Life is a long journey, we hope. Yet, is there a destination? Do you ever “get there”? Where is “there” for you? Is it that house, retirement, that special person, a car, a certain salary or a spot on the career ladder? Is it peace of mind? Whatever it is, it is a larger purpose that drives you and informs many of your choices in life until you reach those distant goals. You will deny your self of other things so that you can achieve your goals. As a life coach, I am drawn to ask clients these questions, for it is at the root of these that fulfilment is lived on a day to day basis. It is these fundamental questions that drive you along the long journey of life.
I was reading a National Geographic article when it struck me that we share these driving urges and qualities with the animal kingdom. This article was discussing long distance migrations and the qualities animals show to achieve those long term goals. The main one we share is the ability to defer short term gratification for long term gain. Without that distant view of the horizon, it is impossible to keep moving forward in the right direction and have the patience and perseverance to reach that destination- all essential qualities to achieve any long term goals.
Making goals a values- based choice
The context you create sets the tone of your journey- will it be one of slogging your guts out or will it be joyful? Will it be work centred? Will it be friends and family centred? For each step along the way to be fulfilling, you require a clear context around the qualities that are most important to you- in coaching speak, these are called values.
A house holds no importance in and of itself. It is the value- systems you place upon it that gives it significance. Is it an investment? It is a retirement fund? Is it a home, a place to rest or a place to share with family and friends? Therefore, whatever you decide, it is based upon the things that are important to you and it is in serving those important things that makes the house significant. And so it is with the long journey of life. Whatever those distant goals and final destination, it is how you have honoured what is important to you that makes life fulfilling.
Why goals are important
It is important to have destinations, goals that give you a focus and direction. Without them you would go nowhere, achieve nothing and life would be boring and dull. And yet, in all the goals you have set for your self, when did the path to that destination go smoothly? When did it ever run as you expected it to? The answer is probably rarely, if ever. That is certainly true for me.
Migrating animals will overcome huge geographical and physical challenges to reach their chosen destination. So too will you, especially when you set your goals so far in the future you cannot truly imagine or conceive of what it really looks and feels like to be there. Setting that destination in the context of your values makes the journey bearable, enjoyable even valuable and will give you the patience and determination to carry on when you may want to give in or become diverted by less important things.
The journey not the destination
The logo for Potentiality Coaching implies this concept. It comes from the Japanese art of Kyudo, The Way of Archery. You are given the target, not to hit it, but to have a reason to fire the arrow. The flight of the arrow is determined by your inner demeanour. How calm are you? What is your state of mind? Are you agitated or are you serene? Do you fire the arrow in anger, in fear, for duty, for love or personal expression? Whatever the reason and motivation, it will come out in the flight of the arrow. How you are being in the world says more about your journey than about your destination. The goals are important, just as the target to the archer is. They set your path. What is most important is how you are when you release the arrow, for that determines how your arrow flies.
The power of congruent living
So on the long journey of life, what is it that you strive for and how are you going about achieving it? Are you working from values that make your life feel fulfilling on a daily basis or does it feel empty? Do you feel listless, frustrated or despondent? Are you joyful, content and deeply fulfilled? In short, the answer to those questions depends on how congruent you are living to your values. If you feel that you are not living more in- line with your values and you are ready to take action so that you can live your life in a more fulfilling way, why not contact me for a free consultation about identifying what is truly important to you and how you can manifest that more in your life?
Over to you
What makes you fulfilled? What is important to you? How do you make sure you keep living with those important things in the centre of your life? What do you do if those values change and you have to re- orient your self? How does changing your goals change your life path? I’d love to hear from you and learn more about what makes life fulfilling.
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