Recently I was talking to someone about marriage and relationships. This person was over forty years old but was not ready to get married because he did not “have it all together”. He felt marriage was not currently an option. He seemed rather sad when he said this.
This got me thinking. What does it mean to have it “All Together”? By what age do you need to have it “All Together”? Do I have it “All Together”? Do you have to have it “ALL Together” to pursue marriage, relationships, or even certain friendships? How does having it “All Together” affect or not affect your Joy?
I think having it all together means having accomplished a set of unique personal goals that allow you to have an optimal level of self esteem. I do not think there is a certain age that you need to have it all together by. I think at different ages there are different goals on the list and the complexity of those goals increases with age. For example at age 18 having it all together might mean a high school diploma, driver’s license and part time job. At age 25 having it all together might mean a college degree, a full time job, a car, your own place. At age 45 having it all together might mean having not a job but a career with 401k and benefits, owning your own home, a certain type of car, and maybe even certain hobbies like golf.
I do not think it is necessary to have it all together to pursue marriage, relationships, or certain friendships. However, I do think not having it all together, not having accomplished your personal goals, does affect your self esteem and therefore the types of relationships you feel comfortable pursuing. Since developing meaningful relationships enhances your happiness, not having it all together could make joy even harder to claim.
More important than actually having it all together is the feeling that your personal goals are attainable and progress is being made. Actively working on your personal goals automatically boosts your self esteem and confidence. With self esteem and confidence you are more likely to pursue quality friendships, relationships, and even make you feel an adequate candidate for marriage. Feeling worthy of these valued, meaningful relationships will certainly allow you to firmly grasp joy.
So… Do I have it all together? Not quite. I have achieved some of my personal goals. I have a Bachelors Degree, a career, own a home, own a car, and pay my own bills. But there are a few things I am still working on. I want to be debt free, I’d like to move to a better neighborhood, I’d like to lose some weight and I’d like to be more at peace with my spirituality. I do think not having accomplished some of these goals has impacted the relationships and friendships that I have chosen to pursue as well as the quality of existing relationships.
In recognizing the correlation between having or not having it “All Together” and Joy, I see the importance of identifying personal goals and making it a priority to work on them. So while I may not have it all together. I am moving forward, making progress, getting better, building confidence, boosting self esteem, feeling worthy of meaningful and positive friendships and relationships and diminishing the distance between myself and Joy.
I hope you will take the time to identify the personal goals that would allow you to Have It All Together. Push them to the top of your priority list and grasp Joy for yourself.