Most of us have been taught to go to school, get good grades, pass our exams, graduate and find a good job. It would seem that finding a so called ‘good job’ should be the ultimate goal in life. We were not taught or encouraged to follow our dreams, pursue our passions or harness our God given gifts and talents. We were not taught to have a plan for our lives other than get a ‘good job’. We were not taught how to set goals. Some of us learn only when we hit a severe bump, such as emotional or mental challenges as a result of living an unhappy or unfulfilling life or unemployment or loss. After events such as these we begin to reevaluate our lives. Others of us learn through trial and error or by stumbling across the information or intuitively going in search of it.
In my last post I told you to roadmap your life through goal setting. I also offered 5 easy steps you can follow to set goals for your life. Chances are you have already decided on your goals and your plan of action. You haven’t just decided on your plan of action but you have begun taking action. If you have started on your journey, congratulations! If you haven’t I encourage you to read my last post here and get started right away.
Enjoy the Journey
As you continue along on your journey, there will be many beautiful sites and things to see. I encourage you not to ignore them or take them for granted but rather enjoy them. These may come in the form of positive and meaningful relationships, unexpected opportunities, helpful collaborations, accomplishment of smaller goals, rewards for your efforts, development of skills you did not even know you had and opportunities to rest and recharge, just to name a few. I want you to enjoy and embrace them. Do not be so focused on your destination that you miss these beautiful sites.
Do not be so focused on your destination that you forget to enjoy the journey. Your journey is just as important as your destination. I remember when not too long ago, a friend called me out on this. “Why can’t you just enjoy the journey? You need to enjoy the journey”, she said. I am no longer only focused on my destination but I am also paying attention to my journey and enjoying the sites along the way.
The lessons you learn the experiences you have, the people you meet even the challenges and obstacles that you face and overcome, all make part of your journey. The growth you experience and the person you become while on your journey are just as important as getting to your destination. As a matter of fact, they may even help prepare you for your destination.
Another piece of advice I want to give you as you are on your journey is to beware of distractions. These are things that do not add any value to your life or help you in any way to enjoy your journey or reach your destination. You need to ask yourself the following questions: will this add value to my life? Will it aid me in reaching my goal or will it devour valuable time that can be better spent working on my goal? Goals not only give you direction but also help you make best use of your time. Ask yourself, is this the best use of my time? When framed within the context of your life’s purpose, plans and goals, some things are just less important or not important at all.
The things which compete for your time may not be all bad, they may even be noble. There is nothing wrong with doing noble things, it is encouraged. It is important to give back and to help others. However, when we become overwhelmingly busy doing good things, lose focus on our goals and neglect them, that our challenge comes in. None of us have been awarded and infinite amount of time. Your time is valuable! So please use it wisely.
The Distraction of Negative Self-talk
Beware of the distraction of negative self-talk and self-doubt. This happens to all of us at some time or the other. The voice in your head begins talking to you. Trying its best to convince you that you can’t reach your goal. Telling you that you are not good enough or not qualified enough; parading before you all of your limitations and imperfections. Do not listen! You are brave, you are strong, you are talented, you are capable of reaching that goal you set. If you did not know it deep down, you would not have set that goal. You have something great to offer the world. Keep at your goals! Shut up that voice in your head, do not become distracted by it.
You may also like to read: Overcoming Self-doubt.
The Distraction of the Past
The final distractions I want to warn you against are past failures and past mistakes. Regarding past mistakes, we all make them. None of us are perfect. In his book Just Mercy, author Bryan Stevenson reminds us that each of us is more than the worst thing we have ever done. You are more than your worst mistake! Do not allow reminders of past mistakes to distract you from your goal.
I agree with speaker and author Zig Ziglar who said, “failure is an event and not a person.” Not because you failed at something in the past means that you are a failure or that you will fail now. How will you know if you will succeed if you allow yourself to be distracted and you don’t press on? So what if you last business failed? It has been reported that Thomas Edison made 1000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb before he finally got it right. He did not think of it at failing 1000 times but rather as 1000 steps in the process, 1000 opportunities to learn what did not work. Past mistakes and failures should be used as opportunities for learning and not as reasons to abandon your goals.
The apostle Paul says it beautifully in Philippians 3:13-14, “but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” I urge you to follow Paul’s example, forget the past, and press toward your goal. Your prize is your why. Why do you want to reach this goal? Will it help others? Will it make you happier? Will it add value to the world? Keep your why, in focus throughout your journey. It will help you guard against distractions and motivate you to keep going when you meet those unavoidable bumps in the road.
Buried deep within you is treasure, that you were predestined by your Creator to share with the world. You have greatness within you. You have what it takes to reach your goals. Do not give up, keep pressing forward. Do not become distracted and please, do enjoy the journey.
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful. Don’t keep it to yourself, share with a friend. Until next time be safe and be blessed!😊