How to truly enjoy the journey towards reaching your goals

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In my last post, Are you unknowingly chasing someone else’s dreams? we explored where our definition of success actually comes from, and whether or not it really aligns with what we currently need and desire.

If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to read that post before diving in below.

Now I want to extend the conversation from WHAT you desire, to the WAY you desire to get it. John Lennon famously wrote the lyric "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." This poignantly speaks to the reality that the majority of our life consists of the 99% of experiences that happen between the big achievements.

Meaning? Reaching a long-desired goal is a wonderful but fleeting experience. The space between the peak moments is the true but underrated creative grounds for nurturing the happiness and fulfilment we desire.

Success is rarely just about WHAT we achieve, but the way we choose to get there.

After reflecting back over my own definition of success, I realised I had outgrown it. The beliefs and values most important to me have recently evolved from those I initially grew my life and career upon. Until not so long ago, I used to define success by the following elements:

  1. A certain level of financial income that would enable me to sustain my own life without needing to rely on others, such as a romantic partner.

  2. A high-ranking role within a widely recognised, respected organisation.

  3. Global responsibilities that required living and working across multiple countries and cultures

These ambitious goals became part of my identity for many years. While I’m proud of myself for actually having achieved them, a crucial missing element of consciousness only became apparent in hindsight…

HOW I thought success should be achieved.

The way we define success, whether consciously or subconsciously, is rarely exclusively related to WHAT we do, but often includes the WAY in which we get there. 

For example, we may believe that the only way to be seen as a successful or worthwhile leader is to maintain 80-hour work weeks. We may tell ourselves that to have the ‘perfect’ romance the other person must chase us or make the first move. Or that anything that comes easy to us isn’t really valuable.

I was long carrying the belief that being a successful career women meant undivided attention and unquestionable dedication to work at the expense of a social, family and romantic life. 

And guess what? I made sure life unfolded for me in exactly that way… even when it wasn’t necessary. Why? Because this process was attached to a deep-rooted belief about what success has to look and feel like.

 

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To truly embody a new definition of success, you must also address the proces.

Today, my definition of success is quite different, and related to the following: 

  1. Commitment to authentically expressing myself and living in integrity, even when it’s hard.

  2. Have a positive impact on people and in the world.

  3. Sufficient financial means to sustain and enjoy my life, without sacrificing myself and my wider life in the process.

If I were to strive towards these goals/values with the same process… one rooted in self-sacrifice, fight, external validation and always choosing the challenging over the calm path, I wouldn’t get to the core of what I really want to embody. There would be no discernment, little integrity and no true focusing of my energy towards the experiences, people and projects that truly align with my values. 

It’s for this reason that I have come up with a more appropriate framework for the way in which I do things. For example:

  1. Be led by joy and intuition.

  2. Create and choose from an aligned, connected place.

  3. Prioritise health, nutrition, fitness and sleep over a busy schedule.

Not only do these concepts keep me aligned to my core desires, but they also ensure that I ENJOY the time between reaching the achievements that I wish to strive for.

Remember, this ‘time between’ is actually our life. It’s absolutely crucial that we’re present and living in a way that makes us feel happy, fulfilled and in alignment TODAY.

Now it’s over to you…

How do you wish to spend your life?

Look back over to your own personal definition of success that you explored in my previous blog post Are you unknowingly chasing someone else’s dreams?

In order to come up with concepts that make you feel amazing, consider your answers to the following questions:

  • How do you want to feel about yourself and your life (day to day)?

  • How do you NOT want to feel?

  • What are you willing to sacrifice in order to reach your goals?

  • What are you NOT willing to sacrifice?

  • Whose opinions matter to you? Whose don’t?

  • How do you want to make decisions?

  • What passion or talent have you been neglecting? How can you tap back into it?

  • What makes you feel happiest and/or most like yourself?

Feel free to go deep and explore all the themes or uncomfortable feelings that arise in this process. I’d love to hear how you get on… drop your findings in the comment box below or send me a private note here.

In my next post, I’ll be sharing my top tips on how to set and achieve ambitious goals.

 
Heidi HauerComment