A few years ago my husband read a book called Endurance by Alfred Lansing. It’s the amazing survival story of Ernest Shackleton and his crew as they get stranded trying to cross the south pole. He really loved it and found it interesting that it was a little known story.
This month with the rescue efforts of the Russian research crew that were stranded at the south pole, Shackleton’s story has resurfaced. It brought back to light what was just so amazing about this man. It wasn’t that he broke a record or was the first person to reach the south pole or that he attained his goal of being the first person to cross the frozen continent. Instead he failed all of his goals, over and over again. At first glance his story is one of massive failure. However, a deeper look shows an inspiring story of endurance and survival.
He had several crippling set backs along his journey. Each time he would set a goal only to see it crushed by circumstances out of his control. Instead of becoming discouraged he would start a new course of action. He would put the old goal and it’s defeat completely behind him with his renewed focus entirely upon his new goal. Rather than dwell on his defeat he would start a new course of action and give it 100%.
Shackleton’s journey reminds me of blogging. Okay, so maybe writing a blog isn’t as adventurous as traversing the frozen tundra of the south pole but it still takes a lot of effort. As our blog grows and develop we set goals and chart courses for success. This many FB followers by the end of the year. Understand Twitter by September. Master google+ by December. Turn this hobby into a paying job. Make enough money to quit the day job.
Whatever your end game is we can all agree that goals are a good thing. They keep us on track and provide purpose when the going gets tough. However, what happens when those goals aren’t met? How do we react when nothing goes right despite our efforts? It can become frustrating and doubts start to creep up. We may even start to wonder what it’s all for.
Rather than get discouraged I’m taking a page from Shackleton’s book and starting a new course. If I don’t meet my FB goals by a certain date then toss out the goal and set a new one. I find Twitter baffling so I research and research and set goals and research some more. When it becomes overwhelming I can set Twitter aside and focus my efforts on google+. I want to make a certain amount of money but I realize that I can’t beat myself up if it doesn’t happen in the time frame I want. There is something to be said for the old adage “good things come to those who wait”. When all else fails; write. I may not be able to achieve every goal on schedule but there is one thing that I can do. Write. I can write like the wind and start a new course.
How do you react when your goals don’t turn out as planned?
Stephanie Clinton blogs at Hugs, Kisses and Snot.