No. 1251 -- ONE GOAL AT A TIME

No. 1251



As it relates to personal success, have you ever heard or read this statement before: “The person without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.” If you will stop and think about this statement, I believe you will realize that it’s true. More importantly, however, in terms of how it may benefit you, if you are not already a person who sets goals, this simple idea could make a real difference in your future.
To enable you to gain greater insights into what I’m saying, please consider this: If we simply untie a ship, give it no crew, no compass or destination, but just let it drift, if it gets out of the harbor at all it will likely sink or wind up on some deserted beach. On the other hand, contrast this with a ship that has a crew, a compass and a definite port in mind. The odds are more than 99 percent that it will safely reach its destination. Another important consideration is that a ship can only reach one port at a time, which is really the essence of what I’m saying here.
To back up a moment and place things in perspective, the main reason we see so much confusion in people’s lives is that they have not been taught how to set goals. As a result, they have no real purpose or direction for their lives. Sure, a lot of people have dreams, hopes and wishes, but they don’t have specific, written goals. They spend a lot of unproductive time going from one thing to another, being tossed “to and fro” like that ship I mentioned earlier.
For a goal to be valid or worthy, it should be specific and not general; it should be realistic with a definite time limit; and, it should be written down on paper. While working with thousands of people over the past 30 years, I’ve found that fully 95 percent of all people do not have their goals written down on paper. There are many reasons why this is important, the first being that it’s a commitment -- at least you have committed it to writing. This written form will allow you to review your goal often, and with each repetition drive it deeper and deeper into your subconscious mind. This is the reason, for the most part, that goal setters are positive people. You can’t be a winner in athletics or in life without a goal.
If you are a beginner in the business of goal setting, I want to make a very important suggestion. Beginners should set only one major or large goal at a time. After the process becomes second nature and you have achieved enough success and the resources to diversify, more than one worthy goal is something many people can handle, but not in the very beginning. Most of the confusion in people’s lives comes from trying to accomplish too many things at the same time.
After setting one worthy goal that is important to you, blaze it in your memory, burn it into your mind. When you first wake up, think of that one goal. When you sit down to rest for a few minutes, think about that one goal. As you think about it and visualize it, the goal will become crystallized and your focus, like a beautiful photograph, will be sharp and clear.
Since we become what we think about, soon you will reach that goal. At this point, set another goal and set out again. You will find this simple process of setting only one goal at a time will take most of the confusion out of your life and will bring order and self-discipline. As a result, your self-image and your attitude will definitely change for the better, and don’t you agree, this is what success is all about.
(Editor’s Note: JIM DAVIDSON is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states, making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)