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Self-worth is found in the journey, not the destination

Monday, March 18, 2013

I've noticed quite a few thought-provoking blogs over the last few days. One was by PIXIE-LICIOUS ("Success is not just reaching the goal")

This one really jumped out at me. Don't we all do this? We set a goal in life and we think life will be different/better/more exciting/perfect when we get to that goal. Maybe the goal is graduating college. Or perhaps it's getting married. Or, for most of us here, maybe it's that goal weight we're thinking of.

Have you thought about what happens when you reach that goal? DOES life really suddenly become perfect? Do all of your problems in life melt away because you reached that goal? Are you now officially happy and will never be miserable again?

Of course not! Life continues like a roller coaster even if you're married. Or a college graduate. Or wearing a size 6.

Life will never be perfect. Life will never be fair. Life will never stop being difficult. Life goes on after all these goals have been met.

It's a huge letdown, isn't it? You reach that goal and then it's like...meh, now what? You kind of flounder around a bit, because it wasn't the end-all, be-all you expected. Life didn't suddenly become easier because you reached that goal. You don't automatically stop disagreeing with your spouse because you two are now married. You don't wind up with that perfect job right out of college. You may be at your goal weight, but you still look in the mirror and think insecure, ugly thoughts about yourself.

Here's the key to this. You can't find happiness only in meeting goals in your life. You can't solve all your problems by reaching those goals. You have to realize that life requires hard work. Just like weight loss. You have to get up every day and find happiness and success in that day or that moment.

You can be happy you packed your lunch and ate exactly what you had planned. You are successful if you breeze by the cookie aisle at the store and don't give it a second glance. You are also successful if you have to pause and think about it for a few minutes, but then continue on. Or maybe it's not stopping at fast-food places on the way home. Those are moments to celebrate.

You know what else is success? Maybe you decide to nom on some Cadbury Mini-Eggs your boyfriend has. Not really a great choice. BUT you fight the cheeseburger craving during your 2-hour drive home and wind up making a healthy meal instead. You had the calories to cover the cheeseburger. But you wanted to do something healthy instead. You wanted to wait and indulge in that cheeseburger on a day you could really enjoy it and plan for it, instead of just grabbing something at McD's because it's Sunday, you don't want to go to work tomorrow, and you are already missing your boyfriend.

THAT is success. You are a success each time you make a choice or an effort that leads to a better you. Working on your relationship with your spouse will lead to a happy marriage. Not the actual wedding day itself. Networking, interviewing, learning all you can from your classes will get you the job you want. Not the graduation itself.

Finding the joy in those successes and continuing to work hard at those choices every single day is going to help you find the happiness, self-confidence and satisfaction you crave.

Next thing you know, you'll reach your goal and all you'll want to do is set a new goal for yourself and see what challenges you can take on next.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SISYPHUS_CLIMBS 3/25/2013 3:34PM

    Well said!

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AHTRAP 3/25/2013 2:33PM

    Again, love the title sentiment, and have a go to song that illustrates it for me

Rush, "Prime Mover", with the line, "The point of the journey is not to arrive."

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SIMONEKP 3/25/2013 10:56AM

    Great blog

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KIMBERLY19732 3/20/2013 6:05PM


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LAILATN 3/19/2013 2:13PM

    Great blog. I needed to read that after a few not-so-great eating days. Onward! emoticon

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DONANDMARY77 3/19/2013 1:45PM

    Great blog!

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PUNKY100 3/19/2013 11:12AM

    Yes, I love having moments when I realize this. I say moments because this is so easy to forget that you have to keep reminding yourself. :-) It's amazing how something like losing weight that is a struggle both physically and mentally, can make you grow so much as a person. Hopefully when we get to our goals we won't be expecting everything to magically be better, but it will already be since we did the work on the way there!! :-)

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CDCSMITH2013 3/19/2013 6:37AM

    Well said!

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FANGFACEKITTY 3/19/2013 2:15AM

    So true! Perfection and happiness is not just handed to us, we have to work for it. And in any case perfection isn't possible. "Progress, not perfection", the striving for continuous improvement, is what makes us happy and is the worthwhile goal as my senses says.

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STEPH-KNEE 3/18/2013 11:20PM

    You are SPOT ON! I used to tell myself "I will be so much happier when I get to my goal weight", then I realized that was a load of BS. I'd have the same life, relationships, job, EVERYTHING, just in a smaller body. That's it. Smaller, cuter clothes, end of story. I would always say guys would like me more, okay maybe there is SOME truth to that, but there are guys that would like me now, I just have to find them. Just because the scale says 170 doesn't mean 10 justin timberlake look alikes will show up at my door.

I changed my dialogue of "I will be so much happier when I get to my goal weight" to "I will feel so much better", and that is from the PHYSICAL aspect of carrying all this extra weight. I feel better having lost about 60 pounds, so another 40 would only feel EVEN better, but it was a long hard road to realize that it isn't a magic number that will change much else.

Outstanding blog!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/18/2013 9:22PM

    Good on you....celebrate the daily victories!

Take it from a reasonably successful 53-year old is never about being successful just one time (unless you hit the lottery). A successful life entails making a habit of hitting numerous goals, both big and small, over well as learning from and dealing with disappointments when you don't hit a goal.

I like Billie Jean King's philosophy: "For me, losing a tennis match isn't failure, it's research."

Keep at it!

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PRETTYPITHY 3/18/2013 6:05PM

    "You can be happy you packed your lunch and ate exactly what you had planned. You are successful if you breeze by the cookie aisle at the store and don't give it a second glance." Thanks to both you and Pixie because both of these blogs are just what I needed today. I've been a bit harsh and judgmental with myself for my perceived "failures" while not acknowledging these daily successes. Thanks for inspiring me to treat myself more kindly this week! emoticon

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LOLATURTLE 3/18/2013 4:44PM

    SO true. I need to read this once a week for the rest of EVER.

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