Are we there yet? We are all very familiar with the question that comes at some point during a long drive. Depending on how long the drive or how much stress has been injected into the preparations for the drive, there will be a wide array of follow-on responses to that simple question.
So often we attribute that question to a young child on a road trip. However, many of us as adults may find ourselves asking a similar question on our journey of life.
When will we be happily married? When will our children be able to stand on their own?
When will I be in a stable and fruitful career? When will we finally have peace in our home and community?
When will I finally be done with getting an education?
As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, how we cope with the adult version of the question “are we there yet?” will help us grow our joy and peace as we journey along to reach our full potential.
We all celebrate the accomplishment of significant milestones. The awarding of a graduation diploma, the winning of a championship, the anniversary of a relationship milestone like 25 years of marriage, 30 years of dedicated employment, and the list could go on. At the time of crossing the threshold of accomplishment, there is joy, celebration, and some peaceful relief in knowing we finally made it.
As time inevitably marches quickly through the threshold of any specific accomplishment, many times we forget the graduation speech, we misplace the thoughtful anniversary card, and we forget the leftover cake in the company lunchroom.
The reality about what remains with us after the accomplishment and brief celebration pass, is not the celebration, it is the memories and lessons learned along the journey that remain.
- We remember the courage and strength it took to study all night for numerous exams to ensure we passed that tough course. Those memories act as a rallying cry to strengthen our character to ensure we can rise above again when we are faced with another challenge down the road.
- We remember the pain and the joy of years spent in a close relationship like marriage and those reminders help give us perspective when the next jolt to the foundation of a close relationship comes in the future…and it will come in the future. It is that perspective which will help to carry us through the inevitable dark time in our committed relationships.
- We remember the business lessons learned from good and bad decisions we made in the marketplace. It is the memory of these lessons that gives us confidence to re-enter the marketplace and attempt to grow a business again.
Setting clear goals to be accomplished is a critical part of reaching our full potential. However, we need to ensure we maintain the perspective that goals are simply milestones to gauge our progress on the long journey. We will inevitably pass through those goals and will need to continue to set further milestones down the road.
The energy needed to reach our full potential in a long and fruitful life does not simply come from accomplishing goals. The renewable energy for life is in leveraging the memories and lessons learned along the journey. This renewable energy will ensure we consistently raise the bar on our ability to positively impact those around us.
As we continue to maintain our perspective when answering the adult version of “are we there yet?” and we focus on learning along our journey, we will build and strengthen our character and our Character Creates Opportunity to accomplish the next big goal or milestone.