Often our goal setting is a challenge that sees us longing for the final achievement. This can create enormous tension, stress and perhaps even a little anxiety about when we will get there if at all. Whilst a fundamental aspect of achievement is the journey itself, it is worthwhile to consider this more deeply so it doesn’t become a throwaway line or a cliche.
What is it about ourselves that we learn along the way? Do we even stop to think about that regardless of (and quite distinct from) the goal itself? Here are some things you might want to contemplate for more than the time it takes to read them:
- Discipline. One of life’s great virtues. The mere act of pursuing a goal requires discipline. It could be in our behaviour, our spending, our focus and of course our determination.
- Delayed gratification. So much if what we consume (be it food, entertainment or possessions) comes so easily now. Everything is a click away or a parcel delivery away. We’ve become so dependent on everything being “now” it actually is refreshing to have to wait for something. It makes you appreciate it all that much more.
- Patience. Following on from the first two points is patience. I recall a saying “I prayed for patience and God made me wait”. There is simply no better way to develop patience than to have to wait and persevere. It is like most things in life – it comes with experience.
- Understanding. When you have to work long and hard for something, you suddenly start to appreciate others that are in the same boat. What better way to connect with those around us than to appreciate, understand and empathise with them on their journeys.
- Character – Perhaps this might just be the sum of all the others, but it is worth calling out. When you think back to the challenges you had in your life, it is difficult to deny that they are in fact the very things that have shaped who you are right now. And yet, we try to steer clear of these challenges. The very things that enrich us are the things that are the toughest.
By all accounts, this is a short list. You could add many more items to it. But the theme remains the same. You will benefit from striving. And it doesn’t mean achieving a goal in order to realise that gain. We only have to embrace the opportunity and step forward. Give yourself an opportunity to experience more than you thought was on offer.
This leaves us with a simple question. What part of your character will you discover today?