Steven Covey said, we should “begin with the end in mind” – but, it’s essential we don’t stop there.
So many of us are comfortable dreaming about what the future holds, but often we fail to turn those dreams into a reality because we’re focusing (stuck) on the wrong thing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson is often credited with the statement:
I think this idea of focusing on the journey makes so much sense, but it is often so hard to do.
For many of us, just shifting our focus from the final destination to the next stop is all that is needed for a transformational breakthrough.
We need to get about the work of turning our visions into reality – and the first step is to stop looking to the horizon and start focusing on how we’ll get to the next stop along the path.
When we begin to adopt this mindset – never losing sight of our hopes and dreams, but embracing the honest (and sometimes brutal) reality of our current situation – several things begin to happen…
- We start making progress. Reaching the next stop is a far more attainable goal than reaching the final destination – and we gain momentum and confidence once we have a few stops under our belts.
- Anxiety or fear associated with reaching (or not reaching) our final destination begins to subside. We’re no longer worried about some monolithic goal, rather we’re now focused on the next leg of the journey – and that’s much more manageable. Q: How do you eat an elephant? (A: One bite at a time…)
- We are able to make course corrections. It’s easy to get off track when we’re always focused on the horizon, but when our focus is on what’s next, its much easier to make adjustments that keep us headed in the right direction.
- The journey itself becomes much more enjoyable.
In the end, focusing on the journey’s next stop is no guarantee that we’ll reach our final destination.
The road is filled with obstacles and challenges, but we have a far greater chance of success when we when we keep our compass settings locked on our final destination – and our focus on the next stop of the journey.
Question: How has focusing on the “next stop” vs. the “final destination” impacted you?