Creating Your Own Destiny
If you don't know where you are going, you won't know how to get there. How can you get a sense of purpose or meaning in life unless you have dreams or visions of what you want to achieve? Goals are dreams with deadlines, which propel you on your journey of self-discovery and self-achievement.
Goal setting is the most important tool you have or can develop. Having a focus in life, a destiny, is the one quality that is consistently found in people who are high achievers. Yet through the years, in study after study, it is found that only 4 percent of the population ever set goals by writing them down. What is even more astonishing is that the 4 percent of people who write their goals down achieve them almost 100 percent of the time. If goals setting is so powerful, and successful, then why do so few people actively engage in creating their own destiny?
In my years of studying goal setting and successful people I have found there are two main reasons why most people don't set goals: The first reason is that most people are not clear about their priorities or what they want most out of life. So, they engage in what is called wishful thinking about having certain things in their life. And second, most people have never been taught any techniques or steps for setting and achieving goals. Nor have they been taught the importance of establishing goals.
Most people deceive themselves when it comes to setting goals. They will say things like, "Of course I have goals. But I keep them in my head. I believe in using the fewest motions possible to get things done."
Those people don't have goals. They have wishes, desires, hopes, and dreams. Dreams come to all of us as we go about our daily life. Wishes dart in and out of our daily consciousness. We think of new interests we'd like to pursue, changes we'd like to make, and great things we'd like to achieve someday. We're pretty sure we have the ability, and we fully intend to do all those things sometime in the future.
The ludicrous nature of that proposition becomes apparent the more fully it is played out. Unless those vague intentions are translated into specific goals, they will drift into that never-never land called "Might Have Been," and they will take your life with them.
The majority of people mistake wishful thinking or daydreaming for creating a focus or goal in their life. To be sure that you understand the differences between these two states of mind, select a goal you're currently working on, and then daydream or fantasize about it. Embellish your daydream with hoping and wishing thoughts that everything will turn out the way you hope it will. Then, take the same goal, feel and taste the intensity of your desire for achieving it, almost as if the passion and excitement of anticipation were making every cell in your body tingle. Run a mental movie of your goal having been achieved, creating a state of expectation., in that you have absolutely no doubt that you will achieve it. Act as if you have already achieved your goal, and the feelings of excitement and joy that accompany its attainment. Now, take a few minutes and go back and forth between those two states of mind.
The first time you practice this exercise you'll see quite a difference. There is something very magical, almost mystical, about goal setting in that it ignites energizes, and mobilizes resources in us, that we cannot identify.
There are six categories in your life that you should have goals for:
1. Perhaps the most important goal of all is to develop a sense of high self-esteem, to develop yourself enough to be happy, and to act responsibly to yourself and others. Being happy must start with the assumption that you deserve happiness, as a reflection of feeling worthwhile as a person. People who are the happiest and most successful in life are the people with the highest levels of self-esteem.
2. Set goals for good health, energy and vitality. Without a high level of wellness in your mind and body, it is almost impossible to create positive life changes.
3. Set goals to develop and maintain happy, loving relationships with your spouse, family, and friends. You need to have goals to learn how to express love and affection more easily, and learn how to allow more love into your life. These goals will allow people to affirm you as a person, without feeling uncomfortable or defensive.
4. You need to have career and financial goals that allow you to experience financial freedom. Do you look forward to going to work, and do you gain a sense of inner satisfaction from what you do? If not, you may have some refining to do on your career goal.
5. Set mental goals to increase your thinking capacity, to improve your memory, and to develop your creativity. These goals enable you to engage in ongoing self-development practices and life-long learning. Setting these goals will cause you to read on a daily basis, listen to audio programs, and attend educational seminars.
6. You need to set spiritual goals, which nourish your inner being and enable you to connect to a higher source of wisdom and love. Spiritual goals will cause you to be of greater service to others though volunteer programs and organizations.
Now, let me give you an overview of the goal-setting process.:
1. First write out a three and a six-month goal in each of the above six categories. Make sure that the goals is reachable, but also challenging for you to attain. You want to make yourself stretch a bit in order to attain it.
2. Then write out a one-year, two-year, five-year, and a ten-year goal in each of the six categories.
3. Make your ten-year goal an ideal goal, one that you will never be able to reach completely (for example, to be the most loving person you can be). Your ten-year goal is an ideal that you are striving for.
4. Always write you goals out in the present tense as if you have already achieved them. For example start you goal off with, "I am" or "I have."
5. Make a plan for how you will achieve each of your goals and stick to it. Do something each day to move you closer to achieving your goals.
6. Write your goals on 5 x 7 note cards and carry them with you so you can look at them a different times during the day. It is especially important that you look at them and read them over first thing in the morning when you wake.
When you have made this skill your own, you will have achieved a great measure of control over your life. You'll find that you will have learned how to act intentionally, and with effect. You will want to repeat the experience again and again. It is more powerfully addictive than any drug. And it's a high that lasts a lifetime.
Goal setting is something that will transform your life, because mastering the process of setting and achieving goals is at the heart of life itself. The energy generated by repeatedly setting and achieving your own goals is an energy that can work miracles. Nothing you will ever do can even approach the motivating power that comes from setting demanding goals, measuring your progress toward them, and then systematically achieving them.
Effective goals will keep you incredibly focused. Nothing will get in your way. Effective goals will liberate you rather than shackle you. They will improve the quality of your life. Effective goals will give your life balance, they will motivate you, they will challenge you, and they will allow you to create your own destiny. Without goals, you can only dream your dreams.
Copyrightę 2005 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. A former ad agency executive and marketing consultant, Joe's work in personal development focuses on helping his clients identify hidden marketable assets that create windfall opportunities and profits, as well as sound personal happiness and peace.
Reach Joe at: email@example.com
Read more articles and newsletters at: http://www.jlmandassociates.com
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