Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reach For Your Goals And Celebrate The Process Every Day

I harp a lot on "Goal-Setting". I help my each of clients set goals so that they are defining their future, instead of letting it happen to them. However, it takes more than just goals to help you get through the everyday - it also requires creating a process to reach that goal that you LOVE - that inspires you to get up every day and live each day like it will be your last.

The truth is "results" don't just happen - like they are the product of some magical beans thrown into the garden. They don't show up on your doorstep or in your mailbox, just because you wished for them. And frankly, they rarely come if that's all you focus on. Sure you need to keep your goals in mind to keep "moving forward", but in order to live a life of happiness and truly create the world that you want, you have to celebrate the process, each and everyday. Because if you don't, you, most likely, will not have the fortitude to stick to it when things get tough.

And believe me, the one thing that I have found that you can count on is that things WILL get tough.

I don't care if you WANT to run a marathon with all the desire in the world more than anything else you've ever wanted in your life. If you don't celebrate the process of running daily, there is only a slim chance that you'll ever run in one. It's just too hard and takes WAY too much time and effort.

First you have to learn how to run 1 mile, then 2 miles, and eventually then 3 miles. But the numbers don't keep going up every day. Most trainers will have you run 3 miles for a couple weeks, adding in a 4th mile occasionally, as you build strength and stamina. Eventually, you find your way to 5 miles, 6 miles and even all the way to 10 miles.

Frankly, it's a slow and arduous process that you have to endure if you want to run a marathon. And you have to decide that running is something that you like and / or want to to do - nearly every day, or you aren't going to make it.

Life is no different. There are no short cuts - it's all about the day-to-day process. I don't care who you are. If you don't live in the moment, enjoying the process then the reward will never be enough to pull you there.

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans."
John Lennon

In life, as in the marathon example I use, you can do the things that you don't like to do for a couple weeks - and maybe even a couple months. But if you can't find joy in every day life somehow - if you can't find a way to enjoy the process of living every day - then you will either live a life without joy (which, in my opinion, isn't living at all) or you will give up on the process. Either way, you won't be happy.

"Retirement" seems to be the panacea for many every-day Americans, around which they plan their whole life. They endure what they hate today, so they can save and live for "someday". It is the "ultimate goal in life" for people all over our country - because they don't believe they can enjoy the process. And they believe that they only thing they can do is live for the tomorrow.

But look around, there are no guarantees in the future. How many people were living the last 40 years, saving everything they had, to live for right now - only to arrive in the here and now with nothing left? And that's assuming that you even have your health when you get to that stage of your life and can even enjoy the fruits of your labor.

About a week ago, I wrote an article about Passion, "Being Great in Life is about Pursuing Your Passion", in the hopes of inspiring people to pursue what matters and excites them. Now, I'm suggesting the same thing, but with a slightly different spin.

Living your passion isn't just about being great, it's also about living the life that you were meant to live. Life is not something to be endured, struggled through or hated. It is a gift - like no other. Each second you have on this earth is a blessing that should be cherished.

So as you set your goals and make plans for your future, recognize this. You might endure a little pain now and again, doing things that you know you must do, are afraid to do, or don't know how to do, BUT, if you don't find a way to make the process fun, to invoke your passion in the process, there is a finite limit to how long you can endure that pain. You will either quit it because it's too painful or you will sabotage your efforts, preventing any kind of happiness you were trying to achieve in the first place.

To achieve real success in life,
you must always be striving to reach your goals,
but celebrate the process!

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