At the Women in HVACR Annual Board Meeting at the AHR Expo this past January, in addition to discussions covering everything from defining the scope of our 2017 Scholarship Program, last year’s successes with the Mentorship Program, and the possibility of establishing our 1st ever stand-alone WHVACR Conference (YAY!), we had a little side discussion that I found intriguing. One of our Board Members had read about the concept of living your life with a focus on appreciating the “journey” versus focusing only on arriving at your “destination.” I thought this was an interesting discussion and wanted to explore it a little more.
Personally, I think this is a “grass is greener” kind of issue. Those who have laser focus on their goals wish they could find the time to stop and smell the roses and those who spend their time smelling roses, wish they could get their act in gear to get from point A to point B faster and with more focus!
Honestly, I can see benefit to living your life either way, but personally, I think the key is to find a healthy balance of BOTH.
The idea of “enjoying the journey” is incredibly romantic. Finding joy in living each day however and wherever it takes you sounds like a delightful way to live. But goals don’t often accomplish themselves. If you desire to reach a goal, you’ve got to invest the time and put in the work. You can’t just go with the flow, you have to direct the flow! I’m all about enjoying the ride, but I want the ride to take me where I want to go. That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy your path. Just make sure you’re not on a forever journey with no clear destination in mind. Have a path, even if some days, you choose not to follow it!
On the other end of the spectrum, too much laser-focus can make you miss out on the pleasure, or even sometimes the BENEFITS of a detour. For example, I graduated college with a degree in Political Science and aspirations to have a career in public service. That was the goal I pursued with laser focus. I got the degree, did the internships, got a job in the field, pursued promotions, continued to take classes, got a mentor and read up on everything I could put my hands on. But, when an opportunity presented itself to take a massive detour into (yup, you guessed it) being an HVACR Contractor, I paused. I had to evaluate my original goal. Did it still make me happy? Was it still my passion? After some soul searching, I decided to take that alternate path (obviously). Was that “losing my focus” or “abandoning my goals”? I suppose some could see it that way. I prefer to see it as being open to opportunity “off the beaten path”. Never be SO focused on a goal, that you are blind to everything else around you. Detours can lead to pretty amazing experiences!
So although laser focus can get you to your goal faster, it’s important to make sure that you take care of yourself along the way. Find ways to enjoy the process of achieving your goals to make sure that you are living a full life while pursuing your goals. And to all of you rose-smellers, go ahead and enjoy whatever life brings your way, but make an effort to live with purpose too!