Progress Not Arrival

We set our goals and begin working towards them. Making progress and hopefully checking the goal off of our list.

But what happens when you never arrive at the end of the goal? Should you be happy with the progress not the arrival?

Cape Point Distance Sign

Image by Alan Green

I’ve set many goals for my life and find myself not completing the goal. Instead, going off the path and going towards another shiny object or giving up on the goal altogether.

It’s got me thinking “Is this such a bad thing?”

I’ll have to say it all depends on what the purpose of your goal was.

Was it to actually accomplish the goal? Or was it to make progress in your life? To improve yourself?

If it’s the latter, I’d wager to say that it’s not a bad thing.

One of the goals I’ve slacked at has been daily walks with my wife. We’ve made quite a few but we sure haven’t gone every day.

Now am I disappointed?


Why? Because I’ve been on more walks with Pam this year than I probably have in the 7 years we’ve been married.

That’s progress. That’s moving forward. That’s something.

The walks have allowed for more communication. For more time together.

While we never arrived at a walk every day, we have made progress. We’ve taken a journey together.

That’s important.

A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
— Bruce Lee

Or take the college dropout.

He went to college. Gained the knowledge he needed. Dropped out. Started his own company. Became successful.

Did he arrive at the goal of a college degree? Nah…

He did progress and became a success though.

In the end it shouldn’t be about reaching your goals. It should be about taking a journey.

Glory lies in the attempt to reach one’s goal and not in reaching it.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Question: How have you made progress but not arrived at the completion of a goal? How has it affected your life? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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