I read a poem by Kedar Nath Singhji, रास्ता, the Road or the Pathway! The beauty of his poems is that the poems throw up a simple thoughts, a new way of looking at life. In the poem, he talks about three Egrets flying in the sky and three men going out of town in heat of the Sun. They had taken a pathway on the plains and all very confident that they will reach their destination (or target?) by Sunset, the same way as the Egrets reach their home on the trees before Sunset, every day! Since the men thought that they were on their way, they were engrossed in chatting. Suddenly they were forced to a screeching halt and found that pathway had ended; in front, they found fields full of Jowar! How come the pathway ended? Where has the pathway gone? They were worried and confused wondering what to do now!
Then they saw an old farmer who was packing up for the twilight. They went to him and asked him, “Where is the pathway? How has it suddenly ended?” In their minds, each had different thoughts. One thought it’s a good idea to turn back. The second one thought, they rest for the night and the third one thought that there is a need to somehow find the way. The third one did not waver from his target. The farmer just picked up a lump and threw it towards a cow, who was lazily grazing. The moment she was hit, she started moving in a certain direction through the field. The farmer just signalled to these three men to follow her!
These three men followed the cow, walking through the Jowar stalks, her hoofs making crunching sounds. After walking some distance, they were in for a surprise. Sun was almost down but twilight was still there. And lo! They saw the pathway and at some distance, they could see their destination.
This is what happens in our lives, friends. The cow was there, the fields were there. The farmer was there and Sun was there. Only these men, apparently had forgotten what their target was, what their destination was. And in all this time the Egrets had flown ahead and had reached their destination.
This is the story of life for many of us. We want to achieve a lot, we set our goals, we set our targets, and hope that we will achieve everything. And we hope that we finally make that Goal! But is not as simple as that, there can be a sudden end of the road, there may be a sudden dead end. We may rethink the goal, we may simply give up on the goal. Suddenly, we will become Arjuna! We will lose all the energy and lose our wish to reach the target! There are many reasons why this happens, all of us cannot explain the way Kedarnathji has explained it beautifully, in his poem रास्ता. Here are the six reasons why we fail to reach our goals!
- Loss of Focus
- Why do we lose focus? There are many things in life that we do simultaneously, it can so happen that we may lose focus about a goal
- This tells that we should prioritize the targets we have and try to work on them and list out priorities.
- Once we list out the priorities, then we know the path. But don’t forget that there are several goals and hence several paths; maybe you will go on the wrong path when you lose focus. The wrong path may be the right path for a different target!
- Loss of someone close or in the family can be a genuine reason to lose focus. Things can get derailed for some time, but the motto of “Life Goes On” needs to bring us back on track.
- The absence of strong enough reasons
- Our goals and targets are set for some specific reasons.
- Your friends say that you must get your annual medical check-up done, regularly, every year. You have never had any serious health issues before, you have not known any serious hereditary issues in the family. You then start feeling infallible. What happens if I don’t do the check, let me do it after I am free from the current pressure at work! This is not on! Your health has to be in your topmost priority list.
- You have a target to buy a bigger house but for some reason or the other, it is getting delayed. Honestly to me it hardly matters if you put such targets on the slow burner!
- Things like love, family, country, freedom and security are compelling reasons. But you have to state just what those reasons mean to you if you don’t want to fail to achieve your goals. When you state what it means to you, and it’s deep-rooted enough into who you are, your determination won’t waver, and you’ll end up seeing things through.
- Lack of Planning
- When an aeroplane takes off from one city to the next, it has a goal. It has a goal to land at a specific destination on a specific day and at a specific time. But it doesn’t just have that goal, people plan to achieve it. It can’t achieve the goal without planning towards it. How will it take off and land? How much fuel will it need? What direction will it travel? What happens when there is air-traffic congestion or turbulence?
- Create a massive-action plan towards achieving your goals. But don’t just create that plan and forget it. Plan every single day, week and month out towards your long-term goals. What will you do to tackle your most important tasks for the day? How will you manage your time effectively so that you don’t get distracted? There is so much to consider, so be sure to plan, plan and plan some more.
- Inability to act at the right time
- I published a blog on 26/10/2018 on this subject, the title is Procrastination. https://panvalkarpramod.wordpress.com/2018/10/26/procrastination/
- I have mentioned the same things in the blog. If we don’t act or react on time, our targets can go haywire.
- While pushing past the obstacles we face in life is hard, to say the least, it’s overcoming procrastination that’s even harder. But there’s a simple method that you can use to help get momentum back on your side. It’s called the 15-minute rule. Set a timer on your phone for 15 minutes and commit to doing the one task that you’ve been putting off for exactly that amount of time.
- There is nothing golden about 15 minutes. But this 15-minute timer (it could be 10 or 20 minutes too!) will remind you of what you have to do and break your inaction cycle!
- Bad habits that hold us back
- Another reason why we fail to achieve our goals, are due to the bad habits that hold us back. How can we expect to achieve monumental results when those bad habits keep getting in the way? Did you know, according to one study, that habits comprise 45% of human behaviour?
- If you don’t want your bad habits to stand in the way of you and your goals, you need to find ways to overcome them. It happens slowly over time. Don’t try to go from zero to hero overnight. When you try to create or break a habit too fast, it can snap and unravel. When that happens, you revert back in a more vehement way.
- The problem with some habits is that they can also create a change in our physiology, making us dependent on them. This goes for cigarettes and alcohol as much as it does for sugar and fatty foods. It’s difficult to overcome physiological dependencies. It takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight.
- You want to change a job or to migrate to a different country; as the time to this comes near, we start having apprehensions!
- This is one tough thing that you need to overcome yourself or take someone’s help.
- Reaching a goal is not a poetic subject. It involves Brass tacks! It needs detailing, it needs planning and needs to overcome the inertia. It needs for us to overcome speed breakers and many other barriers.
When I came across this beautiful poem रास्ता by Kedar Nath Singh, I felt that the life is not so beautiful and charming! He said the same thing in his charming way, but he has also added that while the three men lost their way, the Egrets had moved on and had reached the target way ahead of the three men! The real life Egrets also don’t wait for anybody, same as time and tide!