Often we hear stories of people who have achieved lifetime goals. For instance, someone working as an artist could finally, after struggling for years, start to receive recognition. It could begin with small sales, then inclusion in group exhibitions, leading to solo exhibitions. All the accolades start flowing in and a goal has been reached. What appears to be overnight success is actually the result of hard work spanning many years. What happens when we finally reach our goals and where do we go from there?

Our minds which were once so focused on achieving are now able to relax a little, as we ponder our success. Some of us become restless and start to fret, wondering what to do next. Previously, our thoughts were all about attaining one specific goal and when it arrives we find ourselves in a strange position of being able to indulge in the fruits of our labour. We ask ourselves, if life is about the journey towards something, then what happens when we reach our destination?

We are certainly not ready to be put out to pasture, nor can we afford to be complacent. Life holds so many opportunities and so much variety that there is always more to learn and achieve. Perhaps it is time for new goals and dreams; to explore fresh horizons and contribute in different ways.

Some of us obsess about what to do next. Or worse, we become stuck in the past, reliving the moment of our success and seeing it as the highlight of our life, becoming fearful that we will never experience the same feeling of accomplishment again. Of course, it is important to celebrate your successes, especially since so much hard work has been part of it, but when indulging in the past prevents you from moving forward it can be more detrimental than helpful.

Setting new goals can counteract feelings of doubt or uncertainty about the future. If we succeed once, surely we can succeed again. However, this time around we are armed with a few qualities we did not previously possess. With the experience of success come the gifts of knowledge, wisdom and patience. We are better equipped to deal with setbacks along the way.

By remembering where we started from and the ups and downs we’ve encountered, we are able to help others in their quest for success. When we achieve, we unconsciously inspire others. Reaching our goals places us in a better position to use whatever resources available to us to help others, by way of sharing, mentoring and lending an ear when needed.

Those who experience success are oftentimes seen by their loved ones as the same person they’ve always been. Nothing has altered or changed about their personality; they appear to be the same person they were before success came knocking. Others may grow arrogant, flaunting their achievement at every chance they get. One thing is similar in both cases; once successful, opportunities arise where before there were none and doors open where once they were closed.

It is these arising opportunities and open doors that help carve new goals and lead to different paths. These chances, born from individual success, can sometimes be of service to the larger community. It is up to each person how they will use their success when it comes. For example, someone who is a best selling author may use their popularity or money to establish an organisation to help the less fortunate. By exceeding the goal they held, they are now in a perfect position to help and encourage others. Success is sweeter when shared.

Appreciation and gratitude help us realise what a gift it is to finally achieve what you’ve set your mind and heart to. The afterglow of success can sometimes lose its sheen when we are faced with the uncertainty of the future. However, if we remain aware of the gifts that our initial success has bestowed upon us, we begin to see ways in which we can help others reach their dreams and in turn, open our minds to new directions.