An Adventurous Light Sets Goals but Enjoys the Journey
How important is it to have goals?
Where should our focus be, on the outcome or the process that moves us toward a goal?
I know it’s important to have goals, I teach it, mentor it, and mother it. However, I have to admit that I sometimes wonder what is lost in focusing on the outcome of the goal versus paying attention to all that is happening along the journey to the goal.
Would if we get so caught up in a goal that we miss something right in front of us because all of our energy is focused on the next achievement.
A few things have me thinking about my own personal and professional goals this week. For most of my life I have always had some sort of goal.
When I was 6 years old my dad challenged me to go down the slide at the pool, I was afraid. I told myself by the end of the week I would go down the slide. I walked up the ladder and took a deep breath, placed my legs on the slide and let go of the slide handles...that first time down the slide led to 99 more times down the slide that day. My dad was on a business trip and I told my mom, make sure you tell him I went down the slide. Well, after the first one I got her to count...2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10...100.
Sometimes the adventure leads us to enjoying the journey by accomplishing a goal from being encouraged to try something new.
When I was 14 I competed in my first karate tournament in Burlington, North Carolina (ironic because I live here now). I had practiced my Wansu kata (shadow fighting) and sparred with my dojo mates for months. I won first place in kata and sparring. Yes, it felt great to accomplish my goal but what did I gain in the dojo from months of training.
Some powerful stuff actually, respect for myself and my peers, dedication even if not seeing perfection with a move (front kick) the first night but after a month...Snap.
Probably one of the things that I didn’t pay attention to at that time as a teenager was the bond that was forming with my sensei - my loving stepdad Wayne. We spent so much time together riding in the car to dojo, him constantly challenging me to be better than I was the day before and we would tag team by picking on my mom when we got home (we love you mom).
When I was 17 years old I applied to colleges, there was one college I really wanted to attend. I had a great GPA, great out of class experiences but a terrible SAT score (okay here goes, first time sharing publicly - I was part of the 700 club and that’s still after taking it twice). The college I wanted to attend was Elon College, unfortunately I wasn’t accepted. After a couple years passed I found myself applying to Elon as a transfer student, it was where I wanted to be.
Now, I could have been distraught about not getting in to Elon the first time around, I’m sure I was sad and a bit upset. As I look back, I wouldn’t have had the adventures or gained the life experiences for those two years before transferring to Elon. Not getting into Elon the first time around helped me explore my interests.
At the time, I thought I wanted to be a journalist and did not realize my passion for community sport due to my involvement in Parks and Recreation back in my hometown. I got accepted as a transfer student and in my first semester I got hired in the campus recreation program at Elon.
About ten years later down the journey I became a faculty member at Elon University. I guess Elon’s just got something over me.
When I was 40 years old I decided to launch my website Friendly Light Cara Lucia. I had been thinking about a website of some sort for ten years and it never came to me, I would get frustrated because every idea I had seemed to not give me space to be my authentic self.
During that ten year time frame I had many changes occur in my life, I became a mother, graduated from a doctoral program, hired for a faculty job, competed in a Tough Mudder, went through a divorce, hired for a different faculty job, moved from VIrginia to North Carolina and on and on. Through the adventure of the achievements and the challenges I was spinning into my authentic self to create my website and blog.
My creation is still a work in progress, I have goals for Friendly Light Cara Lucia. The adventures I have had so far with Friendly Light remind me every week to enjoy the journey. Yes, I can have a goal but I don’t want get lost in the outcome. I remind myself to be patient and keep it simple. To do no harm to others who may detract me from my goal or from enjoying my journey. Finally, to be thankful for all those along the journey.
An Adventurous Light Sets Goals but Enjoys the Journey by
1. Paying attention along the journey.
2. Being patient and keeping it simple.
3. Doing no harm to those who detract you.
4. Thanking those who support you along the way.
“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” - Arthur Ashe