Day 37: The Goal Of Goal Setting

I thought it poignant to point out something that had been brought to my attention a couple days ago. As many of you will recall, I’d had the great pleasure of meeting a man possessing a wealth of knowledge when it came to creating a successful business (and not creating failures). At the back-end of that meeting, I came out positive with head screwed on right, ready to get to work. I’d be lying though, if I didn’t admit there was slightly less wind blowing my sails (this of course, all came down to my own failure to plan and prepare) but I continued to go about my normal fatherly duties today positive and focused on my promise to myself. It was, however, by sheer luck, that I heard an important message mentioned by Jim Rohn while traveling to get some groceries from the local supermarket at 11pm tonight. The message is something many of us will miss out on because of how we are taught to plan, set and achieve goals.

Jim Rohn had this to say (and I paraphrase), “Goals determine the person we must become in order to achieve them.” A lot of people (including myself in the past) fail to see this simple fact. A few of us do and are savy (or cheeky) enough to say that if we set a goal to, for instance, paint the house this year and only paint half of it, we can rest in the knowledge that the house looks half as good as it did at the start of the year.Maybe not a perfect example so try this one instead. A woman sets a goal to lose 2okg (where in the past she’s only ever put on weight year upon year) though only manages to lose 15kg. Many women would be happywith that result but few would appreciate that it’s more than the number. Sure, the number is worthy of praise but in and of itself, it’s an abstract value. One that is devoid of the emotion, struggle, pain, progress and eventual triumph of not a smaller number on a scale but of a better person within. A person who would ordinarily not attempt to do anything to change and would simply resign themselves to a life of self-loathing and depression.

Now, I am neither a woman nor do I hope to lose weight any time soon but the principles apply to myself, as they would also do to anyone else who sets goals. They are so applicable to each and every one of us that none of us should ever set a goal that is anything less than impossible. Why? Because in planning for the impossible, we automatically create a situation that requires we approach that goal as if it’s merely improbable not impossible. Once we do that, amazing things begin to happen. Day by day and month by month, we work on that goal, planning out our progress untill we eventually come to look at the goals we set and realise that they weren’t so impossible after all. I darn hard slug all the way to final hour but that was it. This however is not typical of everyone as we all fail at some point within our lives, be it personal or professional failure. The important thing on reflection, however, really isn’t the attainment of the goal because that is just the immediate reward. The long term reward is the development and growth of yourself, your family or your business as a result of you setting that goal to begin with.

So many people waste so much emotional energy stored in their vault because they suffer from this shortsightedness. Stop It! Right now in fact. I mean, if that way of thinking is serving you well, feel free to ignore what I say in this post. But if it is a detriment to your being content and growing, treat it like refuse and discard it faster than fast because it will only continue to sap you of further energy until you have no more. What happens then? Misery loves company my friend. And this is where you need to be very careful because most people won’t want to be around someone who is always running on Empty and always seems so down and depressed. These people will sympathize but they’ll also distance themselves because nobody likes to have their emotional reserves depleted unnecessarily.

So again, I implore you, Stop It! Right Now in fact. Because the moment you begin to look at the goal as an environment for self-growth, the game changes and you finally begin to ‘double-dip’ for success. Take that impossible goal and commit to it wholeheartedly. Make every effort towards achieving it and when the year(or deadline) is up, give praise to the attempt for without it, you would be less of the person you currently are. Celebrate the growth and I promise you great things will happen, this is my testament as I experience this change firsthand. Let us all endeavor to experience such growth and ultimate success together.