Goal Setting: an important skill for Success

A beautiful definition of success that I have come across is by Earl Nightingale, in “The Strangest Secret”. He defines Success as being “the progressive realization of a worthy ideal” this definition fits the origin of the word success which comes from the Latin SUCCEDERE, meaning “to go on well” this suggests to us that success is a journey, not a destination. Anyone on a journey needs a map or a guiding system; that would be your goals.
However, the majority of people live without any set of ideals or any goals set for themselves. When you ask, they give you the usual, universal answers, like “I want to be healthy, or I want to have a lot of money. Mind you! A goal needs to be personal, it needs to be specific, it needs to relate to you and what you are all about.
Dr. Robert Holden, of the Happiness Project, in London, sheds light on the nature of our goals like no one has I have ever read before! He created a program called the Intelligent Goals System with seven goals categories: Present-time goals, the now or what is important today; Character Goals, who I am, who do I want to be, Achievement goals, (what do I want to do) Acquisition Goals (what do I want to have) Relationship goals, (How Shall I be with others) Destination Goals, (where do I want to end up), but the most important of all are Spiritual Goals (what do I value most)
Anyone can be successful as long as they set a worthy goal and move towards it. Let’s consider the example of a schoolteacher who enjoys teaching and works hard on improving her skills to better serve her students. She makes a positive difference in her students’ lives; therefore makes the world a better place, that’s is a real success as far as that teacher is concerned!
Many experts in the personal development industry agree on the comparison of a person without goals with a ship without a rotor, or someone driving a car without a steering wheel. The latter will get somewhere but no one knows exactly where, because he is at the mercy of the wind and pad-holes on the road. It is often said that if you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there!
There is a famous story in the self-help literature. It is about a study that was made on a group of business school alumni. After graduation, the students walked out with their degrees. The study reveals that eighty-three percent (83%) of the group had no goals whatsoever, they just wanted to go out and test the waters in the job market. Fourteen percent (14%) of them had specific goals but never wrote them down, the other three percent (3%) had written down clear and specific goals for themselves. A few years into their careers, the graduates that had goals, but did not write them down, were making three times more, in income, than the eighty-three percent (83%) with no goals. The astonishing part of the story is that the three percent (3%), who wrote down their goals, had an income ten times more than the group of eight-three percent (83).
I believe that story shows not only the importance of goal setting, but also the necessity of writing them down. For many of us we remember things better when we write them down, this is not by chance, some psychological studies demonstrate that when you write things down you are imprinting them into your subconscious mind, which, in return, goes to for you; to turn your dreams into reality.
So then, it becomes obvious that goal setting is a master skill for your success. However, is it just enough to write down your goals? The answer is resounding NO! The fact of the matter is until you start acting upon and working on your goals, you will not see any positive results or what you are looking for.
Every day you witness, is an opportunity to move towards your goals, take full advantage of it. Be sure to make a statement of what you want to accomplish that day and go for it. Don’t allow negative thoughts to hinder your run, not your walk, towards reaching your goals and meeting the fulfillment of the life of your dreams.
Furthermore, there’s no need to wait for something big to happen, just start where you are and what you’ve got, and that, my friends, will lead you to something greater. You might be thinking: “it’s easier said that done” and you might be right, but do not let that idea stop you. It is true that, amidst all the doom and gloom, we might be tempted to let ourselves be derailed from our paths by our own doubts. When that happens, let’s us just ponder over the words of Henry Ford: “when everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”
In a final analysis, we would like to note that for many of us, instead of creating Success, we make a mess around us partly because we don’t know what we want or where we are going. You’ll probably agree with me that the best g.p.s navigation system can not directed if you do not enter you destination as Brian Tracy said: “you cannot hit a target you cannot see”. Let’s not be oblivious to something this obvious. Setting up and writing down clear and concise goals is not just important, it is a MUST if we want to get ahead in life. John Assaraf puts it so well in Having it All, goal setting hones our focus, gives us direction, and makes it far more likely that we will actually live the life of our dreams rather than drift along on whatever our circumstances present.

Madiama Mbaye
mmbaye@me.com
Denver, CO USA

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