This Issue


by Joseph Patrick Jakubal

Goals represent different things to different people ... to one it might be a low handicap ... to another, a high income ... and yet another might consider the accumulation of power as his/her significant goal.

There is an old saying which says, "what the mind can conceive and believe ... it can achieve". Human beings tend to become what they dwell upon and this is why they typically achieve the goals they become excited about. People who have their hearts set upon something find the way to achieve it.

It is interesting to note that people generally get the things they want in life ... they want a new car - they get it ... they want a new dishwasher - they get it ... they want a new couch - they get it!. It is a simple system that works time and time again (but is not readily apparent).

A major problem with goal setting is to select the goals that are important to you! We human beings are not all alike, we have different tastes, different desires, different wants ... we are not carbon copies of each other and must discover what it is we prize the most and what it is that will make us feel fulfilled and happy. What will be satisfying to one person may represent failure to another. The values we have are in no small way due to our upbringing. A young woman may have a driving desire to obtain the things that she wished to have when growing up (which her family was unable to provide for her). Or, a young man may have been handed virtually everything he wanted on the proverbial "silver platter" and now is satisfied with living a typical middle class existence. Material things are not nearly so important to those who have had them as to those who have never had them ... and always wanted them. Things which we have always had do not seem nearly so important to us as those who never had them.

One of the most important things in life to most people in the world is ... freedom. However, if you were to ask an American what is most important, the odds are that few would mention "freedom". But, in reality it is the most important fundamental "right" which enables you to be successful ... it is the cornerstone of success. The very definition of the word "success" is ... the step-by-step attainment of a worthy goal or worthy ideal. In other words, "anyone who is on coarse to reaching a worthy goal is successful". True success does not lie in attaining a goal but rather in the steps required to achieve the goal. People are successful when they are working on achieving something they want ... it makes us better people.

Remember that achieving a goal is not the end ... it is the beginning. When a romantic love story concludes with marriage it is not the "end" ... it is the "beginning". When a young man stands on the podium to accept the diploma he has been working so hard for, it is not the "end" ... it is the "beginning". Of course we should be able to relax and enjoy the attainment of our goal, but not for too long. To sit on a success and become stagnant is not success. As soon as a goal is achieved one should commence on making a new goal, this is the key to happiness. Human beings are at their best when they are striving , planning, devising ways to achieve what it is they want so ernestly. Of course, I am not saying that to be happy and fulfilled we must be workaholics ... not at all ... in fact, balance is the key ... balance between work, recreation, sleep, exercise and nutrition.

We human beings are happiest when we are engaged in enjoyable work ... on the journey to attain a goal we have established for ourselves. It makes our sleep restful, gives meaning to our recreation and puts us in an attitude where life is enjoyable and worth living.

It must be pointed out that money is not the gage of success (although it can be a good indicator as to whether you are on the right track and making progress). A moderately paid teacher can certainly be considered successful if he/she is doing enjoyable work and regularly improving.

The primary requirement for a goal is that it fills us with positive emotions whenever we think about it! It must be something that we feel very strongly about. And if the goal meets these requirements then it becomes a burning desire which we continue working for ... it becomes a "self fulfilling prophecy". The positive emotions are what fuels the subconscious and gives us the stick-to-it-ness required to achieve what it is we want.

When we do not make goals we are like ships without rudders ... sometimes the winds of good fortune blow us to happiness and sometimes they blow us to misery. The chances that we will be blown into a rich and rewarding harbor is about the same as picking next week's winning lottery numbers. Sometimes people may win at this game but the odds are certainly stacked against them. Those few people in life who take the time to analyze themselves and make goals which they are totally committed to achieving are the people who cruise right into the harbor of their dreams.

To keep the "burning desire" alive you should keep your chosen goal at the forefront of your mind ... some people write it on an index card and place it where they are likely to see it.

Remember that if the goal is vaguely defined then the subconscious cannot lock onto what it is you want, you must be specific. A goal like ... having a lot of money ... does not say anything because "a lot of money" changes it's meaning like the shifting desert sands, it is different depending on attitudes of the moment. Be specific, place an exact amount on the money you would like to attain, give your mind something to work towards and as a byproduct you will find that you are also achieving happiness. As I said before, happiness in attained from the journey of attaining the goal. It is like going out to dinner ... we are happier going to a restaurant than we are coming home from it ... we are happier waking up on Christmas morning than on Christmas afternoon.

Selecting primary goals can often scare people off ... it requires a lot of thinking ... and what if you make a mistake and it turns out not to be something you really wanted? If you are having trouble then perhaps you would like to consider the method I use ... whenever you seek to solve a problem start by having a "brainstorming session". Take pencil and paper and spend some time writing down everything and anything you think you might like to attain. Do no hurry yourself, take a week or more if need be. Once you feel you have a respectable list then review it again and "prioritize" it . . . simply make number one your present goal.

Remember that, you are the sum total of all the thoughts of your lifetime ... and you can control that ... you can take control of your thoughts and be whoever it is you want to be. You will migrate toward the thoughts that you give the most "weight" to ... your "thinking habits" (the thoughts you dwell upon most). If your thoughts are chaotic and unclear then that will become the current theme of your life (until you change the script). However, if you have clear, concise and ordered thoughts as to what it is you want in life, then, that is the direction your mind will take you in ... and sure as night turns to day, you will realize your goal (one-at-a-time).

The main reason that people do not attain their goals is because they do not stick with them long enough to achieve them ... they find a new goal that puts them on another track ... and so their lives bounce around on the waves of indecision, wanting this, wanting that but never really wanting anything. Because, if you cannot stick to a goal you have chosen, then you really did not want it in the first place.

We can add weight to our goals by thinking about them as often as possible ... first thing in the morning when we awake ... last thing in the evening before we retire ... and, as often during the day as possible.

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