We Ought To Remain Open To Where Life Is Leading Us
“The real value of setting goals is not the recognition or reward, it’s the person we become by finding the discipline, courage, and commitment to achieve them.”—Anonymous
There are no assurances of accomplishing our goals since they’re not promises but a commitment towards achieving them. How does this idea appeal to you? You may well achieve your goals, however if you’re unaware of your motives, it will have little bearing on your long-term happiness. As you know, setting goals is easy but staying committed to them when the going gets tough is another story. No doubt goal attainment is important to you, though success is seldom assured because circumstances change which may cause our goals to shift.
Can you identify with this where a goal you set changed along the way? I’ve coached countless individuals regarding their goals. To my knowledge, once they embarked upon the goal, the path to achieving it changed. It’s not that the goal lost its power, rather they developed a greater insight on what they wanted to achieve along the way. Allow me to illustrate via personal example. Long ago when I started out, I aspired to be an internationally renowned speaker traveling the world giving keynote speeches. I had undertaken speaker training with various coaches and was speaking regularly to corporate companies and running public seminars and workshops. However, there came a point where I no longer felt as passionate about speaking as I once did. Instead I turned to writing more which had a greater impact on my message. I hired writing coaches and mentors to improve my writing and the more I ventured down this path, the more passionate I became. I published three books with internationally acclaimed authors writing the forewords. My point is, the process of achieving our goals will change and we ought to remain open to where life is leading us.
Can you identify with this story in your own life? Have you set out to achieve a goal and have it change along the way? If you accomplished it, was it better than your original goal? It’s often said achieving our goals isn’t as rewarding as the person we become. I can attest to the personal growth I experienced over the years and the lessons that pushed me out of my comfort zone and developed my strength of character. Setbacks and defeat have shaped my outlook, though there were times I considered giving up because I lost all hope. There was no money coming in and clients were cancelling, yet I remained committed because I believed in what I was doing. I wrote in an article recently titled, Never Give Up Because If You Do What Is Easy, Your Life Will Be Hard in which I state: “We mustn’t give up because we don’t know how far we will go when we rise above our challenges and obstacles.” Meaning: we don’t know what we’re capable of achieving when pursuing a goal, irrespective of how difficult it may be. In those times, our greatest growth will occur because we realise things aren’t as bad as they seem.
Who We Become Because Of Our Actions
“To embark on the journey towards your goals and dreams requires bravery. To remain on that path requires courage. The bridge that merges the two is commitment.”—Steve Maraboli
No doubt you have your own stories about uncertainty and giving up on a goal, career or project. What makes the story more compelling is the narrative that follows. For example, did you give up or find a way through it? It isn’t so much about quitting or pushing ahead, but who we become because of our actions. The choices we make today either create a compelling future or one filled with regret and disappointment. Often, easy choices lead to a difficult tomorrow. That’s why goals help us become clear on who we wish to become. The greater the goal, the more difficult it is to achieve and the greater your personal growth. Therefore we must examine our motives for pursuing our goals when we embark upon them. Furthermore, who we become when we accomplish our goals is something we ought to give our attention to. It’s why I am drawn to the advice echoed by authors Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness who write in Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success: “There is nothing more gratifying or fulfilling than setting a goal on the outer boundaries of what we think is possible, and then systematically pursuing it. In a paradoxical twist, we are often at our best when we wholly immerse ourselves in the process of getting better.”
Considering this, I’d like you to reflect on your current goals. Irrespective of where you are, spend time answering the following questions: Why is this goal important? What will achieving this goal bring to my life? Who will I become because of it? Does this goal improve my life and the lives of others? It is when we are intentional and purposeful about our vision that we are likely to achieve our goals and not lose enthusiasm along the way. It is what the British-American author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek identifies in his Golden Circle principle as understanding our WHY? If we want our goals to be a commitment towards achievements, we must do everything in our power to get clear on the goal, so as not to weaken its accomplishment.