You want to step out of your box. You want to be seen. You want to be significant.
You want to act instead of react. You want to control your destiny. You do not want to be a victim of circumstance.
You want to explore. You want to grow. You want to become!
Your goals must have a direction and a timeline. For instance, you want to drive to Chicago! You know your starting point, but you have no direction, no route, and no deadline. Could you get to Chicago by way of Florida? Certainly! Could you make the trip in increments? Spend a week in Tampa, a week in Atlanta, two days in St. Louis? Of course. So there may be more to this goal than the destination.
Have you ever considered the idea that the journey itself could be more important than the final destination?
In “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, the objective is to walk the Pacific Rim Trail. That is a very challenging trip, especially for a novice. But the goal wasn’t to get to the end of the trail and jump up and down at the end. In his book, “Walk in the Woods,” Bill Bryson was trying to discover ‘America’ by way of the Appalachian trail. Once again, it wasn’t the end point that was the goal. It was the journey itself–changing a person’s perspective, discovering character, digging deep within oneself to find out what truly matters: becoming more aware of the world and the people around him. To appreciate and be grateful for his circumstances.
Those hikes on the tremendously long and arduous trails were limited by time and weather. But when you decide you want to learn something new, whether it is physical, mental, or spiritual, the only one who can decide if the process is as important as the endpoint is you. The only one with control over the length and the path of the journey is you.
There may be meaningful distractions. There may be temptations to “Call it a day.” There will be ups and downs and all sorts of unforeseen challenges that you either are prepared for or are caught unaware. When I started studying French, I was bewildered by the different genders of the nouns and how to tell which adjectives to use. I was frustrated by the fact that so many words sounded exactly the same and were spelled so differently and had completely diverse meanings! I had to spend more time than I had planned to get the grammar straightened out. Did I have a deadline? Yes. But then Covid came and they cancelled the conference in Paris. I still study, but now it’s not as intense. My deadline is now to finish the basics before the time on the class runs out.
Sit down and think. What do I want? How will I feel when I accomplish this? Will there be other rewards? What’s the worst that can happen? More importantly, what’s the best that can happen? Picture yourself in the process, moving toward your goal, getting better and discovering something new in yourself. Write down your goal with a deadline in a journal, and keep track of your process. You now have a destination and a timeline, and I will show you how to make your path.