Sometimes what we want is not what we expect. Often it’s not where we expect to find it. Nevertheless, it pays off to stick to our true goals. Here’s why…
During our first weekend in Mauritius we went to see Tamarind Falls in the south-west of the island. T. chose the destination and I read reviews online. Most people were saying it’s a difficult route and it’s best to get a local guide who knows the way (at least that’s what I’ve remembered from the posts, T. had a different impression!). Guided tour was a bit too expensive as for our liking, so we’ve decided to try and go on our own.
We put the location into our sat-nav and, with some help of the locals, got there relatively easily. Finding the way to the waterfall itself was a bit of a challenge though. First we went to the Tamarind reservoir (very peaceful and beautiful by the way), then a security guard instructed us to take the road opposite the temple, so we did (you can see the temple below).
When we progressed further, there was an obscure path to the forest that looked more like a rainwater way, and was quite steep, so I didn’t feel comfortable to take it (= I was scared:)). I said There must be some sign or a bigger path surely, people are walking here often. We walked a bit further (like 15 min further) following the road along a sugar cane filed. That wasn’t the right way, so we’ve decided to go back to the temple and try a path that we’ve seen close to where we started. Well, it wasn’t the right one either but we did find an interesting 'meeting point in the jungle':
Finally, when we got out, back to the 'main road', we met another traveler who pointed us in the right direction – it was the first, difficult path.
It was like proper jungle down there, the path was steep and wet at places and we had to literally hang on to trees and jump on rocks to keep going. We had to climb up and down, go over and under a waterfall and do some other acrobatics to see the 4 out of 7 cascades. But we did it and it was SO worth it. The waterfalls are beautiful and wild. We were actually in a jungle, in the middle of some sugar cane fields and I felt so close to nature, in that rough, primal sense. I was scared on the way to the falls and could only relax on our way back but if I didn’t do it, I would have missed so much beauty and happiness…
How often do we give up, lose hope and stop working towards our goals because life gets hard? Because we lose faith in ourselves? Because we compare our 'results' to other people’s and feel we are not doing good enough? All these things stop us from reaching our full potential!
Everyone is different, so there are dozens of explanations to why we don’t reach our goals but for me the biggest show stoppers are:
- My goals are not 'mine' but set to please others – so often we do things because that’s what WE THINK our parents/ friends/ society expect us to do. If a goal is not ours, it’s not important to us or it’s not based on our values, it’s very unlikely we will actually see it through. And even if we do, every moment will feel like a struggle and we’ll end up exhausted. I was doing an accounting course once. I did it with a friend, so we both have some moral support. I could see the logical reason why it was good to do it – better work prospects. Did I finish it? No. I did one of 5 modules. Looking from perspective now I can see that it was my friend’s idea to do it, not mine. Just one module was enough to confirm my conviction the subject was not something I’m interested in. Even though the prospect of earning a lot was appealing to me, because I was considering money as a mean to show others that I am rich, not to actually buy something nice for myself, I had no long-term motivation.
- I don’t believe that I can actually do it – if we know someone who did something similar, we compare ourselves and feel like imposters – I don’t have her education/ experience, I’m too young/ old, Who am I to do it? – Just a Polish girl, not like her, she is British/ American/Japanese, she has better chances to succeed… (WTF?!). If we don’t know anybody who did something similar, we think it can’t be done – It would be great to travel the world, but my parents need me/ it’s too expensive/ only people on TV do things like this. We come up with excuses instead of reasons why we can do it. We often think It would be nice to do the dancing class but… . The problem with this attitude is: do you want to do it or not? It would be nice for whom? and most importantly BUT is the best indicator we don’t believe we will ever do it.
- I am not prepared to do the work MYSELF – Let’s face it, if we want something, usually it takes a lot of work to get it. No 'miracle diets' or 'get rich quick' schemes work. Let’s not be naive. Even the best teacher can’t teach you Spanish, if YOU don’t want to learn & don’t do the homework. Tony Robbins always underlines that once you know what you want to achieve, you have to take MASSIVE ACTION. Really, you have to do everything that comes to your mind that will take you closer to where you want to be. Only then the universe will help you. It doesn’t have to be hard work but only when you are sending clear message This is what I want and I am willing to work to get it things will start happening. If we only do something halfheartedly the results might come but will be half as good.
- I concentrate too much on the end result and not on the process itself – when setting a goal we usually concentrate on the end result – I want to be rich, I want to be happy, I want to go on holiday. It’s good to have a specific, even a very specific goal. However, when we think about what exactly we can do to get there, the goals seem more doable and the journey from here to there more realistic. Also, the road is rarely a straight line from A to B, more often than not it’s a maze with many dead ends. Only because we’ve reached the wall, it doesn’t mean we are not still going the right direction. And if we lose the way or take a wrong turn, it’s good to reflect and think what can I learn from this situation and how can I use it to my advantage when (not if!) something similar will happen in the future.
When things don’t go the way we want and it seems like our goals are getting further away from us, it’s OK to feel disappointed and sad. It’s OK to cry and scream (just not at other people). As long as we have 'our moment' and then reflect back on what happen and why. We can check with ourselves if we still want to do what we’ve originally planned and if yes, keep going. You can’t always get what you want but if you try, sometimes, you get what you need.