Why I Failed to Achieve My Goals ­­— And What I Did About It!

by

Eat better, sleep more, exercise more, learn more, love more, love better, be a better son, father, friend, be a better doctor, reach more people, heal the planet, end obesity, starvation, and global warming – ARRRRRGGHHHHHHH!!

It’s enough to make me want to stay in bed and watch movies on iTunes.

How can I do all of this? How can I wake up and figure out what do to first, second, or third? How can I achieve even one of these things?  I actually fail all the time.  There is absolutely no way I can achieve my goals.

Our culture is awash with endless pressure to do more, do better, be skinnier, be richer, be happier, be fitter, and be healthier.  We are offered endless lists of what do to, how to achieve more, reach our dreams, lose weight, attain the five steps to immortality, find the seven ways to stop wrinkles, or how to lose 100 pounds in ten days.

We go for these promises because we have this innate yearning to grow, to evolve, to improve, and to be better.

I am in the change business, the transformation business.  I want people to feel better, live well, be happy, be awake, be alive, and to be healthy.  I have to set goals for myself, and I help others to set goals for themselves.

Unfortunately, this leads to inevitable disappointment because we can never reach our goals.  And once we do reach some desired result there will be another goal that will grab our attention.  It is hard to do, but I have found that if you give up your goals magic happens.

In the striving, failure is almost guaranteed.  There is a strange paradox at work in the universe. Understanding that is a powerful key to wellness and happiness.  You can only reach your goals by giving them up.

But you say, “I still want to lose weight, feel better, get smarter, be better in dozens of ways, get this, do that or go there”.  All of that is fine.  We are human and it is our condition to want to seek, grow, and evolve.

But the trap is getting stuck on believing that what you seek in the future will make you happy.  If you focus on that “never to come” future you will miss the magic of right now.

So what do I do about that?  How do I deal with both having goals and also letting go of them?  My yearnings to grow, learn, experience, and improve in every way will never go away. Yet I don’t want to make myself unhappy and miserable by never getting to some final imagined destination.

For me, a few simple ideas help me reset how I see my life’s journey. It is how I get off of this endless treadmill of setting goals and failing to achieve them.

I start out by getting clear about what is important to me, what guides me, what is the most essential, authentic and the truest expression of who I am and what my values are – love, service, kindness, being awake to the moment, and showing up fully in my life.

Then I focus on ways in which I can live those values every day.  My choices are guided by my values and it almost doesn’t matter what happens because if I show up and am present and authentic in each moment, with each person, in each action, everything seems to work out, even if it wasn’t how I planned it.

Yes, I have goals and dreams, but they are more like peaks in a mountain range — something I am moving toward. But the journey is the best part. And when I get to the top of one of the peaks there will always be another and I won’t be able to see what’s on the other side until I get there.  So how I am in the journey is all that matters.  Then I can relax and just enjoy the ride.

And when I go unconscious (which I occasionally do), or get too caught up in the striving, I get warning signs that I have learned to listen to such as anxiety, sleep problems, sugar cravings, irritability, and fatigue. I have learned to recognize these signs as friends.

They are like the little alert warnings on your phone that tell you that your battery is at 20 percent.  I usually ignore that one and wait until it’s at 10 percent, which I don’t recommend.

I have learned very simple techniques that help me reset and recharge so I can be fully present to my life.  When I show up fully, then I am happy because I am already where I am going.

The paradox of reaching toward your goals and letting go of them at the same time is the secret to happiness and achieving them though they may not be what you imagined when you started on your journey.

Those who know me well know I have crazy, insane goals.  But at the same time, I have realized if I focus on those goals and miss the moment, then I can’t reach them (and reaching them isn’t really the point anyway).

So here’s how I manage to simultaneously have goals and let them go. I hope these mantras and tools help you as well. Here are my mantras for managing the illusion that I have the power to reach my goals using force or will:

  • I am not in control of my life or those in it. If I think I am in control I am always disappointed. Magic happens when I relax and just show up in every moment as authentically, honestly, and lovingly as I can.
  • Trust in the perfection of the unfolding of my life. Sounds corny, but it goes along with not being in control. And whatever happens there is something magic in it.  I don’t have to get anywhere because everything is already perfect. I just have to notice the magic, beauty, and perfection in everything, in everyone, and in every moment.  Yes, there are bad things, bad people, bad events, and meaningless suffering, but I do what I can to change the things I can that are around me. In my daily life my happiness depends on just showing up and trusting.

When my ability to let go of control and to trust is impaired, it is usually when my battery is at ten percent or less. Here are my strategies to get back into the moment and let go of striving:

  1. Simplify My Diet. Clean, simple, easy meals of whole fresh food and cutting out stimulants, such as caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, quickly resets my biology and helps to calm my mind.
  2. Move.  Getting back into the physicality of life. The feeling of moving, of being in my body, sensing my muscles, breath, and energy brings me back to now. My favorite things to do are a hike, yoga, or a run in the woods.
  3. Do Nothing.  Google encourages its employees to goof off 20 percent of the time while at work.  This allows the mind to re-calibrate and shift out of doing into being. It stimulates creativity and clarity.  I am really bad at this but I try every day to take time for myself. My favorite thing to do is to take an UltraBath (Epsom salt, lavender oil, baking soda, and hot water) and soak every night.
  4. Do the Next Thing.  Losing 100 pounds starts with losing an ounce.  With the next bite, the next step, or the next thought every moment is an extraordinary opportunity to begin again.   There is never failure, just the next choice.
  5. Sleep.  When all else fails, sleep.  It is a powerful antidote to feeling disconnected from the moment, a natural reset, a way to recharge and repair your brain and your cells.

So, in a way, the methods I employ to achieve my goals are quite simple. I have them, I set them, but then I let them go and just do the next thing, showing up as fully as I can with who I am, wherever I am and in whatever I am doing.

It is then that goals are achieved automatically, except they may not be the ones you think you want.   And that is perfect.

Get started today!  Get your copy of The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook  today.  When you purchase this book from this link you will gain access to these exclusive Dr. Hyman bonuses:

  • 1-Week Gluten-Free Meal Plan – Maps out a full week of breakfasts, lunches and dinners PLUS all new recipes for these.
  • Access to Dr. Hymans Kitchen Videos – Including cooking demos, Fridge and Pantry makeover, supermarket shopping tips and more.  Over 60 minutes of footage.
  • You will be invited to a live online presentation hosted by Dr. Hyman on March 27th, 2013.

Click here to learn more.

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

108 Responses to Why I Failed to Achieve My Goals ­­— And What I Did About It!

  1. Avatar of salbers
    salbers February 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    I truly believe that 70% of success in life is found in just showing up. Everything else is frosting on the cake.

  2. Arthur February 2, 2013 at 5:41 am #

    I like this guy…

  3. jawed khan February 2, 2013 at 5:42 am #

    Dear DR,Haymen,
    Thanks for your e-mail,I am an old man 66 Yrs retired Engineer,after all my life experience is to be Thanks full to nature.what I had or have in my heart will come true,sooner or later.Thanks GOD I am in good health even though I am lazy & heavy smoker science I was 19 Yrs.I know it is bad but some how I can not stop it.It keep me alive because in past years were very hard due to poor relationship.My wife is schizophrenic I learn my lesson well how to handle well its is not easy job but I learn through let it go,Its a gift from GOD.That is the way it is.,Thanks
    Regards,
    jawed,Pakistan

  4. Marcia Wiggins February 2, 2013 at 6:06 am #

    I find if I invest in the journey, rather than the destination then I am on the right track. Love your exercise, rather than the fit body that will ultimately come….because each attainment shows you that the path continues on indefinitely. Staying in the moment is always key.

  5. Janet February 2, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    Like you, I am very type A – always on the go and wanting to be the very best I can be and wanting to help others as well. It is when I get quiet that creativity flows and my heart overflows with love. When I live from a place of love and allow mself to follow my desires, rather than set goals, that is when the magic happens for me. I live with a chronic, undiagnosed illness and my docs are amazed at how well I do day to day. I attribute it to staying positive, putting good in, listening to and learning from the bad, and being present in a state of love. There really is something to making time to smell the roses. Sending you lots of love and light! JV

  6. Moira Casadei February 2, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    Guess I’m from the “All I Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten” generation! I’m a retired Kindergarten teacher and had daily plans/goals that had to be flexible, adjusted to the needs, and take advantage of “teachable moments”!!!! This has been a life-long learning experience….be present. be kind and trust your judgement….WINNER!!!!

  7. Susan Riley February 2, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    Love love love this! We need to give ourselves permission to just be. Great advice.

    • Wendy Schulz February 3, 2013 at 1:05 am #

      I am so glad I read this article in it’s entirety, I am usually so obsessed with my goals that I don’t take time to read to the end. Thank you so much for publishing this article…since reading it I feel settled in my body and know that I can let go, that saving the world, global warming etc are not all up to me. ahhh…a sigh of relief.

  8. Margrét Alice February 2, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  9. Vicki Helms February 2, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    Very nicely stated! I have to agree with you in many ways on how you do this resetting and letting go of goals to live in the present and appreciate life in the full moments of NOW. One of the ways, I reset and get back on track is spending time with my Lord and reading His Word in the scriptures. My goals, like yours, seem forever out of my grasp, but I’m still running the race laid out for me and the journey has been a learning experience all the way. It’s the life journey.
    Thanks for sharing :D

  10. Beatrice Hair February 2, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    This is very helpful to me, as I woke up too early worrying!!

  11. Rachel mcpherson February 2, 2013 at 6:59 am #

    Thank you for your leadership and transparency – such a positive reminder to us all !

  12. Kristina February 2, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    I need to take a step back and not be so worried about achieving the end result but just letting go and living in the moment. Great article. I am off to yoga to start my day…

  13. Robert February 2, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    Thanks Dr. Hyman! You put into words what I have been thinking for a while.

  14. Irene Márquez February 2, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    This what I needed to hear…. and so eloquently stated. This one is a keeper. Thank you!

  15. saly February 2, 2013 at 7:41 am #

    Straight from the heart … And straight to the heart. Thanks for sharing your insight and inspiration!

  16. Yvette Mccoy February 2, 2013 at 7:41 am #

    So timely, I ‘ve been feeling like a failure in spite of my success. Struggling with sugar cravings for the first time in almost a year. Couldnt understand now I do…thanks

  17. Andrew B February 2, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Reminds me of a story a wise friend once told me… A man went on a long journey..as he walked the path he occasionally noticed an occasional flower, which he picked. Several miles later, At the end of the journey he had a full bouqet to share and enjoy! It really is about the journey. I like these sort of posts. Carrying A healthy philosophy of life and mind is equally as important as what we put into our bodies along the way.
    Thanks!

  18. Heather February 2, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    I appreciate your brutal honesty when talking about yourself. So many times when you read articles from the health world it is people who talk like they walk on water and don’t get off kilter at times like the rest of us.

  19. janice February 2, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Profoundly, simply beautiful and wise. Thanks for sharing!

  20. drross February 2, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    So true. Learning to surrender and be guided internally is one of the most powerful lessons I have continuously had to keep relearning. My tendency is towards logic and science, but when I can remember to surrender, pay attention to and be guided by that little voice inside (intuition) instead of by my logical mind, that is inevitably when the magic happens.
    Thank you Mark.

  21. Maggie Cardens February 2, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    Beautiful, I needed this. Thank you Dr Hyman.

  22. Ruth February 2, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    Honestly, your last two posts have been awesome and SO helpful! It’s so easy to get caught-up in constantly ‘seeking’. Your insight on letting go and trusting and just showing up each day, each moment, is Truth. Thank you for being honest and humble and brave enough to share that with the rest of us. You have given me great hope! Much gratitude!!!

  23. Sue Martinez February 2, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    You really need to begin to see yourself as your best friend. Think about the advice you give them when they are struggling. I’m also huge into gratefulness (even for those difficult lessons) and compassion.
    And I am definitely looking forward once again to the Tapping Summit starting this week.
    Another great article, Dr. Hyman!
    We are all a portfolio in progress.

  24. Roshana February 2, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    I am so touched with these words. Very well put. The power of slowing down and having less or even no expectation is the key to mental health.

  25. Andrew Walker February 2, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Wait! Living in the moment? Not lying to yourself and others? Not being goal driven? Pretty soon you’ll stop taking things personally and then where will society be ;)

  26. Janet Malone February 2, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    This is totally confirming!!! Exactly what my health coach has been trying to get throught to me. Quit trying to be in control and trust that everything’s working out just as it should!!! Excellent acticle. Thank you so much for all you are and do.

  27. Jesse February 2, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    The pressures of life have been great and I thought I was doing the best I could until I read this article.This article has reminded me that my health is important and that I need to learn how to enjoy my journey. Thank you for this article and the comments!

  28. Charlene Briggs February 2, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    These are very wise words of advice. Thank you!

  29. Lisa Markwart February 2, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    What lovely advice to wake up to. Your ideas resound with Buddhist themes and it’s nice to see them promulgated in other areas of life. Be authentic and present and other things will fall into place–thanks for reminding us. Very inspiring!

  30. Kelley Woods February 2, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Dr. Hyman,

    This is a marvelous post to which many will relate. Your observation about those “signs from friends” of anxiety, sleeplessness, etc. is so true.

    I consider all of our feelings signals that we need to pay attention to and learn appropriate responses for…and taking it easier on ourselves, while still being focused on where we want to go, is the ticket!

    Happy New Year and thank you for all that you do.

  31. Terri Lynn February 2, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    So glad to hear you speak of paradoxes, being present and showing up authentically. The most essential ingredients. xo

  32. Lisa Fallon Mindel February 2, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Thank you. Wonderful article. As a health and nutrition coach,I also need reminding of taking that time to just be, and to let it all unfold. So grateful you are here to help educate so many.

  33. Helen Segletes February 2, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Thanks. I needed the reminder to stay in the moment.

  34. Robin February 2, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    So much truth in this! Thank you for sharing the wisdom.

  35. the Dragon guru February 2, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Could not have said it better myself… thank you for being real. You make a difference ! Keep up the good work !

  36. kim o February 2, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Thank you! I NEEDED this one and these reminders. Perfect timing ;)

  37. Virginia Joslyn February 2, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    You’ve put everything into words that I believe and try to live by. Your words and actions are a wonderful gift. Thank you!

  38. Elizabeth February 2, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    This post is so full of wisdom. I have bought your book Blood Solution and I have set a weight loss goal. Now I will just relax and enjoy the journey, as you have suggested. I will not put my life on hold till I reach my target. Thank you

  39. Barbara February 2, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Wonderful post. A beautiful reminder that the journey IS more important than the goal. The part about the “warning signs being friends” really struck a chord with me. What a great way to look at them. Thank you for sharing your insights. I always look forward to your next article.

  40. Catherine Sarni February 2, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Perfect timing – I was just sitting down with a cup of coffee to organize my goals for the year. They seem to be getting further out of reach as I continue to be distracted by yet another “to do” and am feeling more and more scattered!

    Great perspective. I just exhaled. Thank YOU!

  41. Nolan Eddy February 2, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Thank you Dr. Mark. Your words today were like cool water for a parched soul. I am going to print your advice and carry it with me this week. It is so easy to forget what we are suppose to be doing when we surround ourselves with the noise of life and forget to just BE and PLAY and ENJOY the gifts we already have achieved. Today I will be present. Cheers

  42. Owen Johnson February 2, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Thanks Dr. Hyman for a fresh perspective. Sometimes I can read or hear someone talk about something, and even though I’ve heard and read hundreds of things on the topic, I suddenly get something out of it I never did before. I’ve long believed it’s about the journey, not the destination, and now I can see that applies to goals as well.

  43. Cathy G February 2, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    Thank you for the just-in-time article, as I let my battery get to a flashing 5% this week!

  44. Holly Eckert February 2, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    The Buddha called this manic reaching beyond, “grasping”. As a dance artist, the image of humanity grabbing frantically at an illusory future captures my imagination. It serves as an ideal metaphor for the human tendency to seek so hard for something that we miss it in our efforts. As someone who walks with chronic illness, I have found more health inside this one lesson in life than any drug ever offered.

  45. Rose February 2, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    The big phrase that caught my attention is KEEPING IT SIMPLE and LIVING IN YOUR BODY. First of all it is so easy to get caught-up in daily schedules and thinking way beyond my means. I meditate and there I see the moment with all that I need for that moment. It strengthens me for the next moment and the next and so on. We can only live in each moment to the fullest if we are present to that moment. It is a simple phrase “living within my body” but very misunderstood. It is a deep concept. To really be living within your body is very dimensional. It is deep. Dare we try the moment? I have found it lets go of so much baggage. Of course it is really not easy at all…but worth it all the way.
    Also, keeping it simple is so wonderful. There really is so much in life that can make us happy. If I look at it in simple terms then the things that make me happy are small wonderful things that are gift to me personally. Needs and wants come into play here. Do I need this “thing” or do I want this thing. Then, will it complete my life or make it more functional to live and will I be free owning it or will it hold me fast?

  46. Deb February 2, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    I really loved your post. I had been working on how I want to “feel” in life so that I can use that as a compass for how I make decisions. They kept feeling too empty, lacking clarity and, well, feeling. But some pieces of what you wrote solidified where I had been stuck. For one, I loved your values and I adjusted my “feelings” to be a bit more meaty with values and feelings mixed together – yes! That works, they feel like me now. I also loved how you described what actionable things you to do stay in the conscious (Move, Do Nothing, etc) as well as identifying your warning signs. Those pieces felt missing in the work I was doing. Now that I did those parts, I feel like I have something real to work with to use as my compass. Lastly, I love your description of your goals – like peaks in a mountain range. Yes! Love that. And that they journey is most important.

    This was just what I needed! THANK YOU!

    (Dr. Myrto Ashe is a friend of mine and a student and past classmate of yours I believe. Thank you for whatever part you have played in her becoming a Functional Medicine doctor. She is an absolute gift to our community. I love how she shows up in this world – she gives with her entire heart and is so incredibly smart and resourceful. Love her!)

  47. Brian February 2, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Excellent advice. Putting too much pressure on oneself can be very draining.
    I have always found that when doing a task, if I”m in a rush, it takes longer and mistakes are made. Letting go and just realizing that it will soon be finished relieves me of any tension.

  48. Bill February 2, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Let’s distinguish between dreams and goals. Let’s also distinguish between the emotional and the practical.

    I want to “Eat better, sleep more, exercise more, learn more, love more, love better, be a better son, father, friend, be a better doctor, reach more people, heal the planet, end obesity, starvation, and global warming” is a beautiful dream, but it’s not specific enough to be a goal. It also reflects an emotional reality, but is way too broad to be a practical one.

    Having said that, it’s a GREAT place to start. When you start with dreams and emotions, you can move to practical goals with analytical tools. It is much more difficult to start with the practical and inject passion.

    So, stick with your dream and your desire to help, then visualize what they would look like in the real world. Then add in your practical limitations, like time, money, education and other commitments. Then prioritize your goals, because you can’t do everything at once. The result will be an achievable plan. All the best!

  49. Janice Sepulveda February 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    I understand completely, after being diagnosed with stage IV Ovarian Cancer. How could this be happening? It wasn’t on my list. I just climbed Half Dome and Mt. Whitney, healthy and on top of the world. In control, or was I? I would not have chosen this or did I? For the first time since childhood (watch children, they know how to enjoy themselves because they live in the present until we teach it out of them) I was forced to deal with the present. I had stressed myself right into the greatest challenge of my life and it wasn’t even on my list. I had to trust, listen, and meet myself where I was. As a runner, I could not relax enough to enjoy a long walk but now I found myself increditably thankful to walk, feel the breeze, smell the flowers and hear the symphony of the birds. Here I was with a life threatening condition and yet more thankful than ever before in my life. We think only addicts need to live one day at a time, when in reality the now is all any of us really have and truely the best place to spend our energy. Thank you Dr. Hyman for the Blood Sugar Solution, I enjoy food much more now without empty sugars. I never thought I would say that.

    • Kayla February 24, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      Hi Janice,
      I am a breast cancer survivor, seven years since diagnosis now. My sister has a friend who has survived Stage IV ovarian cancer. I identify and empathize with your post. I wish you excellent healers, health, peace of mind and surrender. For all the insensitive people who told me God doesn’t give us more than we can handle (my 12 y.o. son had a life threatening illness and my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor while I was going through my course of chemo), I say, “Nonsense!” Life is more than any one person can or should handle on their own. When we are hit with difficulty we learn the humility necessary to let go of control, admit to vulnerability and ask for the help we need. Note: we are a miracle family. All three of us have survived and are living with uncertainty to various degrees of grace.

  50. Amalia February 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Thank you very much, Dr. Hyman. This articles has been very refreshing and with perfect timing too.

  51. Rob February 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    This is such a great refresher on how to just live life, more simply. Thank you for writing this.

  52. Camille Scheewe Radich February 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    “I LOVE” that you live what you teach and share about body, mind & spirit.
    What you wrote, is what has been up for me right now. I needed that today! Sending this along to friends and family. Namaste!

  53. Phil February 2, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Excellent advice. It came for me at just the right time too :-)
    I also wanted to say that I was a borderline diabetic a year ago (fasting blood sugar of 122) and I read your book The Blood Sugar Solution and followed the recommendations for my specific issues and I now have a fasting blood sugar of 70 and feel so much better. My doctor sort of looks at me with a mixture of confusion and admiration and can’t believe I’ve been able to reverse my slide into diabesity with just eating real, healthy foods, taking some supplements and exercising regularly. But that’s what works, and I now recommend your book to friends and acquaintances that are struggling with the same issues I was.
    Many, many thanks!

  54. Erika Rigling February 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    School achievement started going down when instead of meeting the students where they were each day, with their concerns, questions, choices, the government decided to make the TEST the goal.

  55. Karolyn Howard February 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    Thank You for these words to help us on our path. I love your Blood Sugar book and recommend it to many clients. I was part of your beta test group before it’s release but never recieved a signed copy as promised. I’m thinking it was o e of those fell between the cracks situations because I’m still believing you are good for your word. Keep up the uplifting blog. Blessings, Karolyn

  56. Ginnie February 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Inspired coaching. Right now I am experiencing all the things you described because I am pushing up hill, forgetting to be in the moment, and ignoring the warning signs in my life. Thank you for this article and for being a force for holistic healing in a world that so desperately
    needs it.

  57. Gail Coleman February 2, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Mark, i love the way you answered the question that has been bugging me these last few weeks. I have also been pondering that we waste so much of our precious time and energy feeling disappointment in ourselves, in the way we look, in our job performance, in our role as a parent, friend, neighbor. We keep adding to the list even while it is taking such a toll. I am trying to focus more on gratitude for my life and my “ok-ness” even while i am not where i would like to be.
    I so appreciate that when you present your science and philosophy to the world, it is in lo stress, positive terms.
    Thank you

  58. Joanne February 2, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    An amazing post. I real all of your posts, but this one, by far is the absolute best. It is so important for us to do this – to be present – to trust we are where we are supposed to be. I’m going to save this and read it whenever I feel I need to. Thank you!

  59. Carla McClure February 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    There is a lot of wisdom here. Thanks for a great post.

  60. Kelly Peyton February 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Fantastic article, and very true. When I am true to this practice I find that the opportunities to get where I want to go will cross my path without even trying. But when I strive I do not allow them to unfold and miss out. I know this to be true and yet I still catch myself striving! I will try (or not try) harder. Namaste – thank you for your inspiring words

  61. Bonnie Hays February 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    As always, Dr. Hyman, beautifully said.

  62. Connie post February 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    So very very good… Attainable, positive …. Thank God for you Dr. Hyman…..

  63. Larry Manter February 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    A very similar message of wonderful advice is found in Travels With Epicurus by Daniel Klein.

  64. Josephine February 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    Thank you for the wonderful advice. Just what I needed

  65. Karen February 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I love the idea that anxiety, sleep problems, sugar cravings, irritability, etc – should be viewed as our friend, rather than a problem – a warning sign that something is “off”. Comparing this to the alert warnings on my iPhone is perfect!

  66. Roberta Duncan February 2, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Your splendid transparency is a gift to all of us. I think we all struggle in our own realities, but seldom do we acknowledge (or diagnose?), let alone expose those struggles. If we share openly how we are really experiencing our realities, the world will perhaps be a better place. As someone who can be very self critical, I have only recently come to recognize that we all, for the most part, forget how being kind to ourselves is a big contribution to reflecting a kinder image from those we encounter in our daily interactions. Being here now is the experience that we all can benefit from, and sharing our experiences as you have here will no doubt change the way we communicate. I loved reading what you had to say! It felt very open, very thoughtful, very nurturing, and very candid. Thank you!

  67. Nour Zibdeh February 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    I love this post! very true… I get caught up in cycles of focusing on my goals and letting go, and I do believe that when I slightly let go, the goals just happen and unfold… love your example of 20% battery charge!

  68. Dorothy February 2, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    excellent ! we all need to stop doing and just be. and think. thinking is good. showing up, wonderful.
    accepting , perfect.

  69. Avatar of Gay Gooen
    Gay Gooen February 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Dear Dr. Hyman:

    I so appreciate these reminders for living well — especially the one about control. Intense need to be in control often strikes me as the beginning of illness.
    Life is hard, and challenging, and as someone once wrote, “I never promised you a rose garden.” We really do have to “go with the flow” and not let things both us. To show up and be counted, and to offer the wisdom that each of us have is basic to the process of living one’s life. All of us “go unconscious” once in a while…it’s a quiet place to go when one is exhausted. Bottom line for me — be present, make a contribution, and then, let go. Your work has been well done.

  70. Michelle February 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Showing up!! I love it, Dr. Hyman. How refreshing! Life is way too short to live it the way people are living it. I have lost thirty plus pounds and kept it off for over two years. Sometimes I look in the mirror and do not recognize myself. Did I really lose weight after decades of being over weight? Believe in yourself but at the same time realize you are not in control. Find non-food rewards in your life. Rewards that sustain you, whether simple or big. Most of all, stop rushing about and live. It will all get done and if it does not, it will still be okay because you made the decision to let it be okay. Thank you, thank you!

  71. anita bondi designs February 2, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    thank you for talking to us as “friends” and sharing so much of yourself. your willingness to be a real person is one reason i actually READ your newsletter!
    you inspire me.
    letting go of my goals right this minute!

  72. Danny February 2, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    You couldn’t have said it any better.

    So many people today get caught up with chasing their ultimate goal, with the thought that they will be happier once they reach that goal… but what ends up happening is that they lose the value of staying present and enjoying every NOW moment!

  73. Terry Boswell February 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Well said! Thank you for this constantly needed reminder!

  74. lawrenanne February 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Excellent advice…. are you REALLY following it yourself? “Just say no” has a lot going for it, too, in today’s hyperscheduled world. Just saying… ;-)

  75. Patrick February 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Uummm ! Have to digest this one a lot more. Flies in the face of what makes me feel fulfilled at the moment “moving towards my better tomorrow”

  76. Frank February 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    Great info !..I remember some yeara ago, I kept telling my wife to “let it be, will anyone die?” with reference to the fact that she will always quarrel and bicker whenever she comes home from work and find the house in dis-array! – until she suffered a very bad nervous breakdown so off we went to a very expensive physcologist (I had to be present during treatment) who, in the end, told her that she had a big problem with OCD and all she has to do is ask herself this question– “will anyone die?” …man, I started laughing hysterically and the doc asked me what was wrong. I simply said to her ” Please ask my wife what I have been telling her all these past months”…. she then told my wife “that is why your husband will never have the problem you are having” – She at least listened to and did not take any of the expensive medication which was prescribed and by the grace of God, she got better…..lesson learnt??!!—- forget what others say or think, live for now as stress free as you can and ENJOY the ride, stop to smell the flowers, enjoy the beauty of mother nature, smile at people and say hello, have a nice day!, project joy and happiness and most importantly, live it!

  77. Diane Berry February 3, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Amen or right On or YES! No wonder “I follow you around.” My kind of person…

  78. Marmot February 3, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    Love it!

  79. Lorna Blumen February 3, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    Showing up authentically, honestly, and lovingly is also a great start towards bullying prevention. Staying grounded in respect for self and others and keeping our bodies rested, exercised, and well fed give us a deeper reserve of strength, patience, and love. Living our lives at the edge of our ability to handle our stress makes us much more likely to flip over into being a bully, without realizing or intending to. Thanks to Mark Hyman for great advice for our bodies and our souls!

    Lorna Blumen
    http://www.BullyingEpidemic.com
    http://www.GirlsRespectGroups.com

  80. Toni Muscatello February 3, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    Thank you. Very authentic and from the heart…

  81. Chantelle February 3, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    Ok…I’m so loving your posts these days…I know some bad things happened, but I think 2012 was a wonderful year for you in terms of transformation. I’m happy that we get to benefit from your amazing journey. I’m keeping this post to refer to over and over when needed. Thanks so much.

  82. Mary Beth February 3, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    My new mantra: “There is never failure, just the next choice.” Your intelligent post was just what I needed today Dr. Hyman! Thanks so much for all you do and share with us.

  83. JoeR February 3, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Living in the moment and raising your awareness for each and every days activities works for me and working hard on this fear of not getting it al done in ones life time.Great post Doc.

  84. Amaryallis February 3, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Wonderful words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing.

  85. Janen February 3, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Just the encouragement I was yearning for….

  86. Catherine Bartley February 3, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Thank you for this great reflection. It is exactly what God calls us to!!!

  87. Joan Michelson February 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    And in that moment of regrouping, remember “why” you chose that goal. Is it still important? Are you still committed to that purpose? If so, what are the “inspired actions” (courtesy of Robert MacPhee) that will expedite your achieving your goal? Focus, focus, focus…..there’s busy-ness and then there are actions that catapult us forward. What are yours?

  88. nirit yadin February 4, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    Your posts have a way of showing up just at the right time…
    I was laid off recently and my intuition is telling me just what you said – know my calling, offer it to the world, be of service and let the path unfold;
    But it is hard, even scary, to stick with it. So thank you for this post, it came just at the right time: A Monday Morning…

  89. Bess Blanco February 4, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Beautiful, exactly what I needed to read today, I love getting your emails, and reading these powerful bits of wisdom! Thank you Dr Hyman!!!

  90. Lucie Young February 4, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Brilliant post Mark and so true. Thank you for your inspiring honesty and elegantly simple strategies for getting back into the moment. I like to just be in nature for 30 mins a day (it takes me out of the chattering monkeys in my head) and spend 5 mins tuning into my ‘felt sense’. Eugene Gendlin’s ‘focusing’ techniques keep me in touch with my body and help me self-soothe when I am out of synch with my life.

  91. chisss February 4, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    really good!
    congrats on your books, page, thoughts!

  92. Shankik February 4, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    I have a beautiful life but I often feel that there is a ubiquitous under tow that perpetually sweeps me away in the current and I have no control of my time to plan my day and work on my goals. Your article has made me feel better about my situation. Just focus on the basics (sleep, exercise, healthy eating), and relax, enjoy, and embrace the rest. Thank you for helping me to re-center.

  93. Beth Freedman February 4, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    Great timing on this one! As a health coach, I often tell my clients to take smaller steps toward their goals, but everyone wants immediate satisfaction these days. Dr. Hyman, you are my go-to guru for all holistic health and wellness issues. Thanks.

  94. Carisa Holmes February 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Beautifully put and most timely, thank you!

  95. Joan Petrone February 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Dear Dr. Hyman:

    Your determination to see life as it really is, and your sharing of your experiences through your senses, your writings, your rare spirituality, and your presence are awesome gifts to us.

    May you continue to enjoy the celestial blessings of God’s Life Force.

    Joan Petrone

  96. Annmarie February 5, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    Reading this was validating for me. The universe has spoken again, by having me read the perspective I have learned to take in life. Its like a pat on the back, encouraging me to follow my heart. Follow your passions, do what makes you come alive, but have no expectations as to where it will take you. Everything that happens is a lesson to be learned. I have learned to just observe the events in my life as directions from the universe of where to go next. I love reading this and realizing I’m not the only one who believes this way. THANK YOU : )

  97. Madya Panfilio February 7, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    It is inspiring to read of Mark Hyman’s journey…So many great thinkers and people of the world i.e. Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, were not thin in body, yet they accomplished much in their life time.
    Were humanity to focus on helping mankind and doing good for the planet their soul would gain greater wisdom and learning.
    In learning to heal oneself, perhaps it will heal the earth…it is a spiritual journey some are willing to take.

  98. afromuscle February 13, 2013 at 4:27 am #

    How refreshing it is to hear of a medical professional with such a unique perspective on life. I failed to achieve my goals because I was lazy and I wasted a lot of time. I know this and I’m not letting it happen again.

    Thanks for the post. It was a great read.

    Here’s to a brilliant 2013.

    Cheers,

    Dennis.

  99. Timothy Marshall February 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Excellent article, Dr. Hyman!

    Very helpful perspective on life…I liken it to being “the flow” or “the zone”. When you’re at one with the flow of life, there is no striving, or overanalyzing, just being. And it’s there, that we feel our true best, and where the magic of life happens. I agree, and the key is to show up, and be fully present, kind, and loving to all those who come into your life – and everything else will fall into place for our highest good.

  100. Jerry March 6, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    Love the advice my body has been running like a battery and probably alot less than 10% Thanks for the advice

  101. Julie September 4, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    thanks for saying what I couldn’t; have been passing your wonderful book to friends and family; my husband and I have been on this great “plan” for 18 weeks now and between us we are down 75 lbs. Thanks again for changing our lives…so much to live for

  102. Rita Wilson September 4, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    Beautiful. How I feel about it, but I couldn’t put it in those words. Thank you so much. I’d better order that book. I was so hoping to win it in your contest awhile back. (smile). Love you for giving us good common sense advice.

  103. Joe September 5, 2013 at 12:57 am #

    yeah I better start before this raisin feeling in my brain from less sleep becomes a worse problem, where I stare consciously at other people, unconscious that they see so many problems going on in my responses. That would fucking suck.

  104. Joe September 5, 2013 at 12:57 am #

    when EYE was the one supposed to stay on top because I choose to do great for myself with my free time.

  105. Penny December 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Great article. Life is about living in the present, not the past or the future. This is what I am practicing these days to help with anxiety!

  106. Mickie August 2, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    I love this article, thank you for being so real and letting us know that you too have struggles. I’m in awe of your heartfelt sharing. And this particular article gives me great relief…a deep breath…and just the bump to keep moving forward, all is not lost. Thank you.

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