Managing Far Away Goals
Every Friday I join dad for a 6 mile mountain hike. Today I noticed we have very different approaches toward this outing.
After we get a couple of turns up the switchbacks, if we look up we can see our end point – a big white rock that stands out on the next mountain in the faaar off distance. I mean FAR off distance. (The first three miles are uphill, too.) Like, when I take other people on this hike, I don’t even say that’s where we’re going because they get too discouraged to finish. (In fact, along the way, I like to point out to dad, “this is where Russ turned around; this is where Verrall turned around.” hee hee)
On this morning’s hike, dad made a point of stopping to look at the big rock in the distance and said jovially, “hey, that’s where WE’RE going!” As I also looked at the FAR OFF rock, I thought, “that’s a long frickin’ way” and felt my energy fade.
While it totally energized him to see the end goal, I experienced a different feeling altogether. It seemed really long, really hard, and very out of reach.
But when I put my head back down and watched the trail in front of me, I was right back to enjoying the hike as usual. I realized it works better for me when I think of the bend just ahead, and then the next creek we cross, and then my favorite tree after that. Thinking of it in bits and pieces suit me best for making it to the end.
I thought how this relates to other goals in life. How some of them seem so ridiculously far away that we give up before we even start. And yet, if we just point out a couple of milestones along the way, and shoot for the closest one of THOSE, one at a time, we make amazing progress.
I also thought of how some people do better when the going gets rough to stay strongly connected to the end result – to remember WHY they’re trudging up this hill that makes everyone else think they’re crazy.
And then I realized focusing just on the end result can be tricky, too. After all, we know it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey.
So although I might have thought dad’s end result was the big rock (and mine the bench next to it), I realize it’s more likely the time spent together enjoying nature and the dogs. Making new friends along the trail, saying hello to the regulars, and updating each other about our lives as we go.
“That’s where we’re going.”
I’ve been interested lately in thinking where WE’RE going with our deliberate creation work. I have to imagine that when many of us get this stuff down pat life is going to be VERY different than as we know it now. Don’t you think?
Regardless – what’s before us now is the next step. It seems prudent to focus on that, and find the thoughts that most help us enjoy taking it. (And for some of us, that thought may very well be of the big rock ahead.)
I’ll practice this myself as I work towards my birthday present to self of “best shape ever.” Instead of wondering how I’m going to get back to looking fabulous in that size four little black Anne Taylor dress, I’ll look at the next step ahead. (Getting my thoughts in alignment is MY first step.)
Once there, I’ll look at the step after that, and so forth. And I’ll get there. Maybe seeing that little black dress on the hanger once in a while will help – I’ll feel that out as I go. And I’ll enjoy the journey along the way. Simply because I said so. 🙂
So the next time you’re feeling deflated because what you want seems so far away from where you are, remember you can get there from here. It starts with the next step, and deliberately enjoying your journey will make all the difference in the world for your continued progress and eventual, inevitable success.