Quality not quantity – It is not uncommon to hear that it is not the quantity of time that we spend with our families but the quality that matters. Just think about it, is it really true? Supposing you went to the best restaurant in town where they gave you white-glove service with cutlery from England, crockery from France, chocolates from Switzerland, and on and on. You picked up the gold plated menu and ordered a dish of barbecued chicken. The waiter within minutes brought back a small cube of the most deliciously prepared chicken. You ate it and asked, “Is that all I am going to get?” The waiter replied, “It is not the quantity but the quality that matters.” You said that you are still hungry and he gave you the same reply. I hope the message is clear. Our families need both, quality and quantity.
Health – We lose our health in the process of earning money and then we lose money in trying to regain health.
Social responsibility – in the process of making money, we neglect our social responsibilities and let the system deteriorate till we become victims ourselves.
Scrutinize your goals – A person who aims at nothing never misses. Aiming low is the biggest mistake. Winners see objectives, loser see obstacles. Our goals should be high enough to motivate yet realistic enough to avoid discouragement. Anything we do, either takes us closer to our goal or further away. Each goal must be evaluated in light of the following (similar to rotary’s Four-Way Test):
- Is it the truth?
- Is it fair to all concerned?
- Will it get me goodwill?
- Will it get me health, wealth, and peace of mind?
- Is it consistent with my other goals?
- Can I commit myself to it?
The following examples fail the test:
- If one of my goals is to be the embodiment of good health with no money, it is quite obvious that it will be hard to survive. That means it is not consistent with my other goals.
- A person could make all the money in the world, yet if he loses his family and health; it is not worth it, is it?
- A person could make a million dollars by selling drugs but then for the rest of his life, he would be running from the law. It would take away his peace of mind. And this kind of behavior would not be fair to all concerned nor will it give him goodwill.
Each goal must be evaluated by putting it to the test and all goals must be in congruence. Goals without action are empty dreams. Actions turn dreams into goals. Even if we miss our goals, it does not make us a failure. Delay does not mean defeat. It only means one has to preplan to accomplish one’s target. Just like a camera needs focus to take a good picture, we need goals to make a productive life.
Goals should be consistent with our values – Goals lead to purpose in life. It is the starting point for success. Aim for the moon. Even if you miss, you will become one of the stars.
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
All of us in this world have a purpose in life. And that purpose may vary from person to person. An orchestra would be pretty dull if everyone played the same instrument.
Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood… Make big plans, aim high in hope and work.
Daniel H. Burnham
It doesn’t matter where we are. What really matter is in what direction we are heading. Effort and courage without purpose is wasted. Worry leads to negative goal-setting. It is thinking about things you don’t want to happen.
Activity is not the same as accomplishment – There is a big difference between activity and accomplishment. This was demonstrated by a French scientist named Fabre. He conducted an experiment with processionary caterpillars. Caterpillars follow the one in front of them blindly. Fabre arranged them in circle in a flowerpot so that the lead caterpillar actually was behind the last one forming a circle. He puts pine needles (food for the caterpillars) in the center of the flowerpot. The caterpillars kept going in a circle in the pot. Eventually, after a week of circling around, they dropped dead of exhaustion and starvation with food only inches away from them. We need to learn a lesson from the caterpillars. Just because you are doing something, doesn’t mean you are getting anywhere. One must evaluate one’s activity in order to have accomplishment.
A man was out driving with his wife and the wife said, “Honey, we are going the wrong way.” The husband replied, “Who cares, we are making great time!” If we confuse activity with accomplishment, we could be making great time but we won’t get anywhere.
Meaningless goal – A farmer had a dog who used to sit by the roadside waiting for vehicles to come around. As soon as one came he would run down the road, barking and trying to overtake it. One day a neighbor asked the farmer, “Do you think your dog is ever going to catch the car?” The farmer replied, “That is not what bothers me. What bothers me is what he would do if he ever caught one.” Many people in life behave like that dog who is pursuing meaningless goals.
action steps for goals
- Make definite goals
- Write them down
- Read your goals twice a day, morning and night
- Make goals slightly out of reach but not out of sight
- Check your progress periodically
A Little Black Pen
Get Your Goal In Order
Your time and energy are exceedingly precious, so it’s better to invest a little portion of time to arrange the right goals. You don’t wish to waste your efforts on ill set goals and wind up crying over spilled milk after discovering you’ve spent your time in vain. You don’t want to be blowing time on goals you never truly wanted in the first place.
As you set your goal, you need to see to it that they stick to the precepts below. These are what will guide you to determine the correct goals so that you may go after them.
1. Guarantee congruency with your life purpose.
Your goals need to be specified in the context of your life purpose. Everything in your life should be in line with your purpose. Your purpose is the centering for everything in your life.
If your goals and your purpose are not congruent with each other, it either implies:
a) Your goals are not inline with what you very wish to accomplish. If so, review them to comprehend your fundamental motives for listing them
b) You’ve limited the definition of your purpose. If this is the case, attempt to build on the definition of your purpose.
Do you recognize what your purpose is? By distinguishing your purpose, you then have conclusive clarity on your direction and focus in life. The last thing you wish to do is to spend your whole life attempting to grow apples when you really wanted oranges.
2. See to it your goal is an 80/20 goal.
How much does this goal interest you? Is this goal a central goal in your life – put differently, an 80/20 goal? Your 80/20 goal refers to the Twenty percent of goals which when accomplished, will give you eighty percent of the collective happiness from accomplishing all your goals. What are these 20% goals, which truly interest you? These are what you ought to begin focusing on.
3. Comprehend your motives.
Have you ever had an experience where you chased a goal totally, only to discover you never truly required it? There are a few common symptoms, which come out when you don’t really want a specific goal: like self-sabotaging yourself in your goal quest, missing interest during the goal accomplishment process, feeling empty after the goal has been accomplished.
As you determine your goal, be unclouded on your fundamental motives. Your goal ought to be something that you truly want, and not what other people want for you. How come you want this goal? Is it for you or for other people? What will you accomplish out of getting this goal? Being unclouded on your fundamental desires will drive you ahead in the times when you face obstructions.
If you discover yourself setting a goal, which isn’t what you truly want but what other people want you to do, it’s a sign that you’re chasing after imposed purposes –purposes placed upon you by others around you. It’s the opposite of freeing purposes – purposes that are live creations by you and your cognizance.
A Little Black Pen