In the times we live in, not striving and not setting goals is almost impossible. Everything we do is with a certain goal and purpose and of course we want to get somewhere and achieve something. In meditation and mindfulness, this attitude makes our practice more difficult, actually, it is the opposite of what we want to nurture.
If we set certain goals and strive to become or be something, for example. “With the help of mindfulness I want to become more productive, calmer” “I want mindfulness to help me in better stress control!” “I want to have a better relationship with my children” etc. This automatically means that we are not present in the experience we have here and now. This means that we deny our experience as it is now: “Yes, I am currently facing a lot of stress” “Currently I have a problem concentrating on my job” “At the moment I have little patience with my children”. And that is currently what is present!
If we are constantly trying to make things different than they are, better, nicer, more appropriate, more conscious, simply different from what we currently have, then we don’t practice mindfulness, because we are focused on something again which is not there at the moment, something that we strive to but not something that is happening in the present. Therefore, in Mindfulness and meditation, it is very important to cultivate this attitude of “not striving” no matter how difficult it sounds to us, because realistically, being interested in this practice means that we had certain goals and aspirations that we wanted to achieve.
If in our practice we manage not to strive, then we are in fact allowing things to be as they are, then we are in fact present in our lives as they are. Without the need to be somewhere else or to be someone else. So by liberating ourselves from all the goals, aims where we want to be, how we want to be, we actually make space for things to be as they are. Therefore our practice of mindfulness comes more naturally and easier for us.