ONE OF THE PROBLEMS WE HAVE WITH SETTING GOALS is how we feel went we don’t achieve them. Understandably we’re upset, and if we fail enough, we can even begin to give up hope we’ll ever get there. This is a form of learned hopelessness. But there’s a way to think beyond this in understanding that achieving goals is not an end in itself.
The Goal-Achievement Continuum
Whenever we’re at on the continuum of goal achievement—say it is losing weight or giving up smoking—we’re either striving to achieve the goal, or we’ve achieved it. We’re striving or celebrating—but never quite both at the same time.
This is where we have an opportunity to train our minds to think differently.
The Core Goal – Strive-to-Celebrate
Realistically we should celebrate in our striving; that is, at the very start of the journey, and during the in-between times, we should celebrate how far we’ve come already—the journey of a thousand miles commencing with a single step, and so forth.
This is not a natural thing for us, so we will need to train ourselves to think differently.
The truth is this. When we finally get to celebrate the achievement of the goal, we’re suddenly at the start again... “What next?” can suddenly be the forlorn realisation; even after having achieved the goal we can be left feeling rather empty-handed.
Unless the goals are positive and come of themselves in accord with our desires we’ll probably feel somewhat cheated. Of course, those who learn to continue in reflecting over their victories surmount this feeling altogether—enter the importance of affirmations. These sustain our confidence.
At least whilst we’re on the journey to the goal we have vision of our vision—where we see ourselves getting to. And even though that involves a sort of grief at saying goodbye to those entrenched habits we are, of a sense, adjusting to quite a hope-filled new reality—the achievement of that long-sought-after goal; the journey toward same.
Summary – Always and at the Same Time, Strive-to-Celebrate
The key is this. When we can get used to living every day as if we’re on the journey to a goal, or goals—plural, we can approach the mindset that the journey is more important to our happiness than the destination is.
We see in this the beautiful countering of the pain and discomfort of breaking old habits by simply celebrating with the powerful will of our minds that we’re on a journey—a journey of continual improvement and better awareness. This is the embracing of ‘newness’ and essential change as a living concept espoused by us.
It’s a journey with no end point; the delicious reality that life will only get better and better, we stronger and stronger, always maturing more and more.
When we conceive this continual striving-to-celebrate reality we begin to see at last the very point of life; there is abundance there, the very abundance that God came to infuse us with.
And we can have it!
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.