Success Is Found In The Journey, Not Achieving The Goal

Success Is Found In The Journey, Not Achieving The Goal

Strive towards your calling with a passion that drives and motivates your life while overflowing that energy into the lives of those around you, bringing them up along the way.

520
views

When you see a Ferrari drive by or a yacht sail past you, what do you think of the person who owns those things? Would you be inclined to believe that they were afforded opportunities that you weren't or that they possess qualities that you lack, thus allowing them to attain such status? I'd contend that each of us, whether rich or poor, intelligent or "average," have the same capacity for success and that it is ourselves that ultimately hinder us from reaching the goals that we create. Each one of us has to play the hand we were dealt as though it were the hand we wanted in order to pioneer a path to success.

Still, those more successful or wealthy seem to have something that we lack, something perceivably intrinsic to who they are as person. Attributes and skills such as social likeability, a broad lexicon or vocabulary, and knowledge or intelligence in a variety of different areas are the most potent examples. We personify them as being "gifted" or "unique" but fail to see how it is that we could ever reach the same heights. Yet these traits are not fixed, but variable, and are tirelessly developed over many years. Small, seemingly insignificant decisions that are made every day, compound on one another in a manner that is similar to how a financial investment portfolio benefits from compounding interest.

Those minute positive decisions that bring the aspiring professional closer to their goals, build on the previous positive decisions, which creates an increasingly significant and noticeable change with each subsequent addition. Therefore, when we look up at that person and observe how everything they do seemingly brings so much wealth or success, it appears as if they aren't putting in nearly the amount of effort that we are, yet are reaping far greater rewards for their toil. The difference between us and them isn't some intrinsic quality that makes them better than us but is in how they chose to respond to those minute changes that brought them closer towards their desires versus how we choose to do the same.

Although the abilities may not be intrinsic to the individual, the desire is, and we will inevitably establish a standard which represents a degree of success that we wish to achieve; one of which that fulfills our desires. Once that desire is quantified through the formation of goals, we will recognize the calling in our life; the intrinsic desire that we had all along perfectly matches the calling. "I was made for this!" one could exclaim. At that point, there will come a moment where we are given a glimpse of the summit of the mountain that towers before us and is left with an opportunity to respond in one of two ways.

Either we will say "I have got to get to the top of that mountain because what I've been shown is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined" or we will say "there's a mountain, I can't go." In order to reach the top, to achieve these seemingly impossible goals, you have to defend your life with your life and not allow your time, heart, or energy to be consumed by things or people that only give comfort in the valley and are not going up the mountain with you. This is where the vast majority of people (as I observe it) fall behind and end up compromising on the vision that they once had.

Why, then, is it so easy to lose hope and get distracted, despite having every intention to accomplish what we set out to achieve? The secret, I believe, lies within us. Behind every aspiration, every goal that we strive towards, there is a sinister antithesis that lurks in the shadows. Lying in wait for us to lose hope and compromise in the pursuit of our calling, it steadily takes root while suffocating the vibrancy that once fueled our fervor for achievement. The further we get, the more opportunities for failure arise. This faceless, silent enemy that feeds on our fears and insecurities is the fear of failure itself. As we strive to transcend our weaknesses by avoiding failure through our accomplishments, we suppress that which is defeating us from within. Combined with the ensuing agony that so often accompanies failure, we are overrun as our despondence impels us to concede in the face of seemingly, impending defeat.

What we have to come to accept is that failure is the very thing that catapults us towards success. A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new nor learned that risk is the price of opportunity. Yet, if we become so focused on the final outcome that we don't enjoy the years in between and the people we meet along the way, then (if we even get there at all) we will arrive alone. Recognized for our success yet not for who we are, leaving us unfulfilled. So why not enjoy the process and share in it with others, every step of the way?

I, too, have goals and aspirations that I am striving towards. I attempt to make small, seemingly insignificant changes in the pursuit of those goals such that I am not looking towards an end goal but yet am living it out each and every day as I work to make it a reality. That is the true, historical meaning of Carpe Diem: to seize the day and prepare for the future. I'm spending my time focused on bringing what He has breathed into me to life and I intend on bringing as many people up with me as I can.

Each of us has an opportunity to achieve greatness and can make a meaningful impact in the lives of those around us. To establish the ultimate goal of acquiring accolades, wealth, or power is to exalt ourselves over others, rendering them as potential sacrifices on the altar of our achievements. What will it profit a man to gain the whole world yet forfeit his soul? All of the joy we are capable of experiencing from these things is limited and we will keep hitting the ceiling of that enjoyment; fixating on the next time or the next big thing until we acknowledge them as being insufficient to [ultimately] fulfill us lest we die chasing after the wind.

Cover Image Credit: StockSnap

Popular Right Now

To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
44821
views
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Choosing To Be Grateful

Somedays you really have to make the effort to choose to be grateful.

2
views

My roommate and I have a small painting on our wall that she made that says the words "choose to be grateful" in beautiful writing with fall colored leaves surrounding it. Some days I look at the painting and it acts as an encouragement, while other days it seems like a splinter in my foot reminder. Some days it is natural, other days it seems like the most foreign concepts I can think of.

Grateful comes from the Latin word gratus which means pleasing, agreeable, and thankful. Makes sense, but how are we supposed to choose those things when things aren't favorable and pleasing? If we are only grateful when the circumstances are going the way we want them to, what are we to do during the difficult stages of life? Is there even a point in choosing to be grateful when things are particularly going your way?

Somedays it is very, very difficult to remember to be grateful. Weeks with three midterms and little sleep aren't usually at the top of the list of things that I am grateful for. I often get bogged down in the circumstances that I forget the purpose or the meaning of what I am doing. When I take a step back, look at the larger picture, and choose to be grateful, that is when I start to remember the beauty of the circumstances because I know the end goal. Sure I might not be completely content with the circumstances but I am getting a fantastic education, in two areas that I have a real passion for. The classes and schedule that I have right now are preparing me for my future education and career. I am grateful for the opportunities, even though it seems difficult now.

One thing I struggle with when choosing to be grateful is that I often subconsciously tell myself that if I am going to be grateful I must also be very happy. I have to remind myself that it isn't always the case. Gratefulness can often result in being happy, but you do not always have to be happy to be grateful. Some of the times where I have been the most grateful were also times where it seemed like nothing was going right in my eyes.

So no matter what we are feeling we can, and should choose to be grateful. Instead of honing in on the things that we are discontent with maybe we should focus on the things that are more "pleasing" and "agreeable" to us. What are areas in your life that you can inwardly agree are going well or things that you are thankful for?

Being overly enthusiastic is not a requirement. The only thing necessary to choose to be grateful is acknowledgment. That simple acknowledgment can go a long way from bringing a small smile across your face, to the reminder that your journey is part of a larger plan and the work going in right now will all be worth it. Choose to be grateful.

Related Content

Facebook Comments