Why abandoning a goal may help you reach a goal

“Sometimes the sole purpose of a goal is to bring you to a crossroad where you abandon it for something better.” The Nib

The lesson in a hike

A few weeks ago on a weekend hike with sleeping bag and a tarp to protect you from the elements I got a teaching in personal productivity.

On the second day around noon the group was experiencing “Oh my legs get so heavy.” At that time we were walking on a even, nice forest road. But soon a little very nice single trail branched off, leading to the top of a small mountain. Nothing spectacular but this was the goal for the tour, get up there, devour lunch while watching the outlook.

Abandoning the goal

The group decided to change plans and to follow the even gravel road to a lovely meadow some 30 minutes ahead. As I wanted to go up the mountain I first was a little bit disappointed. But realizing that it had just been my goal but not everybody’s I quickly settled that and we marched on. Yet there was a nag that I missed my goal.

Benefits of the abandoned goal

Then later while crossing a little village we ran across old friends we hadn’t seen in years. Imagine the surprise.

Reaching the real goal

Then in the late afternoon we reached home and some group members were really done. By the way they really did great and enjoyed it, but this was exactly the best point for them to be back. Had we taken the longer way over the mountain, we probably would have needed someone to get a car or it would have been torturous for some.

Later I realized that because we canceled the original goal of lunching on the mountain, we tuned into the synchronicity of life and this led to a far better experience for all members in the group. Plus the real goal was to walk the full circle and to reach home on feet.

The ultimate goal is always…

History is full of people who paid with their lives because they missed that the ultimate goal is always to get back home safe.

And I’m talking not only about mountaineers and other sport fanatics, but also about entrepreneurs, workaholics, gamblers, drinkers and so on ;-)

How can you benefit from that lesson?

1. Perhaps you could go easier on yourself by defining goals to give you a direction and a purpose but without the absolute will to reach them.

  • Again, Napoleon Hill talks to us: “Ultimately nothing matters.”
  • Just a goal to get you going, moving, jumping into the flow of life.
  • Something that allows synchronicity to bring you favors.
  • Something to make you aware of the world while allowing your intuition to guide you.

2. Or think about your actual goals:

  • Do you pursue them too hard?
  • Are you turning deaf to your intuition?
  • Do you dismiss signals of your body, like tiredness, aches, thirst (often experienced as a craving for sweeties)…?

3. Or let Freddie Mercury guide you with his song Play The Game (Queen, The Game, 1980). Though it would be wise to replace the word “love” by something like “doing what you love”.

“Open up your mind and let me step inside
Rest your weary head and let your heart decide
It’s so easy when you know the rules
It’s so easy all you have to do
Is fall in love
Play the game
Ev’rybody play the game of love

“When you’re feelin’ down and your resistance is low
Light another cigarette and let yourself go
This is your life
Don’t play hard to get
It’s a free world
All you have to do is fall in love
Play the game everybody play the game of love

“My game of love has just begun
Love runs from my head down to my toes
My love is pumping through my veins (play the game)
Driving me insane
*Pause for Guitar* play the game play the game play
the game play the game

“Play the game everybody play the game of love

“This is your life – don’t play hard to get
It’s a free free world all you have to do is fall in love
Play the game yeah play the game of love
Your life – don’t play hard to get
It’s a free free world all you have to do is fall in love
Play the game – ev’rybody play the game of love…”

Remember, in the end it’s all about reaching home to tell the tale.

Get in the flow


PS: You see, it pays to be out there, wherever. Letting mother nature and inspiration touch you.

PPS: What do you think about that lesson? Let me know in the comments below.

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