The challenge…Find the one true path through the mountain.
Often calling on participants to exercise their imagination, I wanted the group to visualize the expanse of tarp with its graphed squares as a mountain which had to be crossed one square at a time and one person at a time, from one end to the other. This one true path had to be discovered through a process of elimination, and there were some additional “rules of the game” put in place to increase the difficulty level.
Inevitably, the group charged into the challenge with an optimistic assessment of their abilities. They also adopted a preconceived notion that they would solve the puzzle quickly and easily. Having not taken the time to assess the nature and difficulty of the goal, they charged head on and eager for the reward.
After about 20 minutes of incorrect deductions and unexpected obstacles, the group began to quickly become disgruntled and lose perspective. They had not accounted for setbacks, stalls and diversions interrupting their progress. Soon they began to divide in interest and motivation levels as some became frustrated and vocalized statements like, “this isn’t worth it” or “this is impossible” or “we might as well give up now.”
The good news is the challenge was eventually completed, and the opportunity to debrief on the value of perspective along with a few other topics successfully brought the session to a positive close.
Although the goal was different, this process was the same as any goals we set for ourselves.
Many goals require a stretch beyond preconceived notions.
No goal is without setbacks and obstacles.
All goals require a flexible perspective.
The key to the group reaching the goal set before them had very little to do with the abilities they possessed as a whole. Instead, it had everything to do with perspective both individually and collectively.
Perspective is key to allowing the stretching required in achieving goals.
Perspective is key to embracing the setbacks and obstacles as opportunities.
Perspective is key to processing the value of every part of the journey.
Our goal journeys provide many opportunities to practice sharpening our perspective in order to stay motivated and refrain from giving in to frustration and giving up to impossible. Sometimes this is as easy as reminding ourselves of a few truths along the way.
Obstacles provide an avenue for growth.
Failing does not equal failure.
Frustration is best transformed into problem solving.
A step away can be a step forward.
A step backward can bring focus.
Our goal journey might not require us to find one true path. It might not require a vivid imagination. But it will always require a certain level of motivation to see it through, and being prepared to reposition our perspective will take us one step closer to the other side!
Read more posts from 31 Days to Stay Motivated here!