I’ve been following these wonderful talks on Talking Performance, live on Facebook every Monday night with Jay Carter and David Galbraith (DG). First sight you’d think these chats are about sports, coaching, high performance and so on. But really, they are about life. And that’s why I like them.

This week (11 May 2020) I got triggered during the conversation. Well, each week something triggers me, but this time, it got me writing. And it fits here, so enjoy.

The discussion was about goals, the destination and the journey. How these fit together, and what is more important. I like how this came up as it has been a big theme for me. Goals and journeys. I’ve always struggled not having clear goals, a big dream of what I wanted to achieve or do with my life. Because how can you have a journey if you don’t have a goal?

The big dream or just an imagination?

I’ve always seen it as a problem, and been jealous at people who are so clear on where they are heading and what they want in life. I still think it’s bloody handy to have all that, but I no longer see it as a problem that I don’t (because I still don’t – yet).

This ‘problem’ has been replaced by faith. Faith and trust that life has something in store for me. I just don’t know yet what it is. But as long as I stay with this moment, expose myself to life around me, ‘it’ will appear. And since I can really be with this, I’ve just been more relaxed. As I am no longer searching, thinking about it, or coming up with ideas, which I then have to think about whether this is it… and so on! Very restless.

The thing is I reckon, the journey is all there is.
The goal is just an imagination, an idea, a possible point in the future.
And… they come, they go, they change. Depending on the journey.

Risky goals

Goals have their function, but they also come with risk. We can become so focused on them that we lose sight of what else could be out there (tunnel vision). Or we get so obsessed with them that they start to live us; when we feel we are not moving closer to our goal, we feel we are failing for example. But maybe we are just moving towards something else. But since we are in the tunnel, we just don’t see it.

What if goals are merely in place to focus us (give us something to do in life! haha) and not things we have to achieve?

I’m starting to think that the goal of the goal is not to be achieved (it’s okay if we do). The goal of the goal is to bring experiences and challenges to our lives so we can unleash potential. And the invite is to not get attached to them. Or in DG’s words – success is not in the outcome, success sits in effort. The journey.

When we say ‘it is about the journey’. What does that mean?

I believe the journey is about being invested in what is happening right here, right now. What is happening, how do we feel about it? Make changes where changes need to be made. Basically reflection. And this is what we should always do, with or without a clearly defined goal.

And this process goes so much further and deeper than pure preparation for the goal (more so when we don’t have the goal clear). This is about the personal journey – anything that is being talked about at Talking Performance (and here in my own blogs too); understanding motivations, discovering our true drivers, feeling and understanding fears – it’s identity, finding our true selves, anchoring into courage and living fully.

Our doings we undertake towards the goal become merely the vehicle for achieving our potential – whatever it may be!

Let the future unfold

From this place -focusing on what is right in front of us in this moment- the future unfolds. And even although we may have a plan and a goal, doing the journey well is finding that golden thread, the fine line between focusing on the destination and being fluid like a river to keep that mind and view open and move along with it, dare to follow it. And not get trapped in the tunnel vision and go blind for what else life wants to bring us.

And then… we’ll see what life has in store for us – it might be the goal, it might be something else.
If something else, and we’ve done the journey well, likely it will be better and bigger than we could have imagined

Walking that fine line

The Talking Performance chat with Crystal Kaua comes to mind (view here, or listen here (online soon) – please do, so much gold in there). For what follows now, I am hoping I have interpreted this correctly; she said she never dreamed of being a professional coach. And she is now. And an amazing one too. One that others aspire to be. And also in a form she could never have imagined.

She wasn’t without goals. She had big stretchy goals. But from what I have seen, she was also very attuned. With herself. While she was setting up a business that was right up her alley, she came to realise that she’d rather be with the people, coaching. And not in the office. That is just a beautiful example of absolute focus, invest 100% in the here and now, and checking in with yourself – is this still okay for me, or do I need to change something? Not going blind but staying open. In my view she walked that fine line I talked about earlier.

Crystal said to me once: ‘you can never fail, you can only learn‘. I like that. So much truth in there. And a nice one to finish this blog post with.

Go well, go hard. Enjoy your goals.
Make the most of their usefulness and don’t be fooled by their risks
And at all times, stay open and BE HERE and not over there (the destination).

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