In this early part of the calendar year, there is always a lot written about dedicating ourselves to continual planning so as to meet our goals. While the intentions of these articles are well meaning and their advice can be very beneficial, there is one trap they can lead you into if you let them. The trap is in believing that there are goals only to be met at the “end” of your journey or task. A belief such as this can lead one to never enjoy the journey they are undertaking along the way and living a life of stress and anxiety.

“If you want to be happy, put your effort into controlling the sail, not the wind” is the anonymous quote that is featured on the front page of the Absolute Transitions website this month. It so definitively captures the theme of enjoying the journey of life. While setting goals can be a motivating factor, they often can take awhile to complete. Life is lived moment to moment in present time. Along the way to activities such as graduating from school, landing that next job, starting that business that you have always wanted to own or moving to that new location, are the day to day tasks we all face. Some may be more mundane than others. Others may come upon us unexpectedly much like the wind or weather can, where we cannot change the fact that they are coming, but only look to address them as best we can.

A current course of study that I’m involved in is making me very conscious about living from a valuegenic perspective. The course is centered on one central question which is, “What choice can I make and action can I take in this moment, to create the greatest net value?” When we choose to live moment to moment, making choices that are the best at that particular point in our life that are going to provide ourselves and those around us the greatest net value, several inspiring things begin to happen. We’re operating from a mindset of less stress. Our focus is far more intrinsic on what is being accomplished in terms of the benefits it is producing for oneself and others as opposed to being focused on whether we have a system or process which is exactly right. And, we realize that if something does not work out as we had hoped, we have the next moment that comes along to address it differently. We get “into a flow” of enjoying the process of life and living it the way it is meant to be lived.

Therefore, if you have been feeling particularly stressed lately, no matter what it is in your life on which you have been focused, take a step back and ask yourself a couple of questions. Am I measuring success in my life only by the realization of goals, or am I giving myself credit for the accomplishments that I reach each and every day? Is my focus so much on “getting things right”, that I’m not taking into account and enjoying the steps I am taking that are in the direction of where I want to go? Am I setting a trap for myself to only measure success in my life by reaching certain goals or milestones, and not measuring it by what I achieve each day in making the world a better place for myself and those around me?

Goals and dreams are a wonderful thing to have. They can provide direction and motivation in our life. However, if we allow those goals and dreams to steal our happiness because we’re trying to control things which are as out of our control, such as controlling the wind, then we’re likely defining ourselves by a standard that may be fleeting at best.

Author's Bio: 

Tony Calabrese of Absolute Transitions provides suggestions, approaches and information on how you can find a new job, move up to a new position, or change your career. To get his free report, "Overcoming Obstacles to Change Your Life" visit