Get Off The Mountain

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-by Matt Leedham

Every morning I receive an email entitled “A Daily Boost From Your Professional Partner.” A good friend of mine from New Jersey, Anthony Fasano, is an executive and career coach for engineers, and sends out these little 1-2 sentence daily boosts. This morning message was particularly awesome:

“Matt, many people equate chasing their goals to climbing a mountain. If that were the case we would always be climbing mountains. Maybe we need to reframe this though in a way that promotes a more enjoyable career.

Reaching Your Goals Should Be Fun,
-Your Professional Partner

I immediately had this vision in my head of all of my friends, family, colleagues, and clients climbing mountains, constantly trying to reach the summit and achieve their goals (like these crazy mountain goats to the left). I laughed out loud. That would be ridiculous! Unless you’re an avid mountaineer, that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me, especially if you’re starting at the base of the mountain.

So, let’s take a moment to reframe the thought process here, as Anthony suggests. Instead of looking at goals as simply an end result (i.e. victory, accomplishment, satisfaction, pride, etc.), let’s appreciate the entire goal setting (and goal getting) process.

If it will take you 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months to achieve a particular goal, viewing the entire process as a personal growth experience validates the whole time it takes to achieve (or not achieve) the goal. In other words, even if you fall just a little short of your goal, or even if you downright fail, you still take with you the experience you had along the way.

Your journey will become more enjoyable, as every day and every challenge, and every method you use, is helping you grow and become better. You won’t be forced to define yourself by the goals you achieve, but rather by how well you navigate the process.

Enjoy the ride!

PS…Nearing the end of the process of a stretch goal and looking back can often feel like you’ve just climbed a mountain. I should note that the visual image of reaching the Summit is a positive way to celebrate success after achieving a big goal.

Bonus Reading: Scott Young wrote an interesting post about setting goals for process vs. setting goals for desire. It’s a different spin on things, but you might enjoy the message.