How Many Paths Are There To Your Goals

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I have been evaluating my goals and looking at where I am compared to where I was a few months ago and a few years ago.  It got me thinking about the paths we take.

following the pathThis summer I took my kids hiking a few times.  We always had a trail to follow and we always knew what our destination was. We did not know how the path would look along the way or even how to get there except to follow the trail.

My 8  year old son was always looking for a short cut. Often he would cut a corner on a switch back which did save him time. Other times he would climb over rocks and we would have to wait for him to catch up.

Most of the time he was able to make his way through his short cuts because the two youngest couldn’t keep his pace.

When we are going through life with a goal, how often to we take detours for follow other paths in hopes of reaching our goal faster?

As I thought over the many paths I have followed to reach some of my goals, I could help laughing at some of them. You see, some of the shortcuts I followed took me not only back to where I started, but beyond.  I had ground to make up, just to get back to where I was.  In some cases these short cuts put me back over a year.

Now before I take any potential short cut I ask myself these questions:

  • Will this get me closer to my goal
  • If this is a “dead end” how long will it take me to get back on track
  • Will the path create value for me and for others regardless of the outcome
  • Will I follow the path to the end

If I don’t like the answers to those questions, I pass on the short cut. Sometimes the short cut may take some extra time, but the knowledge gained is worth it. Other times the money and time lost is not worth the risk and those resources could be applied to better uses.

If you are going through life following the crowd not knowing where you are going or why, you are not living life.  Set goals and go after them like it is life or death.  After all, if you are not growing and moving towards something you are stagnant. Just like you should never drink from stagnant water, you should never have a stagnant life.

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