We all have goals we are chasing, our dreams, the desires we want to fulfill. We spend our lives pursuing these goals and then no sooner as we make it we’re moving on to the next goal, next big dream, something else to strive for.
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As a result we are involved in this constant pursuit that never really ends. We’re always striving but never really arriving. Moving from one goal to the next we are constantly involved in the journey of pursuit.
Living like this also means we often fail to appreciate what we have achieved and how far we’ve come, because we’re so focused on the next achievement. We can spend years working up to a promotion or goal weight yet we rarely bask in our glory when we hit the mark. Instead we quickly re evaluate and realise there’s more and continue striving for the next goal. It can be a bottomless bucket of constant craving which leads to us feeling dissatisfied despite achieving much of what we set out to do.
This happened to me recently as I reflect on my first year in business. I have built my own website, been published on successful blogs and I’ve written a book. Yet I still find myself thinking about what hasn’t happened yet. Where is the invitation to speak at a national event, why hasn’t the big media interview happened yet and there’s no regular column in a national newspaper! There’s always more and whilst it’s healthy to keep our businesses progressing by having goals to work towards we must be mindful this is not at the cost of appreciating our successes along the way.
Similarly the achievement of a goal that has consumed most of our focus can leave us feeling a little lost. The ‘what now?’ which often becomes ‘what’s next’. It’s as if we’re so used to striving and chasing down success that once we get there we’re not sure what to do. I spent much of the last year writing a book and now it’s at the publishers I suddenly feel a little lost not having this big focus of the last year consuming me. I think this stems from our conditioning to always be striving to succeed and achieve things, this is the productive, effective part of our lives that keeps us progressing and thirsty for success.
I am learning to enjoy the lull between successes and use it as an opportunity for reflecting on the achievements. I am focusing on more being and less doing and understanding that it’s ok to not be striving 100% of the time. Whilst I retain my ambition and drive I help balance this with the belief that we can’t continue striving 24/7 without enjoying the ‘arriving’ and being in the now, particularly when it’s something we’ve worked so hard to achieve.
So take a moment to reflect on your achievements to date and focus on celebrating your success before you move onto the next thing. Be wary that the constant pursuit of goals can dampen our appreciation of what’s gone before and can mean we never truly ‘arrive’ at success. Yes it’s healthy to develop and grow and we do this by stretching ourselves but enjoy the journey. There seems little point in achieving these things if we can’t also enjoy them. It’s all about the journey, success is not a destination.