Goals – what is their purpose?

Are they something:

- we’re “supposed-to-write” to be successful?
- to check off the list and move on to the next?
- to keep us on track?
- to help us stretch ourselves to learn, grow, and develop new skills and talents?
- to help others, or to improve the world?
- ??

I believe that we all have goals, whether we write them or not. And there are many reasons for setting and accomplishing goals. No reason is necessarily right or wrong.

But sometimes I get so focussed on the achievement of my goals that I forget to appreciate the journey – the work, the fun, the process, and especially the learnings that come along the way.

Does this ever happen for you?

Two of my recreation goals for this year were: to learn how to kayak and; to do some multiple day backpacking trips into the wilderness.

If you read my last ezine, you know that I learned the basics of piloting a kayak; however I still have a very close intimate relationship with the texture of water. Those kayaking basics were also powerful lessons in relationships and life. If you have forgotten them already, I encourage you to re-read that article.

My son, Jamie, helped me achieve my other goal – multiple day backpacking into the wilderness. And guess what? I gained more valuable life lessons that can help me, and hopefully you, savour the achievement of our goals in life – a bit more.

Here’s the deal.

After a three and a half-hour drive, we left our vehicle at a staging area outside the Wilmore Wilderness Area, northwest of Hinton, bordering on Jasper National Park. This is one of our best un-kept secrets in Alberta. It is a huge area of mountainous land protected by our government, where motorized travel and commercial/industrial development is not allowed.

With seventy pound packs, we hiked six hours deep into a valley where we made our base camp.

The next day, we set out to explore, taking turns with our pack of emergency survival gear, lunch, and water. In country like this, it is good to be prepared – we didn’t know what we’d encounter. Sometimes, survival is dependent on preparedness, resourcefulness, and common-sense.

It was an extremely steep climb, through thick forest, slippery skree, and over huge boulders. We walked along a narrow rocky ridge, high above the tree-line. In places, it was a narrow Bighorn Sheep trail, dropping off sharply on both sides. We meandered through broad alpine meadows, admiring the vibrant colours of the wildflowers and the thick mat of grasses. The flora and fauna must be tough to survive in this harsh environment.

We parked ourselves on the highest knoll to have lunch, bask in the sunshine, and to savour the panoramic vista of one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts.

With a radiant beam on his face, Jamie rotated slowly, admiring the view and proclaimed, “That was worth it!”

That was worth it. That’s a gem about life that I can use now.

What about you?

Hey, I understand that life is not always easy. Circumstances aren’t always exactly the way you want them to be, or the way you think they “should” be. Situations may not seem right or fair at times. Sometimes you may feel vulnerable, or as if someone else controls you.

So with that said, my challenge for you, should you choose to accept it, is to accept life the way it is right now, and proclaim, “That was worth it!”

Here are some hints for application (once you’ve finished reading the article). Just like our hiking experience, these hints will help you survive and thrive with preparedness, resourcefulness, and common-sense (which isn’t so common).

- Sit straight and tall, look up slightly above head level, smile, take a long, slow, cleansing breath, and say out loud, “That was worth it!”

These physiological actions work anytime and anywhere to help you improve how you feel. It’s pretty tough, maybe impossible, to be miserable if you are in good posture, smiling, and breathing deeply.

- Think about the work you do, and the value you contribute to society and say, “That was worth it!”

Regardless of what you do, you are contributing in some way. If you choose an appreciative attitude, you will be making a positive contribution. The value of your work is in your Contribution Plan, not your Compensation Plan.

- Notice the people around you at your workplace, the effort you’ve invested to develop those relationships, and the great value they add to your life and say, “That was worth it!”

Sure, work relationships can be stressful. There may be differing perspectives, hidden agendas, and opposing outcomes. Choosing to grow and nurture these relationships can ensure that your workplace is a desirable place to be.

- In your mind, picture your close personal relationships (with your life-partner, children, family, friends), interacting kindly, respectfully, and lovingly and announce, “That was worth it!”

These close relationships are foundational to being healthy and productive in society. They determine your level of happiness and self-esteem. Choose to treat them accordingly, and they will be worth it!

You and I only get one crack at this experience we call life, this brief bit of time between birth and death. I’ve decided that I’m going to enjoy every minute of it, as it is now. I’m going to find the lessons in every trial and tribulation, achieve my purposeful goals because they have great value to me and others, and find the joy in every experience.

And several times everyday, I’m going to stand up straight and tall, smile, breath deeply and proclaim, “That was worth it!”

But that’s me. What are you going to do, NOW?

Author's Bio: 

Author, relationship coach and professional speaker, Dan Ohler, helps thousands of people every year to vastly enhance their professional and personal relationships. Dan gets you thinkin’ outside your barn. Through his books, keynotes, workshops, coaching, and comedy presentations, he challenges you to create flourishing relationships, and in-joy escalating success.

Dan is based near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and his unique, grass-roots flair is well-known across the nation.

He and his wife, Carol, provide seminars, relationship recharge retreats, and relationship coaching specifically for couples.

Please visit http://ThinkinOutsideTheBarn.com

As a gift for you, a FREE e-sample of his book, “Thinkin’ Outside The Barn And Steppin’ Into Fresh B.S.” is available here