The Secret to Achieving Your Goal by Michael Oliver

Michael OliverThe only future is now, and now will take you where you want to go  This winter, while taking an early morning walk on my way to go skiing, I came to a fork in the trail. I had two options as to what direction I could take to get to the first ski lift. I could either put on my skis and plod along a level path much like a cross country skier, or I could throw my skis over my shoulder and walk about 30 feet up a steep ski run, and then zoom right on down to the ski lifts. I chose the latter. Why? I guess it’s a metaphor for my life. I’m not a big fan of plodding; I prefer to zoom.

But even zooming requires preparation and discipline, and in this case it meant walking up the steep slope to enjoy what looked to be a more interesting, exhilarating and relaxed journey.

 NULL As it happened, it also turned out to be the faster way as I arrived at the lift before any of the others (not that anyone was racing of course!). An interesting thing happened about a third of the way up the slope. I stopped for a moment, slightly out of breath, and looked up to the top. Not a good thing to do, as the top seemed as far away as it looked when I viewed it from the bottom. That was likely because I was now a little tired and my subconscious was saying “You can still walk back and take the less strenuous route by poling and skating!” Then I remembered something from my training at the Chopra Center… let go! In this case it was… let go of the top. I had already decided to get there. That was my initial intention and desire. Looking at the top only made it more distant.

What I needed to do was detach myself from thinking about the end result and instead concentrate on and enjoy the journey. The top would come to me, not the other way around.

This was easy enough to achieve. I just took one step at a time, looking no more than two or three steps ahead and concentrating instead on the path. Then suddenly the top was there… it came faster than I thought it would. And the ride down the slope to the lifts afterwards was effortless, exhilarating and far more fulfilling than plodding the path already trod. What can we learn from this? If you believe you can do it, you will. If you believe you can’t, you won’t! Set your goal, then detach yourself from it and instead concentrate on the journey itself. If you keep looking at your goal and wishing it were closer, you’ll simply be attempting to exchange the present moment for the future; a future which is an illusion until it becomes the present. The only future is now, and now will take you where you want to go; or even better still, it will take you where you need to go to get there. So whether you’re a plodder or a zoomer, learn how to enjoy the journey. The end is usually just another hill to go up and ski down anyway.

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