A few weeks ago I was in a meeting at work that was focused on career development. One of the speakers made a comment that really got me thinking. To paraphrase his statement it went something like this; The most important thing that you can be doing is setting and meeting objectives. If you aren’t meeting your objectives you are failing!
Whoa there, really? While I do not take issue with setting goals, and striving for all we are worth to meet the goal, I wonder if this is the “most important” thing. Am I failing if I’m not meeting every goal that I set? Most people who know me would probably agree that I’m a pretty goal oriented person, but the longer I live, the more I have come to understand that maybe it’s not meeting the goal that is the “most important”. So if it isn’t all about the goal, then what is it really about?
When I started seriously trying to bag big peaks a few years ago I had a lot to learn, not the least of which was that just because you plan and prepare and do “everything in your power”, doesn’t mean that you are going to reach the summit. Initially, my reaction was to kind of beat myself up and find all the areas that I messed up on. I also didn’t realize how difficult it is to actually summit and ski these objectives. There are so many variables that are out of our control, and little mistakes can multiply significantly in these attempts. (My friend and guide, Aaron Dahill, pointed out to me that it took him multiple attempts before he successfully climbed Teewinot). But isn’t that what real life is about? Things happen – unexpected events occur, we make mistakes, we need more experience and sometimes the objective needs to be changed.
When we cross the line and decide that achieving the goal is the most important thing, then we end up like Lance Armstrong. Sure we may win a bunch of Tour de France races, but at what price? Taking risks that aren’t worth it, bullying those around us, cheating the system. Whether in our personal lives or at work or really in any setting, if the goal becomes all consuming, then the end is almost always compromised.
I’ve documented a lot of the things that I have done on this website, but what have I really taken away from these adventures? What are the really cool times that I have had WITH my family and friends?
There was the trip up Garnet Canyon with Ann for Labor Day, followed by kayaking around Jenny Lake.
How about the family ski trips to JH and GT over the past few years?
In one of my ventures I talked Taylor into climbing up into some pretty extreme terrain on the Middle Teton Glacier, AND then the next day we got in some fantastic fly-fishing and a round of golf!
Rachel and I had a blast as I introduced her to some “backcountry” on Mores Mountain.
And recently, there was the trip all across Idaho and the 10 mile trek with Phil to find 20 minutes of powder skiing.
As the Grinch realized, there is “something more”. In life it is the relationships with friends and family, the experiences and yes, even the successes that are really what matters.
In short, (and this is no surprise to you non-Type A people out there), it is really all about THE JOURNEY!