What do you do it all for?

When the alarm goes off tomorrow morning at 5 am. The times you turn down for an invitation to get together later this week with friends. Regularly experiencing feeling misunderstood, and sometimes, loneliness.

What are you hoping your achievement will add to your life?

Is it wealth? Do you want to be recognized? Are you searching for a sense of purpose or trying to fill a void?

Where exactly is this greener grass?

What will the work you’re doing now give you that you don’t already have?

With the wrong mindset, goal achievement can become a trap. It can suck the energy right out of you just as quickly as it can energize you. This is what happens when you focus on the by-products of what achievement brings.

It’s all about your perspective. Ask yourself:

What is your perceived reward?

If you’re on a quest to do something so that someone else will approve of you, your efforts are futile. You might get there because social influence is a strong enough motivator for some people to reach the end result but the summit won’t be what you expect, and certainly won’t be what you were hoping for.

You might get to the top of that mountain with this thought brooding in your mind; “These results are great. I’m genuinely happy with what I got from this experience. But I didn’t need these people anyway. I might actually be better off without them.”

And off you’ll go, results in tow. On to the next one. Some people live their whole lives this way.

Maybe you’ve set a goal so that your current set of circumstances will be different. You want more money so that you can have nicer things or a stronger sense of freedom. Maybe you want a nice body so that when that someone special comes along, you’re ready for them. But if that’s your only target, you’re out on the real reward of setting a goal and achieving it.

Study the top performers in our world. Use YouTube if you have to. Pick someone you deeply admire and watch an interview with them on something great that they accomplished.

Study their words. What do they talk about?

The ones that are new to the game might brag a bit, sure. But the ones that repeatedly reach the top are objective and humble. They speak as though they are like any other person showing up to work each day… that’s because they are.

It’s hard for us to wrap our heads around commonalities we share with world-class performers. Their accomplishments seem superhuman. But think about it.

When was the last time you saw an athlete (excusing the ones about to retire) win a medal and say, “Okay, that’s enough win for me”.

What author writes one bestseller and calls it a career just like that?

Sure, when they reach the top and win a championship, they celebrate. The moment is embraced because they have reached the promise land. But that moment is fleeting. It’s gone just as soon as it’s there. And so, it can never be the greatest reward achievement can bring.

The ones that surmount their mountain regularly know what to do once the moment is gone – they get back to work.

They begin doing the things that got them to their result last time but at a higher level. They study what worked well and make distinctions about things they couldn’t even understand previously. They listen deeply to others that they respect and draw conclusions for their next round. Because they are addicted to the daily process – which is the work – that got them to the top.

This is the greatest reward achievement can bring – falling in love with the work you do.

Top performers earn their stripes and shape their lives around hard work. They intuitively know that every moment they spend grinding is changing them for the better. They show gratitude and respect that there’s no possible way they could have ever gotten there on their own.

Falling in love with your work is a spiritual experience that becomes a part of who you are as a person and it’s the greatest reward you can ever get from a hard day’s work.

Do you feel motivated to do more when you achieve your set goal? Share with us.

Goals