Watching the Olympic Games over the last two weeks, we saw many victories and many more defeats. We watched in anticipation as athletes who have trained their entire lives gave everything they had to reach that pinnacle moment: winning a gold medal.

On the sidelines, we saw expected winners experience the crushing devastation as their dreams eluded them on the big day, the pinnacle just out of reach. And there were those who experienced the unexpected panic of “Now what?” after accomplishing what they dedicated their lives to achieving.

It reminded me of a dangerous illusion that many people hold onto: the idea that reaching your golden moment brings instant happiness. The idea that a single event will make you happy and complete sets you up for painful failure – regardless of the outcome.

I call it the “I’ll be happy when” syndrome. “I’ll be happy when…I lose weight or I quit smoking or I get married.” The same syndrome applies to your business. “My business will be successful when…I have X number of employees, make this much money, have this much market share.”

Believing that when you fulfill your WHEN you will be whole and ‘enough’ is an illusion. What’s worse is it prevents you from being present in the here and now because you have focused your everything on a future outcome.

Succeeding at reaching your golden moment leaves you in the void of the “What now?” making the achievement empty and bittersweet. High achievers often flounder and go through deep depression and anxiety, not knowing what to do next. Failure can be equally defeating as your self-worth and confidence is tied up in that unrealized goal.

Don’t get me wrong – having goals is important. In fact, I want you to set goals for yourself that are even higher than you could ever imagine! The difference is never making your success about a single moment or just one goal.

Instead of aiming for a golden moment when you stand victorious on that podium, embrace the journey you take in achieving that goal. Who are you going to become along your journey? What is it about the journey that makes it a rich experience?

Understand Your Big WHY – Take the time to discover your ultimate purpose in life and business. What is the overarching reason that guides what you do? Ideally, your business purpose should support your life purpose.

Find Fulfillment in the Journey – Slow down and enjoy the process. Consider how the journey is helping you grow both personally and professionally as you continue to express your ultimate purpose.

Connect to Your Ultimate Purpose – Stay focused on your purpose, daily. Your purpose isn’t an end goal, but a compass for a series of actions and outcomes, fulfillment of which leads to the next goal and the next.

Consider Goals Your Life Milestones – Never stop at one goal. Have at least a few in your business and personal life to sink your teeth into. You may not know what comes after each goal, but as you string together a lifetime of goals, you will have a great deal to celebrate.

Take Time to Be Present – Take a break from striving towards something and just be present for all those magnificent moments and milestones along the way. It doesn’t need to be a golden moment or even a good one for you to be grateful and appreciate it.

Need help defining your ultimate purpose in life and business? Contact me to set up your free consultation.