The funny thing about goals is, when we actually achieve them, we may not like the challenges that follow.

The sort of relief that comes with achieving that thing we’d set out to do ten years ago is almost always quickly replaced by the realization that there’s bigger fish to fry, another mountain to climb, a crowning achievement to defend, interpret, analyze, and ultimately, surpass. The cost of this accomplishment is something that shouldn’t be forgotten as we set out on the next task.

And when it comes time to reflect, it won’t be a joyous celebration of the finality of a completed task (nobody likes a braggart), but rather the immense serenity of closure brought about by a decade of hard-fought progress paid for with tenacity, blood, bones, sweat, and tears.

Vigilance is the eternal price paid to ensure our goals reach completion, but also that the essence of who we are is not consumed in their pursuit.

All we can do is cross our fingers that our sense of closure, that relief, lasts as long as possible to allow us to set our sights on a new goal, without having one forced upon us.

Even so, and in light of whatever new challenges we’ll have to face, having crossed this goal off our list, tomorrow looks a little brighter.

(Header photo: World Trade Center by Joshua Schwimmer)