As a yogi and entrepreneur I’ve learned that setting goals is a necessity for survival.
Without them, we are less grounded, and our path can become unclear.
However, as I began the journey of setting my goals and then achieving them, I found that it created suffering. I associated my self-worth to whether or not I achieved my goals. Even when I did achieve them it was never enough.
I came to realize that collecting achievements is just as unfulfilling as collecting material objects. For a while, it’s all we can think about, but once we have it we realize that we still want more. No matter how successful I was, I would constantly be hunting for a “bigger” and “better” goal. Each achievement left me feeling small, insignificant and empty inside until I finally came to understand what I was missing.
The word Sammasati means everything significant is contained. There is nothing outside of us which can add to our greatness.
The most beautiful expression of ourselves is already within us, waiting to be uncovered.
Sammasati is a reminder for me to close my eyes and remember that there is nothing to achieve or become. There is no level of achievement that can quantify my self-worth. Each time I close my eyes I dig deeper and try to become more connected to that inner space where my True Self resides, undefined by and unattached to the goals I have set for myself. Through building this connection I can see my goals only have power over me through the meaning I give them. I am left unsatisfied when I attach meaning to crossing the finish-line and not the journey I took to get there. It’s the journey that I had been missing all along.
When I shift my attention to moving through the process of achieving my goals, my fear of not being enough is released and I find peace within. The further inward I dig, the less my goals and achievements matter and I begin to enjoy the process and journey of being an entrepreneur.
Now I go about my goal-setting from a new perspective. Remembering that there is nothing to achieve or become is a very freeing practice. Setting goals and achieving them is the proverbial icing on the cake.
I find all the substance I was craving in the lessons life delivers while I am working towards my goals. I keep Sammasati in mind, knowing that I must use life’s lessons to uncover the greatness inside rather than looking for it in the form of achievement. I can concentrate my energy in more effective ways, allowing for my goals to only be guides and mile markers. In life we need goals to move ourselves forward but we don’t need to focus on the end result. Rather, we should direct our energy and attention to the richness of journey it is leading us on.
In working through my goal-setting process, I have found several questions that are important to ask one’s self.
Consider these the next time you are setting a goal of your own:
Is this goal a reflection of who I am and therefore my business?
Is my goal carefully thought out, strategic and intimately connected to my business?
Am I at peace with myself after accomplishing this goal?
What benefits have I received from the journey towards accomplishing my goal?
Remember that our goals are only useful to us if we don’t allow them to become self-deprecating. Never associate whether or not you achieve your goals with your own self-worth or your potential as an entrepreneur.
Bring space and freedom into your life by simply observing and learning from the journey you take on the way to reaching your goals. Use them simply as a guide to keep you grounded and growing.
You will be a healthier, more radiant being for both yourself and the network of people supporting you and your business.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Maureen Priest
Apprentice Editor: Melissa Scavetta / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Paxson Woelber at Flickr