This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
by Ryan Andrews
“The Journey of 1000 miloes begins with a single step.”
Table of Contents
The Idea Step 1: The Journey Step 2: Goals Step 3: 1492 Step 4: Action Plan Step 5: Peace Be The Journey 3 4 10 13 16 20
The purpose of a goal is to create a journey.
The principal of setting goals tell us that we must have a planned end point if we hope to accomplish anything. I agree that if you don’t know where you are going, then how can you complain about where you are. But I believe that there is something more important than a goal. In fact my assertion is that goals are created so that we have a path worth enjoying. More to the point the purpose of a goal is to create a journey.
My Dad and I love to go hiking in the mountains. We have agreed on more than one occasion that if we don’t make it to the summit it’s okay with us. The reason we are out there climbing the mountain is to be in the wilderness and to spend time with each other. Our souls feel rested and rejuvenated just being in the woods. I know for my self that I would spend more time there if I could. But how can you spend time in the wilderness if you don’t know where you are headed? So we make a plan, a point that we are hiking towards. Sometimes we make it and sometimes we decide that we have hiked far enough and return home. However, we always enjoy ourselves. I also enjoy fishing, but I don’t always catch a fish. I saw a clever bumper sticker once when I was at the lake that said, “A bad day fishing is better than a
good day at work.” My sentiment exactly! Honestly, the last few times I have gone fishing I didn’t even bother pretending that I was there to bring home fish to eat. My goal was to enjoy the ocean, and spend time thinking and being part of nature. So I tied on the largest lure in my tackle box and started heaving it out as far as I could. I came home with an empty bucket and a large smile on my face. There is peace in knowing that you have a reason to be where you are at without the pressure of needing something else. There is a great quote from King Solomon “Go therefore, eat your bread in happiness, drink your wine with a cheerful heart, and live life with the woman you love all the days of your fleeting life for this is our reward.” The secret is in learning how to be content without falling asleep. The error is in believing that there is something you will gain from achieving your goal that you don’t get from the journey. A classic championship game speech is: “Go out there and leave it all on the field. Have fun and know that you did everything you could to win.” After the
team wins or looses the coach will reiterate the same statement. Why? Because a goal is all about pushing our selves to a place that we are not sure that we can accomplish. At the end we will have either failed or succeeded, but either way the result should be the same for our personal growth and development. Set the goal go after it with every intention of winning, but do not sacrifice the journey to get there. There is peace in the journey that cannot be achieved by success alone. Please don’t get me wrong about goals, achievement and success. They are necessary for the human soul. We need to win, and we need to be successful and we need to achieve what we set out to achieve. I am building the case that there is peace and success in the journey alone that cannot be gained from the end result.
---» The Second Time I Climbed Mt. Whitney
My story begins with the second time I
climbed Mt. Whitney. A friend asked me to go with him to climb to the peak of Mt. Whitney and back in the same day. He knew that I had previously climbed the mountain from the back side which took 4 days and 48 miles of back country bliss. The goal is fairly ambitious. To climb Mt. Whitney from the “Portals” to the peak starts at approx. 8,000ft elevation and climbs for roughly 11.5 miles to 14,497.6 ft.. That is 12,000 feet of elevation change and 23 miles in one trip. And ALL of it is at altitude. We reached the portals in the middle of the day, and slept in our cars until midnight then began our trek. Hiking at night during a full moon is pretty spectacular, but after about 5 hours it starts to all look the same. The ray of hope literally came from dawn. Watching the sun rise over the desert from about 11,000 ft. at Trail Camp was a sight to behold. Unfortunately we couldn’t spend much more than a few moments soaking it up and had to continue if we planned to make it off the mountain. We picked up a hiker just moments prior to the sun rise who was attempting the same thing as us
but her group got altitude sickness and was forced to turn back. She was disappointed, but we offered to let her hike with us so she was able to succeed at her goal of summiting Mt. Whitney. Right at 10 am I made it to the top of Mt. Whitney for the second time (this whole second time thing will become important, just wait for it.) It was as spectacular as the first time. There were cheers and pictures being taken. Cell phones actually barely work up there so we all called home in celebration. Then the climb down began, 11.5 miles of a grueling waste of a day. The complaints started, the headaches started, and the body started to fail. With about 6 miles left to return to the portals the other guys told me I could go ahead and they would meet me at the bottom. That sounded good to me because I just wanted to get off that mountain. So I began to run. That’s right, I ran down the mountain the remaining 6 miles. In fact at certain points I was sprinting across fallen logs to cross the creeks.
Once I had completed my trip I began to recount my first Mt. Whitney trip. What was so magical and wonderful about the first trip? I was with my Dad which is always great, but most of that trek I was in the front of the group and my Dad was taking up the rear making sure that one poor guy made it to the end without being eaten by bears. Then it hit me. I spent every moment of that trip enjoying the trip. The summit experience was going to be awesome as well. However, the actual trip it’s self, backpacking through the Muir wilderness and filling up my water from babbling brooks, was amazing. The second time was all about conquering the mountain. I missed out on the wilderness and the majesty of a high country lake. The first time I passed Mirror Lake it was 3 am and I couldn’t see much more than a glimmer. The second time I passed it that day, I was sprinting. You see the goal of summiting was a great place to start, but missing out on the path to the summit robbed me of the pleasure of hiking. I was
focused and determined, and I was successful but I wasn’t happy. I just wanted to get to my next goal... going home. The average person spends 8 hrs. per day working, 8 hrs. per day sleeping, and 8 hrs. per day doing everything else. Some people spend 2 hrs. per day traveling to and from work. There is time used eating and grooming and planning. Based on all of this, my guess is that the average person has 5 hrs. each work day to themselves. If you add in weekends and vacations we have a total free time of 2,846hrs per year out of the possible 8,760 available to us.
Please don’t get me wrong about goals. I love goals, and goal setting. I have a 1-year, 5-year, and a 10-year
plan. But I have discovered something amazing. My goals exist so that I have a journey worth living. My journey is on purpose. Everything that we do as people is to work towards our own personal enjoyment of life. We have a job so that we can live where we want to live, and spend money on the things that we want. And at the end of life we can finally enjoy what we have earned and worked so hard towards. This has been called the American Dream. Raise 2 ½ kids, a dog and live in a larger sub-urban home with 2 cars and a retirement plan. Goals can get you the American dream, but there is no guarantee of happiness. In fact our constitution only guarantees the pursuit of happiness.
---» Why Goals Aren’t the Right Answer Alone
Having goals be the center of accomplishment can lead to some very distracting and discouraging times.
A goal tells us that we have achieved once we reach a pre-determined place. The problem with this is that once you reach your goal then there is nothing left to work towards unless you set another goal. This is one explanation for people with a lot of success that aren’t happy. (Personally I feel like without Jesus there is no true happiness but for the sake of time and individual beliefs we’ll leave that alone.) How often do you see actors whom have great success ending up face down on the floors of their mansions with a bottle of depression medicine spread all over the ground. It’s not that the accomplishment is the problem, it’s that once a goal is achieved there is no time to rest. If you can only have success by reaching a goal then once you reach it you are back to square one. If you rest, that’s when depression can sink in; feelings of worthlessness, self hate take over. What’s that saying, “idle hands are the devils workshop.” Goals in themselves are a great tool. But like having a hammer when all you need is a screwdriver goals with the wrong intention can lead to disaster.
1492 ColuMbuS SAIled The oCeAn blue ------------------------» Story 1
Christopher Columbus was a failure. He left Spain with the intention of finding a safer and shorter route to the “Indies” by sailing around the globe the opposite way. What he found was that the earth was much larger than he anticipated and there were 2 whole continents in the way. Technically he was a failure. He never did reach the “Indies” as he expected, and ships still had to sail all the way around the bottom of Africa to get to where they were going. What he found was that he was right about his theory that wind can be followed like a river and that the world was in fact not flat. In this he was an overwhelming success. He also is now famous for discovering the “west indies” which led Amerigo Vespucci to discover the Americas. Because of this success we celebrate Christopher Columbus every
------------------------» Story 2
When I was a little child my Mom was in a tough spot trying to pay the bills. She had graduated from design school and had the beginnings of an interior design business. We were in trouble so she thought of a great idea. She was going to create a list of quality contractors who she had personally worked with in the past and hand them out to clients. They concept (as best as I can remember it) was people would give her $250 and they would be put on the list if she approved them. This list would then be distributed to her clients and prospects. So she went outside and asked the gardener if he would be on her list. He agreed and she began her new adventure. What happened from that point on was completely different from where it started. The group quickly grew from just contractors to realtors and other professionals. And they wanted to meet with each other and exchange leads. So she started a networking group that met in our back yard. It quickly morphed again when the members
wanted that list of all the people who were in the group. My mom not wanting to pay for a typesetter and printing charges; (no home computers back then) decided that she would do a newsletter with inspirational and motivational information on it. Then she would get the members and other’s to advertise on it to pay for the printing charges. What a great idea right? Right turn number 3 – It turned into the largest most happening networking group in San Diego county. Her little newsletter turned into a fullblown magazine. That eventually was published in over 10 different areas.
---» The Moral don’t Forget to Turn Right
The moral of these stories is that success is not contingent on reaching the goal, but in allowing the journey to take you places that you never dreamed of. I’ve said it several times; “If you find yourself heading towards a cliff you will only go over the edge if you forget to turn right.” Don’t forget to turn right!
The Action Plan
Now that I have convinced you that the journey needs more attention that it has been getting. I’m going to give you some pointers on how to integrate your new found love of the journey with your old standby of goal setting. The first thing you do is dust off that old book of goals and determine if they still make sense for you. There are lots of books and blogs about goal setting so I’ll skip that part. Once you have a new set of goals, begin to imagine the pathway to that goal. You are going to start down the trail of achieving the goal but the first thing you need to do is determine what success you will derive from the process of getting to that goal. Example: I am a website designer and my goal is to book 50 more clients this next year.
The journey will expand my knowledge of website programing. I will increase my business network to help other business owners with leads for potential clients for them. I will learn new marketing techniques and tactics. I will learn about new businesses that I didn’t know about before. I will personally grow for knowing more amazing people. So what happens if I fail to reach my goal of 50 new websites and only get 40, or 30? Well, if I only get 30 or 40 new clients, I will have expanded my knowledge of website programming, increase my network, improve at marketing, and make new friends. You see there is a measure of satisfaction and fulfillment built into my journey. What I want you to do is write down all of the things that your goals will bring to you. Discover the beauty of your journey. It is also easier to get through those moments where you are feeling like a failure if you look back on what you have gained from your journey to that point. Do this same exercise for all of you goals.
---» I Love it When A Plan Comes Together
You may find that you start to create your goals based what journey you would like to be on instead of picking goals that seem like something you will want. Let’s face it, no one knows today what they are really going to want in 10 years. Ask any recent college graduate if they have the same major and minors that they planned on when they started. My guess is that 80-90 out of 100 have something different. Some of you want to do something other than what you currently are doing. Multi-tasking your actions are a great way to get somewhere you want without taking energy away from your main task. Example: Let’s say you have a job working at Starbucks. Your dream is to start a cupcake company. Your goal is to be done working at Starbucks and start your business in 9 months. Knowing that you don’t have time to work on the side except for the occasional gig on your day off. How can the journey of
working at Starbucks take you to the goal? In this case, ask questions. Be interested in stock control and various marketing strategies. Take notes and research online about what you learn. Use the time multi-tasking your job to lean about your business. Example: You goal is to become a professional photographer. You currently work as a receptionist for a CPA firm. Begin to recognize what businesses are calling, and make note of people who have pictures on their business cards. Do your research and learning on your off time and before you know it you will be armed with the knowledge to achieve your goal. In both of these examples, taking advantage of the journey that you are currently on can get you to where you want to be. Even if it seems far off, one thing we know for sure is that time will continue to tick away.
Peace Be The Journey
Hopefully you have found a new and exciting way of looking at goals and goal setting. Our lives are one big journey, not a series of achievements and failures. What we accomplish or fail to accomplish doesn’t make us who we are but our attitude about the journey to those accomplishments can bring us enjoyment of life. There are days that I feel beat up by life and three small kids climbing all over me but once I learned to enjoy the ride peace filled my soul. The Last Story One day I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of Starbucks and I was overwhelmed by depression. I had never felt anything like this before. It was as though there was no reason to ever leave the car ever again. I felt like what’s the point of life.
I quickly got a hold of myself and began to count my blessings. I’m married to the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, I have three spectacular children, I live in Hawaii, and I work for my self. My wife doesn’t have to work outside the home and we own a rental property. I called my wife and said, “I’m not happy.” Silence on the other end of the phone led me to realize that I should elaborate. I said, “I’m happy with you and the kids and our life, but at this moment I just feel unhappy and I don’t know why or what to do.” We prayed about it and I went on with my day. Over the course of 2 weeks I was just heading down into a spiral of depression. Nothing really happened and to this day I don’t know how I got there but I did climb out of it with this. I discovered that external things, situations, & circumstances don’t have any direct connection with happiness. If someone smiles at you it can cause your day to brighten if you receive it. If you are in a
bad mood, it could send you off the other direction. Your friend could buy you a book that they really enjoyed and thought you would enjoy as well and it you could take it wrong as well. The key was that joy comes from the inside, not the outside. I was driving to church and it hit me all at once. I will choose to be happy and enjoy every moment of life. I can’t let circumstances be the cause of my emotions. I will take responsibility for who I am on the inside and learn how to enjoy life just as it is. The next day is when I discovered the power of the journey. My Dad texted me with a question, “what do we think about goal setting.” And it clicked for me. From that day on I have discovered that there is peace in the journey. And that goals are a great tool for giving us direction and creating a journey for us to enjoy. The purpose of a goal is to create a journey. Go live your journey. Make your plan but let God direct your steps.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?