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Goals, a clear conception, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined, this is where it all begins.
We all have habits that were developed early in life, some of them are helpful and others are clearly not.
There is one habit that most of us acquired in our school days which is very deeply entrenched by time we graduate that fails to serve us well.
This is the habit of “Just showing up!!”
This habit is almost a universal mindset in elementary schools, junior high and high schools around the country and even in our college classrooms.
If you look at our education system as a whole it has become the job of the students to “just show up.”
The teachers do all the work where as the students are just the raw material. The teacher is the skilled worker who is going to make something of us all and in most cases we “just show up.”
We do what we are told, if the teacher is lucky and we all make it through the day. It is a rare case that you find a student who has set for themselves any true goals at this stage of life.
Take a moment and think about this. In our most formidable years we are taught to “just show up” and take orders at best. How is this at all conducive to establishing a good hold on life?
As you examine the structure of our younger years is there any wonder why it is so hard later in life to take the initiative and set goals when the option of “just showing up” has been so ingrained into our lives.
Just as we were taught when we were young, we “show up” at work and do as we are told, it’s a rare case indeed when an employee takes some initiative of his own and put to use his own creative spirit.
Once the work day is over what do most of us do? We then “show up” at home and once again very few have the ambition or enthusiasm to do anything other than “just show up.”
As adults we set our own requirements which unfortunately are generally based upon what we have been taught throughout our lives.
There is an old saying that says “Just showing up is 80% of the battle.”
How can this be???? 80% is all we need???
80% of most things in life results in complete failure. If your arrow makes it 80% of the way to the bulls eye you do not even make it to the target!
Suppose your shooting a basketball 80% of the distance to the basket, it’s nothing more than an air ball! You Lose!!
If you are crossing a stream jumping from one rock to the next and you only make it 80% of the distance you will still end up “All Wet.”
Shooting for 80% of anything in life lacks all means of ambition and it certainly does not shine in the setting of any true goals in life.
Set Goals That Will Challenge You!
Surely 100% is what we are looking for and nothing less and for this “Just Showing Up” will never do!
We all need goals to guide our action and energy’s, without them our greatest gifts will just wither away like a house plant that you never water.
Human beings are hard wired to live purposefully, to have direction, without a target to shoot at our lives are aimless.
Without something productive to do, without positive desires and purpose a human being languishes and then one of two things happens.
The aimlessness begins to shut that person down in lethargy and emptiness or the person lashes out in destructive ways, just to make something happen.
If only most parents would consider this fact, it disheartens me at best our children are our greatest assets and this is not meant in the terms or possessions.
We all need and want activity in our lives and the more constructive that activity is the greater we feel about ourselves.
Purpose is what gives life meaning.
Charles H. Perkhurst
It may be a simple statement but it could not carry any more significance, we all need a purpose in life!
The problem is most of us have had goals set for us, by our parents, teachers and then our employers but if we never take an active part in setting specific plans for ourselves we severely limit our abilities, skills and outwardly achievements.
No other person knows of all our talents, our experience and desires, no one person can decide for us everything that we can contribute, to our families, our work or the community around us.
We need to live life based on our own terms, it is up to us to take the initiative, to exercise our creativity and to deploy our personal resources into action in such a way as to add positive value to anything we do, for the good of others and ourselves.
There are large stretches of our lives where nobody establishes goals for us leaving it up to us to determine what we do with our time and energy.
If we waste this opportunity to structure our lives creatively within this realm of personal freedom we will never experience the full range of happiness available to each of us.
Setting plans for your life is vitally important for achieving greater levels of success than that of one who lacks all direction in life.
Although, it does not have to be an all consuming practice in your life. To carry around a notepad that has every 15 minute section of your life planned out for you holds the potential to sap you of every bit of creativity that you have to offer this world.
Moderation is the key!
Everyone needs a day to just lay around on the sofa or spend a day at the beach, if your life is too structured it diminishes your capacity to be individual and unique.
I am just trying to point out that;
“We can do more than we think with our lives, for our world and for ourselves if we creatively use our time and energy in the pursuit of our own positive, healthy goals.”
To some goal setting can seem be very static in a world that is extremely dynamic and there is some truth in this thought but it is up to you to explore.
Suppose you set a specific target for yourself that looks reasonable today, how can you be certain that tomorrow it will still make sense?
Many times in the course of pursuing our ambitions we find something else that we would rather accomplish leaving us with the feeling of regret for the exclusive time we spent chasing a dream that fails to entice us any longer.
The advantage of pursing a target that we later realize we have no interest in is that often times we will see things that we otherwise would never had the chance to see.
There is no loss in changing course along the way.
You will find that throughout the course of your life as you pursue a particular ambition you position yourself to see and experience circumstances and events that may enlighten you into pursuing other goals in the advancement of a greater good.
Aside from the case of such fairly trivial pursuits we can never know enough at the time of initial goal setting to be sure that we have indeed set ourselves the right goal, one that we will want to stick with and one that is truly appropriate for us.
However, this can be a very dynamic activity that is very flexible and adaptive. When we set goals we don’t chain ourselves down, they are not carved in stone, they give us direction now as we move into the future.
Without clearly defined goals, you simply can’t achieve the success you want!
All we can really do is set them as best as we can given the information we have. As we do we will find that in working toward them more information will be forth coming that helps us to refine them or cause us to correct direction towards other goals that are more fitting.
The main point is that a great deal of the information out there in the world concerning what we ought to do cannot be accessed when we sit still.
Goals Structure Your Life And Give You The Greatest Chance To Succeed!
Only when we are focused and engaged, structuring our attention and our action can we put ourselves in the position to learn the best that life has to teach us. In fact as it turns out the very best way to learn is to engage in healthy goal setting.
I have read where is has been said that having goals takes away from our freedom and it restricts us from “going with the flow.”
Having plans that we set for ourselves does not take away any freedom that is good to have, on the contrary it is the main sort of activity for the sake of which we are free.
A life wholly occupied with “going with the flow” will never give us what we truly need.
Goals Are Your Guided Path Through This Journey of Life!
We don’t always need to be taking the bull by the horns, deciding what should happen, figuring out what we want, specifying exactly when we want it and then forcing the issue.
Although we do need to give ourselves the overall guidance an empowering structure of frequent goal setting and renewal to send us intelligently forward, on our way!
Edmund Burke once remarked “There is nothing in the world really beneficial that does not lie within the reach of an informed understanding and a well directed pursuit.”
Absorb the meaning of that statement and use it as a guiding force for your life and your dreams.
A Few Questions To Ask Yourself:
- What role does goal setting play in your life right now? In what areas is it important? In what areas could it be made more important?
- Think of two personal goals and two work related ambitions that you have or think you should have, in your life right now.
- What do you think your main talents are? Think of at least two.
- Are these talents being put to work in planning your direction in life? How could you better integrate your talents into some new ambitions?
- Could you set yourself any new goals in an exploratory manner as an effort to discover any new talents? Think of an example of how you might do this.
- What do you think the secret of appropriate and powerful goal setting might be?
As you travel through this wonderful journey of life, do so with a clear conception of what you want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined as having goals allows you to have it all!