Life is a Dance: Getting happiness when you expect no progress

Life is a dance.

Most of us don't dance to be a world class dancer. We dance because it makes us feel good and we don't try to get to an end point. It's about being in the moment.

There are some things in life we want to measure progress. For example, run speed and strength are important for professional athletes to track in order to compete. A classical musician must commit a certain number of hours they want to practice before a performance. They want to hit a level of mastery before a certain significant event.

But for the rest of us, don’t forget the joy in simply practicing.

Even if you were to make no progress, you would still do it. The fact that you keep coming back and doing the practice, whether its cooking, meditating, or running — the fact that you return to it is what’s important.

For example, here are some things that I’ve tried to track before, and I’ve felt less enjoyment:

  • Reading
  • Being more social
  • Networking

These will be different for everyone, but I would try to separate activities that you want to calculate and measure progress from activities that you just enjoy doing for fun regardless of progress.