Reality of Goals
Goals and desires are part of life. We desire for more money, a fit body, better relationships, a good house etc.These goals are important for our progress in life. And we give our best to achieve our goals. We work hard. But in the process of achieving goals, we become so obsessed with the end result that we forget to enjoy the process.
Our focus only rests on getting what we want. And we center our happiness around achieving the goal. Many of us think we cannot be happy until we achieve our goal. So, we postpone our happiness thinking– when I will get my dream job, I will be happy, or when I build my dream house, I will be happy. Because of tying our happiness to end results, the beautiful moments of everyday life, the whole process and journey of living itself loses its beauty and joy.
And the ironic part is, once we achieve our goal, our happiness lasts for few hours to few days.Happinessgained due to achieving our goal is temporary. After some time, inevitably, the newness and thrill of achieving the goal fades away. And we are back to square 1 again. We start craving for something else now and again center our happiness around it.
When we have a goal, there are two possibilities.
- The first possibility is that we don’t achieve the goal.When we don’t achieve our goal, we become unhappy in life. We think we are unhappy because we did not achieve the goal. For example, say someone’s goal is to get a job. Now, this person will not be happy till he gets the job.
- The second possibility is that we achieve the goal. When we achieve our goal, we temporarily become happy, and after some time, we start desiring something else and end up being unhappy. So, our person who wanted the job, when he gets the job, he experiences happiness. He feels great and celebrates it. He joins the job. And after some time, he starts cribbing about his boss, colleagues, work. And he starts desiring for a change in job.
So, whether we achieve our goal or not, many of us are unhappy.Why does this happen? Where is the problem? Should we not have any goals in life? The problem is not with goals, but it is with our attitude and approach towards goals.Our general attitude towards goals is as below.
- I will be happy only the day I achieve my goal.
- If I don’t achieve my goal, I am a failure.
- I don’t care how I achieve my goal. All I care about is the end result.
This attitude towards goals causes us unhappiness. Goals become meaningful in life only when we enjoy the journey of achieving the goals. Both the journey and end result are equally important.
For example, say someone wants to lose 10 Kgs weight. If this person uses harmful ways of losing weight like a crash diet or harmful diet and loses health in the process but achieves the goal of losing 10 Kgs weight, how good is this weight loss? How does this weight loss help the person? But if this person uses the right approach, and enjoys the journey of losing weight loss, the person not only loses weight but also gains health, becomes more energetic in life, builds healthy habits.
The true magic lies in the journey as well as the end result. The day we realize and live this profound truth about goals, below things happen to us.
- We start giving our best to every step involved in achieving our goal.
- We enjoy the whole process and journey.
- We find more meaning and joy in our life.
- Ordinary everyday moments become thrilling and joyful.
- When we face challenges while pursuing our goals, we face them with courage without losing patience or hope.
- We build healthy habits.
I realized this truth about goals through my journey.
When I wanted to become an actress, I only cared about my end goal of becoming an actress. I was unhappy when things did not go as I wanted. I went into victim mode and blamed others for not achieving my goal. I lost myself in craving to become an actress, and I missed to enjoy the process. It took me several years to figure out the truth that the journey is as beautiful as the end result.
Once I realized this truth, I enjoyed everything that life offered me. I enjoyed working towards my goals. I found joy in the process. I started noticing the beauty in ordinary moments of everyday life. And most importantly, I did not postpone my happiness. I enjoyed my current day and worked for my tomorrow. I lived my life with passion, and every day mattered to me whether I achieved my goal or not.
And surprisingly, when I cared about the process and enjoyed the journey, I achieved my goal effortlessly. I achieved more than I wanted, and happiness has become a way of life rather than a destination.
Take a moment today and think about your own journey of achieving your goals. What is the best goal you achieved in your life? After achieving this goal, how long were you happy? When you reflect on these questions, you will understand that enjoying the process is as important as the end result.
If you are working for your weight loss, enjoy your exercise. If you are working for your dream job, enjoy your study and preparation phase. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, enjoy working on your experimental ideas. Enjoy every step you take towards achieving your goal.
Let’s enjoy the process and journey called ‘LIFE.’
Success is a destination, not a journey.