Achieving Happiness and Success – Insights from the Wilderness #68

Too often, we try to live our life like a person driving a car down the road while leaning back with our hands comfortably held behind our head, and then, after the crash, we wonder why we never seem to get to where we want to go.”

Write Down Your Dreams and Goals

Achieving Happiness and SuccessWithout clearly defined dreams and goals that have been written down in detail, it really doesn’t matter which direction we choose to travel in life. We are already where we “really” want to be. In other words, lean back and hit the gas pedal because this is as good a place to crash as any other.

If we want to be successful and happy in life, we have to have clearly defined goals. We have to know exactly, and in careful detail, where we want to go and how we are going to get there.

This seems like an obvious thing to say, but it’s amazing how few people have a dream, much less a clearly defined set of goals of where they want to go.

Once we have our dreams clarified, and our goals written down on paper, we have a map of where we are heading and how we plan to get there.

But we need to remember; the map is not the journey any more than a menu is the meal.

It sounds crazy, but many people that have taken the time to define their dream, and have actually created their detailed list of goals, never actually get around to turning on the engine of the car.

They impatiently sit in the car waiting for it to start itself.

They occasionally get out of the car to make lunch or take a shower or grab a little shut-eye, but they repeatedly return to the car and continue waiting for the engine to start itself.

The dreams, the goals, and the map in our GPS are certainly critical if we want to be happy and successful, but we still need to start the engine, actively steer the car, and continually apply pressure on the gas pedal.

Making A Commitment

Starting the car requires making a commitment; a commitment that we are serious about beginning the journey toward our goals….not just passively day-dreaming about them.

When our commitment is genuine, we start the engine, we fill up the gas tank, we grab hold of the wheel, our foot hits the gas and we pull out of the driveway. We keep one eye on the road, and the other eye on the map or GPS so we’ll know when we’ve made a wrong turn.

There are times we will need to stop for gas and we may have engine trouble occasionally, but once we have made the commitment to actually journey toward our goals, these problems will be only minor setbacks or inconveniences that have to be dealt with on the trip.

We will need to stop at a motel each night to get some rest, but every morning we will get up, grab a shower, fire up the engine, check the map and get back on the road headed toward our destination.

This is what a real trip or journey looks like. It’s not an experience we have while sitting on a couch or tipping a beer in the back yard.

It’s hard to believe at the beginning of the journey, but after we have made the commitment to achieve our dream, a day will come when we will look around in amazement to see that we have actually reached our goal…..a goal that may have seemed hopelessly unrealistic when we first began the journey.

Once we have reached our goal, it’s not uncommon to discover that we have gypsy blood running in our veins and a bad case of itchy feet calling us toward the next goal….the next dream….of our amazing life journey.

Enjoy The Process

A final thought…. while we are on the path toward our dreams, we are probably going to go by some great sights and some exotic places that we will want to visit.

Don’t forget to enjoy the process of the journey, and stop occasionally to fully experience the adventures along the way as you travel toward your goals.

As they say, it’s the journey not the destination that makes life worth living.

Dreams and goals are what give life meaning…..one day at a time.

As Hunter S. Thompson once said, “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!

Success and happiness come to those who have learned to dream dreams big enough for their souls.

Comment below and give your thoughts on acheiving your goals.

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2 Responses to Achieving Happiness and Success – Insights from the Wilderness #68

  1. Jane Kirkpatrick November 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    I love the comment about being used up at the end and saying “Wow! What a ride.” I wonder if that was part of the “Oh Wow! Oh Wow! Oh Wow” of Steve Jobs last words as remembered in his sister’s eulogy. Great post!

    • DickRauscher November 2, 2011 at 9:17 am #

      It wouldn’t surprise me if it was. He was a complex man, but he certainly lived large.

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