Goals are Good, but Don't Forget the Journey
I recently completed a 3 day endurance competition, riding my horse 80 miles. We met our goal that I had established months ago, but not before several situations arose that made me think it was unlikely we'd even start the ride.
Any worthwhile goal should be a challenge, but after a flat tire on the horse trailer the night before leaving, a dead battery in the truck the morning I left and then the veterinarian at the ride noting that my horse was favoring his right front leg, I thought we'd never reach our goal.
When the vet said that my horse looked good enough to go the morning of the first day's ride of 30 miles, I was ecstatic, but nervous about making sure that he didn't hurt himself. I rode carefully and cautiously and was thrilled when we came in after the miles in good shape.
The second day, I realized all I could think of was completing all three days. It became an obsession and a worry, which certainly took me out of the present as I dwelled on the unknowable future. It could have been the stunning scenery, the laughter of a friend, or even my horse's energy, but the thought came to me that I'd already met challenges and gotten part way to my goal. It was then that I decided I should enjoy the journey and appreciate whatever we achieved from there forward. Even if we completed that second day's ride and he was too tired or sore to go on to the next day, I vowed I would be happy we made it that far and enjoyed a beautiful trail, fun people to ride with and trotting and cantering through stunning scenery.
Once I decided to stop focusing on my goal, I became even more in tune with everything around me, since the worry of NOT achieving my goal wasn't in the way.
It became a win no matter what happened; even if I did not achieve my goal, I would have enjoyed the journey, learned a lot and been ready to plan the next goal. I DID achieve my goal, we'd overcome some adversity to do it, and I enjoyed the journey, which allowed me to be present and open to learning so that I'm ready to plan our next goal.
What goals do you have that would benefit from your appreciation of the journey to get there?