If you ever enjoyed the sweet taste of accomplishment, you will understand what I am trying to convey in this post. I love that feeling. In fact, it can be quite addicting. The sense of completion that comes with meeting a goal is unlike anything else, including the integration that follows. What’s truly fantastic is that once the process becomes fully integrated, it becomes a part of our character, something that nothing or no one can ever take away.
But some goals we set for ourselves can take a very long time to drive through that finish line. Keeping that in mind, I’d like to pose a couple of questions and attempt to answer them:
What do we do when the going gets tough? Where do we get the motivation to carry on?
While affixing a magnet to the fridge with a line of mojo could provide an espresso shot of enthusiasm, it will not take us all the way. For that, we must draw on much deeper resources; a process that might require we roll up our sleeves and dig through layers of coal before we reach the diamonds.
Accomplishing a goal is much like planning for an adventure. We must pack the right stuff and in the right amounts, should the luggage prove too heavy for the uphill trek. While volumes could be written about this, and indeed have been, for the sake of brevity and respecting people’s time and attention span, I shall distill the process to three steps.
- Know Thyself, Dear Traveler
In order to make the trip to the summit a success, the journey needs to be sustainable, and I don’t mean packing green-ware and Kleen Kanteens. I mean having the right character traits. In the event that storm would hit or an avalanche strike from above, we must know what kind of assets we have at hand to deal with the unpredictable. Are we ready to face the unexpected? Do we have what it takes to overcome the fear of failure or even success? Are we agile enough to alter the course, if needed? Do we have the lifestyle and endurance that will carry us over the humps? Here is where we make that assessment. This is where we make the list of our strengths and weaknesses and take a good hard look. It is my firm belief that we all have what it takes; we just all do it differently. Know your way so that you can chart your course properly.
- What Is It That You Want?
It all starts with an idea, an object of desire. Unless the journey is of a spiritual nature, where a specific goal is not necessary and the expedition is primarily for its own sake, it helps to know what we expect to find once we reach that peak. And the more detail we have the better. If you want to buy a house, what does it look like? If you want to make a movie, what is it about? If you want to start a business, what will you be selling? If you want a new body, how will it feel to have it? This is where the power of the imagination really shines. Make it fun! I like to go on walks in nature with my headphones on, listening to the music that uplifts me emotionally while seeing in my mind’s eye all that I wish to make come true. And the clearer the picture, the clearer the steps.
- Why? Why? Why?
Are you clear about why you want what you want? If this goal requires daily nurturing, it is crucial we know the reasons. When those obstacles rise from the ground, and believe me they will, understanding your motives will give you the power to pull through or even glide over them. The true reasons as to why we do anything can be found at the brilliant place where core values and dreams meet. At this magical intersection dwells a plethora of delightful feelings and vistas. It is a place of perpetual spring where everything is possible. Knowing the whys will keep you on course, or should you trail off, help you return to the path. It will also help deal with doubts and criticism that tend to creep in at various junctions. Keep asking yourself and you will keep moving!
The three steps above, while super general, can provide a high-level perspective for setting navigation towards a goal while tending to the reasons for doing so. This is where I go when I set off towards a new target. And if I am not able to answer the questions what? and why? and feel vague about my own sense of readiness or timing, I drop the goal to make room for a new one. This is what helps me stay grounded and clear about my priorities. It also helps me spread my limited resources more effectively. And finally, it provides a glimpse of that big picture even before I claim the mountain.
Hope you enjoyed!
Onwards and upwards…
Image credit: myblueheart.org