The Art of Self Discovery: How to Achieve Our Goals
We all have experienced the frustration of an aborted plan, an unfulfilled dream or an unrealized aspiration. What is the single most important factor in fulfilling our goals and aspirations? Usually we hear that the key is to keep the end in mind – define the destination and make sure to direct all effort in that direction. But how often do we set our sights and embark on the journey, only to end up going nowhere? In truth the secret to all true movement and growth is not looking ahead, but freeing ourselves from our pasts that keep us trapped and impede our forward progress.
In this week’s Torah reading, we read about the first journey ever taken – which is really the journey of each one of our lives. God tells Abraham: “Go to yourself, away from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.”
This is very strange because when you tell someone to travel, you specify the destination in detail, but you don’t describe over and over again the point of departure. After all, the traveler knows where he/she is leaving from. Yet, when God instructs Abraham, He focuses entirely on the place to leave, and with three – seemingly redundant – descriptions: from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house.” But when it comes to the destination, God vaguely says “go to the land that I will show you.”
In these words, God is giving Abraham and us the guaranteed formula and method to succeed in our journeys and achieve our goals: “Go on a journey of self-discovery. Leave behind anything that might hold you back. And then I will show you the landscape of your divine soul – the true you.”
To fulfill our objectives each of us must leave three different comfort zones that trap us from growing.