Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Pathless Path: The Goal Is Not The End, But The Goal Is The Journey

There is so much inspiration around me that I feel compelled to talk a little bit about goals. I have blogged about goals before and setting little markers along the way. I like goals. I like lists. I like to achieve certain tasks that I set out for myself. These things work for me mentally.

However,

I am reading a book that is currently putting my mind in a spin. A crazy spin. A spin that I like.

It is a book about Taoism by the infamous Osho. The book is called The Pathless Path.  I have only read the first 15 pages so far, but I have those pages about 8 times.

The book has a passage that I think fits with many of the thoughts that have been filling my brain lately. In the book it talks about goals.

Here is what it states and this part really makes me stop and think(and the reason I cannot get past page 15)

Tao means the way - they don't talk about the goal at all. They say: The goal will take care of itself; you need not worry about the goal at all. If you know the way you know the goal, because the goal is not at the very end of the way, the goal is all over the way - each moment and each step it is there. It is not that when the way ends you arrive at the goal; each moment, wherever you are, you are at the goal. Hence they don't talk about the goal.

At first I disagreed with this passage. But I kept chewing on it and reading it over and over and began to realize what it was saying(at least my interpretation). My whole training is my goal, not Racine, WI. Yes, I have ambitious goals of my first 70.3 Ironman. I have set high expectations for what I want to achieve. At first I thought that this was my goal. My goal is to do well. However, that is misguided. That is not my goal because what then? What if I crash? Am I a failure? What if I meet the goal, then what? Is it over?

I have essentially created this false sense of goal setting that I preach about to others that you should not do. It is like a bride to be who loses all this weight to look great on their wedding day and turn around and gain all the weight back after and feels miserable. By doing this, the goal is a end to the means and that is not good.

The goal is all over the way. It is what I do every single day. It is waking up at 4:22 six days a week to train so I have time for my family while improving my fitness. My goal is NOT Racine. My goal is to be the best that I am capable of getting out of myself. This whole journey is helping me achieve that goal. When I wake up extra early tomorrow to run 800's before swimming that is my goal...to prove something to myself. My GETTING IT DONE! is essentially my goal and I am doing well.

This is powerful. This is good. This makes so much sense and really unloads a lot of unnecessary pressure from my mind. If I hit my goal everyday, then things will take care of itself.

Chew on that for a bit. Ponder it and let me know what your thoughts are. It really goes against the Type A personality that our society exhibits as being successful. It feels backwards, but it works......I think.

In Part 2, I will discuss the Pathless Path and some thoughts about this. Good stuff people, good stuff.
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