February 17, 2013

How to tell if you’ve reached your goal

molly published this at 3:00 am

I love my friends. Without them, I would not only be where I am today, but I wouldn’t have learned half as many lessons nearly as quickly as I have through their insightful observations and patience with my struggles as I move forward in my journey.

Within the past week alone, I said to one, “I hope I have the ability to recognize opportunities,” and to yet another, I admitted that the previous two and a half years have forced me to draw upon reserves I never knew I had. What’s really exciting, to me at least, is that in tapping those reserves, I realized that there is yet more I have to access.

How do we know when to “let go,” and when we have more yet in reserve? How can we tell if we have reached our goal?

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” ~ William Feather

A visual of success and independence that I hold in my mind: a lone hiker at the summit of a great mountain. From this height, she is able to look back at the obstacles she has overcome; the challenges she faced and the solutions she generated in order to circumvent them.

She had many opportunities to rest, and there were some switchbacks taken. Some shortcuts that turned out to be dead ends… but her vision of reaching the mountaintop was the fuel that kept her going when it would have been easier to turn back.

There may have been other climbers along with her that would encourage her to do so, saying, “You’ve come so far! You’ve already achieved so much. You should be proud and happy of doing so well.”

Persistence and belief in her goal are the keys to her blasting through those well-intentioned thoughts and attaining the summit. But is she AT the summit?

“…But the moment you turn a corner you see another straight stretch ahead and there comes some further challenge to your ambition.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

How many times have we begun a project only to be thwarted a few days, weeks or months into the task? Anyone who has attempted a goal has met with unexpected delays, unforeseen outcomes and misjudged reality.

These obstacles are tools meant to not only test your mettle, but to help you flex your independence muscles. At this stage in the game, your ability to assess and distill the lesson from the obstacle determines your next steps.

• How creative can you be?
• *Have* you been going in the wrong direction?
• How skilled are you at sifting out opportunity from chaos?
• What lessons will you learn?
• What will you leave behind as you make your ascent to the mountain top?

“A door opens to me.  I go in and am faced with a hundred closed doors.” ~ Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

This quote reminds me of a movie reference from Disney’s Cinderella. Two intrepid mice, Jaq and Gus, get the key to Cinderella’s room from the stepmother only to face a mind-numbing spiral of stairs to reach the room at the top of the turret, where they plan to free Cinderella.

Sometimes, we work so hard toward a goal that when we finally achieve it, we are dismayed to find that it is merely an intermediate goal. Upon “succeeding,” we are faced with yet even more challenges. It can be very easy to feel discouraged at this point.

That is precisely why, at this time, that we must review our ultimate goal, our motivations for achieving it and refresh our vision of what it will mean for us to realize it. We must begin again, refocusing and persevering until we finish what we started. That is the way to independence. What goals have you overcome to get where you are? How did you do it?

——-

Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation) or “Like” them on facebook.

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