I love to hike, and find there are many analogies to experience that one can learn and apply to their own life. On the week-end I got to hike the popular bamboo forest trail, hidden on the road to Hana in Maui.
The trail varies between an easy walk to a couple of short challenging obstacles – a slippery climb that is best done holding onto the provided rope; a ladder with a tricky sideways step at the top (again with a slippery surface); lots of rocks to test your balance and the final piece requires a swim to a small 6 foot waterfall, climb up the rocks here to get to the destination – a gorgeous big pool with the main large waterfall.What struck me as we were walking was this focus on the destination. ….
For many of us in the group it was our first time on the walk, and some were commenting on how the pool must be coming up next, around the bend. Meanwhile, we were forgetting to enjoy right where we were – to see the beauty around us and hear the amazing noises (the streams, the bamboo talking in the wind).
It reminded me of how people often put their success and/or happiness out of reach, around the corner. You know the person who is always thinking about what they want to create – their success, their goals, their achievements – and not realising and appreciating what they already have.
I think WE all do that at various points of our lives, perhaps even on a weekly basis.
Hopefully you practise the attitude of gratitude, being thankful for what you already have. But is that practise intermittent, and then mixed with anxiety or doubt about tomorrow?
Some of you reading this might be wondering about the hypocrisy – aren’t we supposed to be focused on our goals and what we want to experience in life? Aren’t we supposed to be moving towards targeted destinations?
My philosophy for Winning Goals is that you want to set your targets and goals to give you direction. Just like a ship needs a destination to steer towards, otherwise it is floating aimlessly at sea.
Once you know your destination, then it’s time to focus on the present. In the case of our hike, that meant being focused on the current path, which is absolutely necessary when climbing over the hazards, as well as enjoying the experience. Noticing where we were in the moment – and on this path there was much to take in.
There are so many accomplishments and enjoyments along the way to your goals that can make it even more worthwhile. You know that “success is a journey, not a destination” which is why I love to set myself some pretty high goals – knowing that my journey will be so much more exciting and challenging because of them.
This is why it doesn’t even matter if your goals are considered ‘unrealistic’ because along the way you will achieve so much more than someone limiting themselves to what they think is possible.
“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time of which you have any control: now.” Denis Waitley
Winning Goals is the first step of my new signature program, The Winner’s Edge. I’ve been speaking to groups about how I achieved my dream of playing in the Olympic Games, and it led me to define the five steps that it takes to turn dreams into results.
These steps are the ones I used beyond sport, and are the ones I share with my clients.
If you have ever been on a hike or trek, what have you learned from your experience? Please comment.