Enjoy the Path, Not Just the Reward

Enjoy the Path, Not Just the Reward

In my work, I am often asked to teach people how to set and achieve goals. When I ask my audiences, “Why is  it so important that you realise your goals?”, they often answer, “Because getting the things I want will make me  happy.” While there is an element of truth in this answer — getting the things we want often does bring a measure of joy into our lives — it somehow misses the mark. The real value of setting and achieving goals lies  not in the reward you receive but in the person you become as a result of reaching your goals. This simple  distinction has helped me to enjoy the path of life while, at the same time, staying focused on meeting my  personal and professional objective.

As one of my favorite philosophers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, observed, “The reward for a thing well done, is to  have done it.” When you achieve a goal, whether that goal was to be a wiser leader or to become a better parent  you will have grown as a person in the process. Often, you will not be able to detect this growth, but the growth  will have occurred. So rather than savoring only the rewards that have flowed form the achievement of that  goal, celebrate the fact that the process of reaching your destination has improved the person you are. You have built self-discipline, discovered new things about your abilities and manifested more of your human potential. These are reward in and of themselves.

Excerpt from Who WIll Cry When You Die by Robin Sharma. www.robinsharma.com

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