You hear people say the above quote all the time, don’t you?
“It’s not about the destination it’s about the journey?”
What the heck does that mean?
“If it’s not about the destination why should I even start,” is something that cynics may say.
This week’s article was inspired my friend Lewis who I met at kickboxing and is preparing for his second fight (at the time of writing) this weekend. Using Lewis as an example, I will give my version of what it means to truly enjoy the journey and not just wait for the destination This article is a carry on from last week’s article about the change cycle. Read full article on the change cycle here:
The Importance of Goal Setting
I don’t want this article to convey the message that we should not set ourselves goals. Goals give us direction, strength and purpose. Without them we would most likely be putting our energies into things that do not serve us in the present or in the future moment.
Please have a dream and put the dream into action; Goal Setting. However as mentioned earlier this post was inspired by a guy I met at my local kickboxing club a couple of years ago named Lewis. Lewis is your typical dude. He’s covered in cool looking tattoos, is a dog lover and spends his time doing things that make him happy; from playing computer games, walking his dog and spending time with his partner.
One of Lewis’ biggest passions is fitness (he is a personal trainer himself) and in particular kickboxing. Long story short Lewis has already trained and had his first fight, which made him thirsty for more, and at the time of writing is training for his second fight set for this weekend.
Upon talking to him and asking him how he was feeling about everything he gave me an answer that really made me stop and number one, admire him, but secondly realise that this way of thinking is a great teaching tool for all of us. He told me,
“Whatever happens I feel that I’ve already won because I am so much better at this sport than I was before I started my training.”
How good is that? And what a way to look at the goal he has set himself. To be successful from your journey before you hit your destination is a lesson we can all take on board.
The Importance Of Making Your Own Rules
Lewis is a perfect example of someone who is making his own rules for success. He has not let the outcome of this weekend be dictated by the outcome of winning or losing his fight. See full article on rules here:
Now don’t get me wrong, I am pretty sure that Lewis is not travelling to the fight with the idea that he is going to lose. Far from it. The point here is that if he does win the fight and walk home with a shiny trophy that will just be a bonus for him.
As he said he has already won in terms of the growth he has physically done to prepare for the fight and the metal growth he had to put in as well. He had to grow as a person and believe that his journey was a fun and worthwhile one. Lewis’s rule for the success of this fight may look like the following:
“Every time I am working towards improving my fitness and kickboxing, I am successful.”
So, as you can see, he will always be loving his journey because he is always successful.
Growth From Practice – Growth From Doing
Like our friend Lewis we all need to take a step into the challenge of a goal. In my opinion practising and failing (lessons in disguised) and practising and succeeding all lead to what goal setting should be about; growth. What is so important about growth you may be asking yourself. Growth is the reason why we should set goals in the first place.
When we set out to achieve something it is something that we cannot do or have yet. If it was something we could or have already do then it would just be a habit. So, like Lewis we may want to win a kickboxing fight or achieve another physical goal. You may want to overcome anxiety or self-image issues or learn how to attend real estate classes part-time and start investing in property.
Whatever it is there will be a process involved and steps set out to get there. Now I am all for having a dream and future pacing (visualising in the future) yourself having already achieved that. But here’s the clincher for me. When we future pace ourselves having already achieved something your future self will give you massive clues of what actions you need to do in the present to get the goal accomplished.
“Not only specific actions to do but the person you will need to grow into to achieve those actions!”
Goals Are Just A By-Product From The Journey
Once we have achieved the goal, we have set out to do, what next? Start another one? That’s fine. But the reason for this article was to highlight how important the journey was and is along the way.
Let us take Lewis or someone who has a physical goal that they want to complete. It may be to win a kickboxing fight or lose some weight or run their first marathon. Achieving those goals will be awesome. The feeling of accomplishment is one of the best we can feel. However, problems may arise if for certain reasons we do not hit those goals at the times that we choose to.
Injury and circumstances out of our control may impact those going after goals. Here is the way I believe we should look at the process. Winning a kickboxing fight is great, however once it is done it is done. What we need to be celebrating, just like Lewis is doing now, is the life-long and transferrable skills that we have learnt along the way.
For example, in Lewis’ case he has built up a great training habit which he can how transfer to any other sport or passion that he wishes to. In addition, the life-long skills such as discipline, resiliency and patience are life-long skills that he can now apply to other goals he may have in his life such as building his own personal training brand or learning how to invest in shares.
The possibilities are endless all because his journey involved building up life-long, transferrable and empowering skills. The question is what skills are we building up on our journey towards our goals? Are we constantly moping that things have not turned out the way that we originally planned? Or are we grateful that these lessons of change and flexibility have been presented to us?
Most importantly are we enjoying the journey towards our success.
“Are we appreciating that we are already successful now because of the growth the journey is giving us?”
The fact that you are willing to put yourself through change, in my opinion, makes you successful.
So, whenever you feel that the journey you are on is quite difficult, take a leaf out of Lewis’ book and love your journey. Focus on the person you are becoming and that you already have the resources inside you to make change and grow.
Article In A Nutshell
Going after goals is a sure way to foster change in your life. Though we must remember that goals are the by-product of the journey. Growth and building transferable and empowering skills will be the true success when it comes to the journey. Just like our friend Lewis we need to enjoy every moment of it. Big shout out to my mate Lewis who inspired this post. Thank you. Win or lose the fight this weekend, you’ll always be a winner to me mate. Go get ‘em!