Don’t forget about the journey, man…
I just found myself speaking with a buddy of mine about the concept of goal-setting. If you’re not familiar with what exactly that is, where have you been? Have you been living under a rock? I mean literally every grade school teacher I had explained goal-setting as a great way to achieve success. Nay, it was the only way. “Jay, you think about what you want in life, whether that thing be big or small, and strive every day to get closer and closer to that one thing.” They said. Just set a goal and go out and get it.
For many, this is a great way to progress in life. I mean why not conceptualize the end-goal of whatever it is that you’re doing and work towards that?
For me, however, it wasn’t so awesome. If I ever set a goal, it would just linger out there in my ethereal mind-space for years until it would eventually dissipate into everlasting nothingness. I was thinking about my goals in a ‘that’d be nice’ kind of way. I’m by no way unique in this, of course. Unfortunately, most people will never see their goals through to fruition. Just think about all of the unresolved New Year’s resolutions out there.
We humans get frustrated easily. We take a look at our goals and they seem so far away. We ask ourselves questions like, “How am I ever, EVER going to get there?”
So, we settle…
Goal setting alone results in stagnation
Although goal-setting is a great way of doing things and there have been many successful people who have utilized that approach, you’re never going to reach your destination without first walking the path. People want the big house. They want the fancy car. They want the beautiful wife. But those very same people never ever live to see their goals through to fruition because they never actually take the first step towards them.
People settle. People tend to think in terms of why they can’t have the life they’ve always wanted instead of why they can. In turn, they never take the first step towards reaching whatever goal that they’ve set for themselves. They never walk the path… And they never take the first step towards a better existence.
In other words, they are missing the best part. Because what really makes a goal worth it is the journey itself.
Take your parents for example. Those guys knew what they wanted for you as a human being. They knew that they didn’t want you to become a degenerate asshole living in their basement for 40 years. (Can I get a hell no?) Rather, they wanted to work their asses off, be a great parent, and mold you into someone who would eventually go to college and move the $%&# out of their house.
They made decisions every day of your childhood to help you become the person that you are today. They walked with you through your childhood (at least for us lucky ones) and saw to it that the steps were taken along the way to make sure that you were where you were supposed to be. Those decisions and steps along the way are what made you who you are today.
Professional Athletes are no different. They didn’t just wake up one day and become great at their chosen trade. They busted their hump training, playing, and sacrificing other slices of life that you and I may take for granted to become great. Without walking the path, they couldn’t have achieved greatness.
Walking the path isn’t easy. Every step is painful. Mohammad Ali wasn’t made great because he fought. He wasn’t great because he won. He was great because of what he practiced. As Tony Robbins says, “People are rewarded in public for what they have practiced for years in private.”
“I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.” – Muhammad Ali
Muhammad walked his walk in the darkness. He focused on what it was that made him great behind closed doors and became great as a result of his journey.
Starting a journey…
I know it may sound cliche’ but starting a journey is as simple as taking the first step. Your actions should inspire your motivation. Not the other way around. So buy that plane ticket. Quit your job. Start your own company. Do you and you’ll be impressed where it takes you.