Goals are great, but the journey matters more

Mountain Peak

Its taken me forever to realise goals don’t work for me, and I only discovered this when I found some time to reflect on my life so far. It seemed I could never stay interested long enough and find enough drive to see what ever it was through. Only now I can see that a goal is just a place marker to give me a purpose and direction. I’m never going to reach the end but that’s OK.

When I was young I liked exploring. We had a creek nearby that ended at the sea. I know this because a good friend and I use to explore it. I had no maps or help from Google back then so it was a real unknown. I had a goal to find the start of this local creek and would often head in search of the holy grail. But I never did find it because I was always in the moment and was too busy enjoying the journey.

Each time I set out, sometimes with a packed lunch, I’d be fascinated by something along the way, stopping to play for awhile and then eventually I’d resume my search. I was an explorer with a curfew and always turned back with enough time to get home before dark. I had a goal but it never bothered me that I didn’t reach it because I was having fun. Maybe this is when I strengthened my belief that the goals didn’t matter as long as you enjoy the journey.

And that’s the take home lesson, goals are great, but if you don’t enjoy yourself along the way then, you’ll probably resent the time you take to get yourself over the line.

On reflection I had never been so in the moment, and here I am, some years later, trying to return to living in the now.

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