Life’s a Journey, Not a Destination

“Life’s a journey not a destination, and I just can’t tell just what tomorrow brings”

If you are a rock & roll fan, this blog post title may remind you of the Aerosmith song, “Amazing.”

Journey

I loved that song when it came out and it’s still one of my favorites, but it wasn’t until recently I really started thinking about the lyrics, “life’s a journey, not a destination.”

I was recently listening to a podcast from Michael Hyatt and he discussed a similar theme stating, “It’s not what you accomplish, it’s what you become.”

The bottom line is that our lives are always heading somewhere. All of us have goals, dreams, and aspirations of what we want to become.

Goals such as a promotion at work, buying our dream house, or losing a certain amount of weight may be in our plans.

We all want to achieve our goals and I hope you achieve yours, but what happens when you finally hit that goal? Do you just stop? Is there a letdown?

Human nature causes us to take a breath, relax, and get comfortable when we reach goals. I know this happens in my life.

Let me give you an example. In my daily life of insurance sales, I have goals and sales numbers I aspire to reach. After hitting my goal or closing a large new account, my brain tells me I deserve a pat on the back. I feel like my hard work has paid off so it’s time to relax, kick my feet up, and enjoy the fruits of my labor. That may be partially true. I think we all deserve some down time after hitting our objective, but I feel that allows us to miss the bigger picture.

It’s Not What You Accomplish, It’s What You Become

This is where the quote from Michael Hyatt really comes into play. After I make a nice sale, I will feel some instant gratification. Money, fulfillment, and recognition may all accompany hitting goals. Those are great, but that should only be small part. Those are only short-term rewards.

We must appreciate the long-term benefits of hitting goals much more than the immediate gratification.

What did you learn along the way when accomplishing your goal? Did you pick-up valuable lessons from mistakes or setbacks? Did study some of your strengths and weaknesses? Did you better understand how to overcome adversity? Did you develop disciplines that you can use utilize for the rest of your life?

The reality is that the list of lessons we learn while achieving our goals could be endless.

In my sales example, I may have received a nice commission and a pat on the back from my boss, but there are other far more important achievements. Maybe I learned some new marketing techniques or how to better relate to a certain personality. I could have learned some technical skills or enhanced productivity training. All of these items possess much more power than a single sales goal.

Enjoy the Journey

Don’t let your goals be the end of the line. Focus on what these goals teach you so you can keeping taking steps to improve.

When you reach you destination, take time to enjoy the fruit of your labor, but more importantly make sure you diagnose your achievement so you can understand what helped you get there.

Use the lessons learned to attack you next goal. Share what you have learned with others.

We never “completely” cross the finish line until our time on earth is through. Use each day as another learning experience and enjoy the journey.

 

Do you relax after achieving a goal? What’s your secret to staying motivated?

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Keith Laskey

    This thought has been on my mind a lot lately. Seth Godin first put it there last week when I was listening to “The Icarus Deception”. The goal is to keep playing, not necessarily to win. The game is not over even after a big sale.

    You make great points regarding the post sale feelings and how easy it is to relax a bit. But I agree that you must, at the very least, note what worked-why you got the sale-was anything left on the table that you could have added-referrals?.

    Strike while the iron is HOT and continue to sell especially when you are feeling as positive as you are after a sale.

    Thanks Brent.

    • brentmkelly

      Thanks for your comment Keith. “The Icarus Deception” is a great book. Seth Godin definitely stresses this idea in the book. Momentum after a sale is great time to analyze you success and achieve even greater success.