If you only care about the achievement of your goals you might miss out on the most important things…

“It’s not about achieving the goal. It’s about who you become in order to achieve the goal. The juice is in the growth.”

Tony Robbins

Perhaps an alternative way to think about this is to turn the quote inside out. Have you ever achieved a goal that you desperately wanted, and hated the person you became through the process? I position it this way not to be a “Debbie downer” but to illustrate the power of purpose and the importance of choosing the right goals for our lives.

Perhaps we should stop making our plans based on achieving some specific thing or outcome, but instead, we should select our targets based on the process of growth that we will have to complete to make them a reality. Maybe we should choose our goals based on who we want to become through the journey.

Let me share a simple example. Several years ago, my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) and I traveled to Colorado and climbed Mt. Yale, one of Colorado’s famous “14’rs” (mountains that have their peak above 14,000 feet). We started just after daylight and achieved the summit just before midday. We enjoyed a few minutes at the top of the mountain, took some pictures, and then headed back down the trail for our 6-mile hike back to our car. My memories of that day, and most of the pictures we took along the way, are of the journey. It was the entirety of the shared experience, what it meant for our burgeoning relationship and a discovery of a shared passion for challenging hikes that made the journey meaningful and impactful. Achieving the goal was nice, but it wasn’t the thing that truly mattered. What happened along the way was what was actually important.  

Do you choose mountains in order to achieve the summit or do you want to soak in the experience of the journey along the way?  “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”‭‭ Matthew‬ ‭16:26‬ ‭ESV‬‬ 

Is it the achievement of the goal that matters or who you become in pursuit of the RIGHT GOALS that is truly important?  

Wildflowers near the top of Mt. Yale

Enjoy the season…

“Let your joy be in your journey—not in some distant goal.”

Tim Cook

I love the holiday season. Beginning with the month of October and then the run up to Thanksgiving and through the New Year is just a magical time of year. Not just because it is a time to indulge in too much rich food and extra time with family. But because the season seems to put a warmer spark in peoples hearts. Of course the true meaning of Christmas is never lost on me and the part I love most is the Christmas Eve service at church singing carols by candlelight.

When I was a child I would spend the entire holidays in breathless anticipation of Christmas morning. It wasn’t about the journey, it was about the goal. Now that I am older, and hopefully wiser, I appreciate the journey through the different holidays so much more. In fact, I would give anything to add another week to the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This time of year always seems to go by far to fast.

So when reading this quote today my mind immediately went to the joy of the journey through the holidays and how maturity has changed my focus from the goal to the trip. May we carry that perspective and attitude through the entire year. Along with so many other aspects of the Christmas season…

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