Common sense tells us that those who set goals will achieve more than those who don’t. Moreover, those who write their goals down will achieve more than those who don’t. When people do achieve big goals, they have a mountain top experience.

Think for a moment about the big goals you want to achieve in your life. Maybe it is … being your own boss, getting out of debt, completing a marathon, earning your master’s degree, or taking a long family vacation across the United States?

Regardless of the goal, you will feel AMAZING the moment you reach your goals – and RIGHTLY so! You deserve to feel satisfaction and accolades for conquering those milestones.

The purpose of this post is to get you to realize that you shouldn’t just celebrate the result, you should equally celebrate the journey you traveled to achieve your goal.

Following the Chicago Bears dominant Super Bowl performance in the 1986 Super Bowl (46-10 over the New England Patriots), a reporter was trying to get Coach Mike Ditka to pinpoint a specific moment in answer to the question, “What was the best part of this season?” The reporter even prompted Ditka by asking, “Was it the final seconds of the Super Bowl when you had actually won?”, “Was it in the 2nd quarter of the Super Bowl when it was apparent the Bears were going to win the game?”, “Was it during your playoff run when you could feel the team was clicking and knew they could go all the way?”. A reflective Ditka paused and replied, “The best part of this season was the whole season.” He recounted training camp, the pre-season, the regular season, and the playoff run. He talked about the satisfaction of watching the team came together, the joy of seeing the team improve, and the excitement of watching these Bears become one of the most dominant teams in the history of the franchise and of the NFL.

We would be wise to take a lesson from Coach Ditka. The greatest rewards in life are usually byproducts of sustained effort, commitment, and performance. You should be proud to finish a marathon because it is a great accomplishment; however, you should be equally proud of the 12 week training program you committed to leading up to the marathon. Relish in the satisfaction of having completed a 12 mile run in the rain early in the morning when the sun had not yet risen and no spectators were there to cheer you on. For many, race day is much easier than the training embarked on leading up to race day.

Success is treasuring the journey.