Aspiration Is Not All There Is

one set of footprints in the sandSunday 11 June
Another wasted Sunday… Realise, as the long hot days freakishly repeat themselves, one after the other, that whatever I am doing I really think I ought to be doing something else…The more the sun shines the more obvious it seems that others are making fuller, better use of it elsewhere: possibly at some giant softball game to which everyone is invited except me; possibly alone with their lover in a rustic glade by waterfalls where Bambis graze, or at some large public celebratory event, probably including the Queen Mother and one or more of the football tenors, to mark the exquisite summer which I am failing to get the best out of. – Bridget Jones Diary

It has to be admitted, our society, especially the online self-help world is into aspiration. But aspiration is not everything.

I think there is space for contentment, for enough-ness. Because if you can be, do or have everything you want then you will always fall short. You can have everything, right? So what you have now isn’t everything and it is never enough.

We often seem to be exhorting ourselves or others to be more, do more, live harder, wilder, like we really, really, (really, really) mean it. To go harder, be creative, brave our fears and live our dreams.

This can be liberating but it can also be exhausting. As if we need to cram our lives so full of photo-worthy moments, because anything less is just a symptom of our resistance and lack of belief.

What if you are….happy?

What if you are happy now, without the perfect life? @Grace_Quantock (Click to Tweet!)

I don’t think that means you are settling, or not dreaming big enough. It seems to have become taboo to admit contentment, as if saying that I’m ok with not earning six figures is somehow an embarrassing admittance of self-development failure.

Can we set out to respect each person’s autonomy? To allow everyone the space to dream at their own pace instead of intervening in their process unasked. Maybe we can turn the energy into living our own creative, contented lives…Will you join me?

Image courtesy of Chris Sardegna via


  • Jacqueline Fairbrass

    ‘The way things are is the way things are. When I accept that, I set myself free.’ One of the mantras I come back to regularly. It reminds me to be in the now and accept that I can choose how I feel. Great post Grace. xox

  • Sheila Bergquist

    Grace, I’m so glad to hear you say this. I was thinking about this sort of thing the other day. We are constantly being told to do something great and important…to make a change in the world. If you can do that, fantastic! But not everyone can…and it doesn’t mean they are failures. Just living a normal life to the best of your abilities and being kind and loving and helpful to the people that are in your life is enough. Thanks for bringing this up! A big hug to you.

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