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It’s Not Always About the Goal, Sometimes the Journey Is More Important

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There is nothing wrong in setting a goal in life in order to help manifest your vision of yourself years from now. These goals serve as a challenge so you will push yourself to do better. The only problem is when you become too obsessed with the bigger picture and you tend to forget the small details. You end up stressing out on how to get to the end that you no longer enjoy the process.

It is easy to lose sight on the most important things in life if you obsess on the bigger goal that needs to be achieved. You spend too much time planning and thinking how to move forward. You force yourself to forget everything else just because you really want to reach a goal. Take a step back and ask yourself, “Am I still happy?” “What have I missed because I was very goal-oriented?”

Eventually, you will realize that even if you have achieved the bigger goals, you have not found true happiness. It seems like you have won, but deep inside, it feels empty.

Let us take people who are traveling for instance, everyone is too busy taking photos and looking good in them instead of enjoying the sites and the entire experience. The lesson is to stop taking control of everything and savor the moment. Put the camera down and soak in the beauty of the moment.

Here are 5 reasons why the journey you’re on is more important than the eventual goal:

1. Achieving goals doesn’t mean you are successful

One of the reasons why people obsess with what the future holds is because they think that achieving goals means they have succeeded in life. By constantly doing this, you anchor your entire existence on that goal. The moment you fail in achieving the goal, you think that you are a big failure, which is not true. If you enjoy the process, regardless of the outcome, you will still feel good. You have traveled, learned from your mistakes, met people and become inspired.

2. Life is about making memories

For instance, you are running a business. You have this idea that you can only call yourself successful if you have made lots of money. Whether it is in business or in life, creating memories is more important than raking in lots of income. It is about the people you have helped by employing them.

It is also about the customers who were satisfied because you cared for their needs. It is also about how you overcome the challenges with your entire team, along with the members of your family. These moments, big or small, create great memories. Cherish them and you will be happy.

“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.” – Rosa Parks

3. The plan won’t always be perfect

Again, there is nothing wrong in having a plan. It is great if you know where to go first and what to do next. However, this should come with the mentality that not all things will go as planned. Nothing will ever go the way they are meant to be. There are unexpected changes along the way.

The key is how you embrace things that happened not according to plan and still find meaning in them. Happiness is about going with the flow. It is about trusting that good things will surely come along the way. It is also in letting go of a rigid plan that you learn to embrace life in all its complexities and uncertainties.

4. Don’t stay in your comfort zone

The biggest problem when you are too obsessed in following a plan is that you are consumed with the idea that there is only one path. There is no other path towards success and you should stick with what you are already comfortable of. Along the way, you will feel too comfortable that you are no longer willing to take the risk.

You are too scared to step out of your current path. You don’t want to move away because you think it will derail the achievement of your goals. You are no longer excited in trying new things. Soon, your life becomes really dry and you won’t see the meaning of everything that you do.

“Step so far outside your comfort zone that you forget how to get back.”

5. It is about following your heart

Take a moment to reflect and think about the plan that you had right from the start. Is it really what you want, or are you just doing it because it is how success was defined by people around you? Delve deeper and listen to your heart.

You might be on a path that you don’t really want, but you are forced to be in. Listen to your heart’s desires and this will make you a better person. Learn how to follow your passion and let your heart guide you to the right path.

Ultimately, you will only feel happy if you know that you are doing what you really love. You will even learn how to not obsess on a goal because you are just savoring every moment in your life. You will also realize that whether or not you will achieve something really big, you will be just as happy and fulfilled.

Important reminders:

  • When traveling, don’t think about your social media posts, take photos for yourself and not for others. Better yet, take photos only when you have already cherished the place.
  • Learn how to appreciate the small things. Take a pause just to smell the fresh flowers on your way to work. Appreciate the smiles of children heading to school. Be happy that you still have a job and you have something important to do for the day.
  • Say thank you to people around you even for the smallest things that they have done. Always let them know just how much you appreciate them.
  • Create smaller goals in life. If you really cannot let go of the idea that there is a bigger plan to achieve, create smaller objectives that are achievable on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Give yourself time to reflect and just be quiet. Amid the bustling noise in the city or the stressful nature of your work, you still need time to take a pause and just be quiet for a few minutes each day. This allows you to enjoy the moment and look back at all the positive things that happened during the day.

Don’t be defined by one definition of success. You can always find success even in the smallest things. You must have different sources of happiness and don’t let yourself be tied up to one goal as it could be really heartbreaking should you not achieve that goal. Just be you and do what you do best.

How do you define success? Comment below as we are curious to know!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Ella Flores, business consultant specializing in brand marketing and promotion, enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise with both her local community of Austin, TX, and online as a contributing writer to many popular business news and blog sites. She encourages business owners to explore the many different marketing avenues available to them, with consistent branding from their building custom signs down to their email signature.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Aaron Force

    Mar 23, 2018 at 4:13 am

    Hi, Ella. You are so right— sometimes the journey is more important. Our lives are the string of moments that we live every day. It is such an easy trap to fall into, to believe that success is a future thing. That is so subjective, though. The only thing we can know is the present moment. If all we look forward to is the future than we have missed our life altogether. Thank you for bringing this fresh perspective to A2S; it’s a great reminder for all of us.

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