Life is a journey. We all take different paths along the way, but it is a journey we all experience in our own unique way. Let’s face it, sometimes life is hard. You can mean well and try your best, but things tend to almost never go perfectly in life. I have experienced everything in my life from minor disappointments to complete devastation and heartbreak that I will never completely get over, but I have learned to not really be surprised when life throws me a curveball and changes my plans. When this happens, you have two options. You can either throw in the towel and choose to give up, or you can adapt to the situation and realize that it is just a bump in the road on this journey through life.
While life tends to not be perfect, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set goals or make plans. Goals are what keep us moving forward. They are what keep us driven to succeed. Life would be boring if everything were perfect all the time. There would be no mystery, no anticipation, and no motivation to try harder. If you knew that things would work out perfectly no matter how much effort you put into the things you do, would you still give your best effort every single day of your life? Most people wouldn’t.
A goal is a desired final result of any journey on which you choose to embark in life. Many people set goals for themselves, but really have no idea where to begin or which steps they need to take to achieve their goals. Trial and error is the process which usually leads to your end result in life. Along the way, you will have successes and failures, victories and defeats. Each failure you suffer throughout your journey is an opportunity to learn from your mistakes so that you can learn from them and continue to move forward. When you learn from a past mistake, you will tend to not make the same mistake again in the future. Small victories keep you motivated to push forward and keep giving your best effort. In life, we need to be our own biggest cheerleaders. Having a supportive and helpful family and circle of friends helps a great deal, but you can’t succeed solely because other people believe in you. You have to believe in yourself.
Often times, people are cautious when they achieve a small victory along their journey. They are happy, but don’t want to stop and celebrate, because they haven’t yet accomplished their ultimate goal. Focusing on the ultimate goal throughout your journey can be exhausting and discouraging, because you are allowing yourself to realize how far you still have to go before you reach that goal. Convince yourself to focus on the journey and the small steps you have to take along the way. When you suffer a setback, don’t let it stop your momentum. When you look at the big picture, it’s just a small bump in the road. When you complete one of the steps that will allow you to move forward in your journey, don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back and be proud of your progress.
The most important goals we set for ourselves in life will typically take years, sometimes an entire lifetime, to achieve. If you don’t take time to reflect on how far you’ve come and to be proud of yourself along the way, then you are preventing yourself from enjoying a lot of happiness that the small things in life can bring you. Take a break once in a while. Reflect on the things you’ve accomplished and how they have led you to where you currently are in your journey of life. Be happy for yourself. Be proud of yourself. Celebrate your small victories throughout your entire journey. Don’t keep waiting for the big victory party at the finish line. Having the ability to wake up every day is a victory. On almost a daily basis, a friend will text me and ask what I’m doing. My response most times is, “Celebrating (insert day of the week here)”, and I mean that. I celebrate being happy and being alive every day. Celebrate life every day. Nobody is guaranteed another day in this journey. Visit your happy place and enjoy living in that moment. Treat yourself to a favorite meal or snack. Enjoy your favorite beverage. Surround yourself with your favorite people. Do whatever it is that makes you happy, and know that you’ve made progress in your journey. Your happiness now will lead you to a happier future. You deserve to be happy all of the time, not just in the future when you finally reach your ultimate goal.