Choose a path, not a goal.

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Hi y’all! As I’ve mentioned, I have totally NOT been myself recently due to an ongoing illness. I will get better, though never back to normal. I am chronically ill but not fatally ill. So I am using ALL of the resources available to me. I may have mentioned before that I do not like the word “goal” for a couple of reasons:

  1. A goal is very specific. Therefore, it can be a set up for failure. OR The goal is reached and it is not everything we thought it would be…extremely frustrating.
  2. Sh*t happens. Life very likely takes us on paths we have no way of knowing they are coming. Therefore, goal missed and the perception is failure.

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I much prefer the term, “path”. A path is more flexible and acknowledges my belief that the journey IS the destination. As circumstances happen, life continues, adjustments to our path can be made. There is no failure on the path, provided we always move forward (and that can sometimes mean, we simply haven’t moved backwards). Our path turns and shifts, but we ultimately will go exactly where we are supposed to be. Again, remember the journey is what is important.

On our journey down the path, we learn more about life, other people, our beliefs and ourselves. Heading down the path you believe in and knowing that it can be altered, takes a tremendous amount of stress off of our day to day lives.

It it not easy, however, to change the way we view our lives when we have always been told we much choose a goal and success is measured on if/when we meet out goal.

We need to change our way of thinking in order to teach our children effectively. For kids, sometimes the big picture is too big. And isn’t it a little ridiculous that society expects 18 year old kids to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives? The proof that this kind expectation does not produce effective results is evident everywhere.

Think back. Think back to being 17 or 18 and the goals you set for yourself. Did life work out exactly the way you thought it would? And if so, are you happy doing what you are doing? Your kids do not think so. I had a teenager recently say to me, well how can it be a job if it’s something I love doing? Doesn’t that make it only a hobby?”. This teen, with my help is now on a path towards what he is interested in doing. He understands this path may not stay straight as he gets older and he is very relieved. His path is his direction, his journey, his life.

I actually had a 20 something tell me earlier this week, “we work our *tails* off in our 20’s and 30’s, then relax in our 40’s and 50’s. I giggled to myself.  I honestly could not think of a single person in their 40’s and 50’s who didn’t have to work because of the work they had done in their 20’s and 30’s. Can you?

The biggest and best reason I can give for why it is better to be on a path, rather than headed towards a specific goal is simple. It gives excuse for not living in your 20’s and 30’s. Those who are so goal oriented, so determined, so focused are applauded in our culture. But there has to be some room to live NOW, not just 30 years from now. Let’s face it. No one is promised tomorrow.

So, in closing, put yourself on a path and help your teenage children to figure out their path. Education and jobs are important, but make sure to leave space on that path to enjoy life, in whatever way it is enjoyable to you and yours. Do not be surprised if your teen’s path is short to begin with. Remember, it is a path, a direction. And it should, at first be short. As the directives on the path are met, a reevaluation of the path should take place. Then the path can be added to.

Many people are tired of the, “you only live once” motto, as they feel it promotes laziness. It is only lazy if there is no path in place and/or there is no forward movement.

I’m very interested in your opinion on this piece. Please comment with your thoughts.

Talk to you again soon! xoxo