This morning I woke up excited about a hike I’m going to take this afternoon. In my mind’s eye I already see the leaves on the trail, smell the trees, feel the weight of the layers of clothing I’ll wear – all in preparation to experience something new that I hope will inspire me.

You might be in the middle of a goal that’s been years in the making and is still a ways off from being realized. Or maybe today’s the day you are celebrating a personal victory.

There is enormous gratification when you complete a course of study, marry the person you’ve been waiting for, land the position, find that apartment, check another item off your bucket list or find the perfect peach.

And then what happens? How does reaching that goal change your life?

I love this question because it takes you beyond what you’ve just accomplished to how this goal or strategy or desire now complements your life.

The beauty about learning, life-long learning, is that you never totally arrive. There is always more to learn if you give yourself the room to grow.

Sure, there are times when you don’t get what you’re striving for, and there’s a lesson in that, too.

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.” Randy Pausch

My life shifts every day as I get what I want, and even when I don’t.

Wonder what changes today’s hike will bring.