Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Goal is Not the Destination...

I started a focused practice on Olympic Weightlifting last fall, just for fun.  Somewhere a long the line I ended up with a coach and a goal to qualify for the American Open. 

The process that has unfolded has been tumultuous at best.  I've had physical and mental struggles.  I've found myself wondering often, why am I doing this?

 It wasn't until I did a presentation about goals to a local wellness group, that I realized when it came to my weightlifting goals, I haven't been practicing what I preach.

 The presentation is about how we tend to make our goals our destination and by doing that we put the cart before the horse.  And in turn the process is just a means to an end.  With that comes struggle, suffering, sacrifice and in many cases failure.   

I ask participants to think about their goals and ask themselves why it is they want to achieve them.  How will their lives be different when they do?  What makes that fulfilling?  They do this in order to write a Vision statement.  I ask them to put that Vision as their destination rather than any specific goal. 

 I did some thinking about what I really want and about what would be fulfilling about qualifying for the Open.  From those questions I wrote this vision statement:

 Weightlifting has taught me the value of hard work and discipline in service of what I value and love.  I apply this to all areas of my life. I am a better trainer and coach because of my experience as a weightlifter.  I enjoy weightlifting and it has taught me about myself and about life.   

 YES…that sounds amazing!  My body starts to tingle a little as I reread that statement.  It's not really qualifying for the American Open that I want….this is what I truly want! 

Having acknowledged my vision, immediately I feel more successful than I have for months. I am successful in the many, many hours I have spent training.  I am successful in the fact that I AM a better trainer and coach already from my experience so far. I have been successful each step along the way and somehow missed that. 

So where does that leave my goal?
I'll keep it right here in my pocket as I keep moving along towards my vision.  The beauty of that, it that the goal could change and that would be okay.  More important than the goal itself, is that whatever goal I take with me on this journey, be in alignment with the vision.

 If the process feels like "struggle" in whatever it is we are trying to achieve it may mean its time to step back and look at what we REALLY want.  To ask ourselves how will we be fulfilled by that achievement?  We those answers we can name our vision and successfully move towards it in every moment.

The goal is not the destination....fulfillment is.  With that in sight work feels less like work, the process is the reward and success is unlimited.

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