Life and Business Lessons Learned From A Hike Across Spain, Step by Step
We set off from Monte Do Gonzo (also known as the Camino Prison Camp) around 8 am. It was our last day and we would be arriving in Santiago De Compostella around noon. I didn't want it to end, but the competitor inside also wanted to get there as soon as possible. I had imagined this day for the last three years and now it was finally here. I wasn't sure if I was going to cry or squeal with delight or feel sad that it was all over, but we would soon find out in the next few hours.
That last section, although only around 5 miles, took forever! The excitement builds as you walk by the Santiago signs and then the final countdown of milestones appears. I remember the last 1km sign and the feeling of apprehension as the Cathedral was nearly in sight. We heard the bagpipes long before we saw the Cathedral which was rather surreal. We made our way through the little stalls selling pilgrim nick nacks and followed our ears. Our Camino family was waiting for us in the main plaza and Sue came running over with arms wide open to welcome and congratulate us on our achievement. I turned to Rachel and we hugged each other. Not only had we walked 500 miles together, but our relationship had also grown so much closer in that time. My best friend Julie was emotional, which started me off. We took endless photos and videos of the whole Camino family and in my head, I was silently toasting the other Camino family that were not with us today.
There is something very special about achieving a goal.
I have always been a goal-setting since my early teens, which I think has something to do with my obsession for ticking things off a list! I am the sort of person that will add a task to a list, even if I have already completed it, just so that I can get the enjoyment of crossing it off!
Lesson: There is just as much satisfaction achieving a personal goal as there is achieving a business goal. If not more!
Pre-Camino, my goals had always been very structured. I set goals for business, finance, house, health, family etc - but now I look back, I never set goals just for me. What was I doing with my life that was enabling me to grow as a better person? What was I doing with my life that made me feel alive? I pushed myself as an entrepreneur, but if I am honest, that was the easy bit.
We stayed one night in Santiago and then Rachel and I hired a car and had a mini road trip to the end of the world. Finisterre is by the sea and we indulged in a lavish hotel apartment and just chilled for a few days. We walked to the lighthouse and took photos of "KM0000", which signifies the end of the Camino. I then felt closure. I sat on my own looking out to sea to try and process what I had achieved and the effect that this whole experience would have on me and my family going forward. Little did I know that it was the start of something very special and a new chapter in my life was about to begin.
There are many books out there that can assist you with setting goals and having a life plan. For the last few years, I have taken some time out at Christmas and then again in June to evaluate and tinker with my own life plan. (I use the Living Forward plan by Michael Hyatt) Since my Camino, I now have a section in my plan called "Adventure". I know that adventure is in my blood and makes me feel alive. It is important to have goals for business, family, finance etc but I urge you now, please also consider personal goals that enable you to be the person that you really are.
Thank you for reading this blog.