Thursday, January 24, 2008

How And Why To Look Back

Goal setting, achievement, and separating yourself from the herd are all very important cornerstones to the swim upstream mental diet. So is embracing the right attitude, surrounding yourself with the right people, being the right person, and doing the right things. Always striving for higher - that's the way to get more out of life.

Sometimes, however, the challenge to consistently if not constantly step outside your own comfort zone and push the envelope can force people to miss out on something very valuable... a key part of their own life. That is, we all need to step back once in a while and see not just where we would like to go... but also how far we have come. If we don't appreciate the journey as we do it and even after we do it... it's as though we are always pushing the proverbial stone uphill and never taking a break to enjoy the scenery of all that a high up perch has to offer.

An example in work is the first $50,000 sales deal - pat yourself on the back and go out for a nice family dinner instead of instantly looking at the first 100,000 or million dollar deal. Instead of running your first 5km run and looking into 10k races... congratulate yourself and take a picture at the finish line that you frame. Instead of planning your first child on your honeymoon, enjoy being a newlywed for all that is has to offer.

At the end of the day - any of the above examples are fleeting moments and are some of the best experiences life has to offer. If in the name of a competitive spirit we look past celebrating these achievements with those we love... we miss out on the full experience of all of the great things we push ourselves to achieve. After all, recognition of achievement (celebration & reward) is the final step of the goal setting process.

It is always okay to stop and smell the roses, as long as we don't allow ourselves to get a big head (see Matt's blog Monday re: humility). What achievements have you forgotten to celebrate? Make the time to do this... it will surprise you how reflecting on one positive achievement will motivate you to tackle another!

Always remember in a life of swimming upstream, the views get better and better, and the people beside you are more and more worth sharing it with... never take that for granted on your way to the next big goal!

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