What Constitutes Fulfilling Goals
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” — Ernest Hemingway
Focus on the process rather than the prize to achieve your objectives.
What exactly do I mean when I say “process”?
You understand the significance of setting objectives. You’ve been encouraged to establish goals and work toward them since you were a child.
Self-help books, blogs, articles, and masterclasses focus on teaching people how to define goals in a straightforward manner.
They argue that setting unreasonable goals reduces your chances of achieving them. They claim that goals should be precise and documented on paper.
What if I told you that this strategy doesn’t always work?
Have I gotten your attention yet?
Let’s get this party started.
We have little awareness of what our efforts are likely to generate, thus goal-setting alone is not conducive.
What good is a goal if it isn’t achieved?
Isn’t that defeating the purpose of goal-setting?
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your intentions,” actor and filmmaker Woody Allen put it succinctly.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, the underlying theme is that life never goes as planned.
In How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, Scott Adams, the author, and creator of the Dilbert comic strip, writes: “I discovered via observation that people who sought extremely improbable ambitions were unduly optimistic at best, delusional at worst, and simply foolish the majority of the time.”
It is seen as a valuable measure of unselfish desire to enrich the lives of others.
If you are aligned with a bigger purpose, you will be able to accomplish this. Some people achieve their goals through motivating others, such as Mother Teresa and Gandhi, who made a difference in the world via their humanitarian activities.
There is no single measure of what constitutes fulfilling goals other than how they make you feel. The following principles are worth considering so the process of achieving goals becomes more important.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” — Zig Ziglar
1. Don’t Be Fixed On The Destination:
When you only think about getting to your objective, you miss out on all the beautiful things that happen along the way.
You’re built to succeed. It’s ingrained in your DNA to go over your imagined limits.
I realize it may not appear that way. Rather than becoming bitter at not reaching your destination, take pleasure in the process of achieving your objectives.
If you take your focus away from the outcome every now and again, things will start to improve sooner rather than later.
“Here’s the amazing thing — and I’ve seen this happen so many times, yet it never ceases to amaze me: when you set your goals, life has a way of rearranging itself, a series of events starts in motion that you could never have predicted or planned, to get you there,” writes author Jeff Olson in The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life.
2. Take Your Eyes Off The Prize:
Have you ever set a goal to lose weight with a fixed number of how much you intended to lose?
Recall how you chose this figure?
I’m sure you didn’t use much rationale other than the fact that it felt right.
What if you shifted your focus to becoming healthier instead?
Would you be in a better position to attain your goal if you did so?
Not only will you lose weight, but your health will improve as ailments that have plagued you for years are resolved.
Other than the conventional ways advocated, there is a better way to achieve goals. Allowing the process to evolve naturally rather than being fixated on a specific outcome is the key.
Unfortunately, less than 10% of people achieve their goals because excuses and life get in the way. The lesson is straightforward: redefine your objectives to become process-oriented.
Serial Winner: 5 Actions to Create Your Cycle of Success, by Larry Weidel, states: “I’ve seen a lot of individuals work really hard for a goal, putting in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.”
Then, for whatever reason, they become overwhelmed and give up. The major calamity is that their personal investment is wiped out, and they never reap the rewards of their labor.”
3. Enjoy The Process:
I attended a money management workshop some time ago with valuable insights. The presenter proposed we spend money buying experiences instead of material objects.
He reasoned, experiences leave an indelible mark on us and contribute to our long-term happiness.
They add to the rich tapestry of life as distinct to buying material objects. YouTube blogger Casey Neistat makes a point of devoting an entire episode to this principle in a video titled: What’s Most Important.
Applying this rule to goals, buy the process instead of the destination.
Buy rewarding life experiences that support your goals, instead of being fixed on the result.
A virtue of success is an inherent curiosity. It is a child-like fascination with your mind’s natural ability to find answers to questions.
Be immersed in your surroundings and in the moments you may be too busy to notice.
Invest in life and it will return wisely on your investment.
Don’t fall into the trap set by Mindvalley’s founder. In his book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Laws to Enhance Happiness, Mindfulness, and Influence, Vishen Lakhiani advocates for the following principles: “Too many of us pursue ambitions we believe would make us happy, only to wake up in our forties wondering what went wrong as we find ourselves trapped in uninteresting, dull, stagnant lives.” “How is this possible?”
Successful people are adaptable and know when to pivot to reach their goals. They are open to challenges and do not get trapped in dogmatic thinking.
Take your foot off the throttle every now and again and slip into cruise control. You will arrive at your destination, regardless. The speed at which you pursue your goals is not a measure of fulfillment.
After all, the journey becomes the process and life unfolds as you never thought possible.