and are an immunization against the struggles you will inevitably come across.  How can you put this goal somewhere you will see it each and every day?  Tape it to your bathroom mirror?  Your front door?  Find a way to focus your mind on your goal for a few seconds each day.

Celebrate the wins. How will you celebrate each milestone?  How can you recognize and reward yousrelf for the effort and sacrifices that you’ve made to reach the final goal?  Celebrating the steps along the way will provide more fuel to the fire and help you reach the ultimate goal more quickly.

What are your thoughts as you read Einstein’s Quote?  What has helped you live a happy life?