Goal Setting: Loads Of Goals But No Place To Go

All the personal growth literature tells us we should have goals to work on, affirmations to repeat, and that we should be constantly visualizing our future each day.  All well and good.


If that’s true, then why are most people in exactly the same place after all this personal growth stuff as they were before they started?

The reason comes down to an overall lack of life vision. In other words, there is no master plan for life. What is the point of setting goals, or working on affirmations, if you have no idea where the thrust of your life is headed in the first place? In other words, what are you here on this Earth to do? WHY are you working towards these goals (if you have any)?

Most people do not have any answers to these basic questions. Ask a small child, and you’re quite likely to get an answer to the question, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’. However, if you ask an adult a similar question, such as, ‘Where would you like to be in 10 years time, and what would you like to be doing?’, you are likely to be greeted by silence…

Aren’t you?!…

So, how can we have given up on our dreams to this extent? Part of the answer lies in childhood. Whether at school or at home, the need to be ‘realistic’ and ‘stop daydreaming’ was hammered into each of us again and again. So effective was this mental conditioning that most of can no longer figure out WHY we have no idea what our dreams are! We have been so conditioned from the outside, and have compromised so often on the inside, that there is no dreaming power left. That which is nurtured grows. That which is neglected withers and dies.

Instead, we find ourselves in a place we never planned to be in. Most of us simply drifted there, without plan or design. Then, from that position, we try to create goals and dreams that the critical mind regards as ‘appropriate’ or ‘possible’. However, because these goals are not true to our hearts, they do not motivate us, or fill us with any passion to achieve them.

Goals, and all the rest of it, do no good if you have nowhere specific you are heading to. You really need to get your head above day-to-day concerns to determine what the whole point of your goals is.

Michael Gerber, author of ‘The E-Myth’ describes a similar situation in the world of business. It seems that a lot of people become business entrepreneurs, mainly from a desire to escape the slavery of the 9 to 5 routine, and be free of the boss. The only problem is that, whilst these people may be good ‘technicians’, this does not necessarily guarantee success in their own business. Instead, many find themselves ‘trapped’ in their dream, to the point where they finally hate it, and realize that this was not what they really wanted anyhow.

Look at it another way. Hollywood typically spends over 100 million on a blockbuster movie. With these figures at stake, directors cannot afford to mentally drift. Films made these days are story-boarded first; drawings (or even animations), are created for every single shot in every single scene. Everything is visualized with crystal clarity before filming even begins. By contrast, imagine the sort of movies we would be watching if directors went about their craft the way we do our lives!

Without a clear vision of where we are heading, we can be terribly active achieving goals that take us nowhere specific. Indeed, all this activity can serve as a good excuse for not raising our heads high enough to see where we are actually going. Or NOT going!

So, what can you do? The answer is, develop a vision, as clearly as possible, for what your life is about, and where you are heading. What is your ‘major definite purpose’, as Napoleon Hill termed it? What are you here to do?

If you do not know the answer to this question, this is the first goal you should set; to find out. You must develop a mental image of your desired future, and develop it so clearly that you can see it, smell it, taste it and touch it. Then, keep that vision before you often each day, and use it to fuel your goal creation.

Take time to ponder your dreams. Give yourself a regular period of time each day to do this, especially if you have no clear vision of them at present. This process may take time and cannot be hurried, because you are reactivating faculties that have been long dormant. Without this clear vision, any other goals and affirmations you develop are virtually as good as useless. Yes, they may take you forward a bit. But in which direction, and for what purpose? Without an overall life vision, you really have no idea.

You should ask yourself questions about all aspects of your life. Where do you want to be financially, spiritually, in relationships, health-wise, and so on? Gradually let the vision develop as you relax and take time to elicit it from deep within you. You may wish to write it down as it emerges.

Try not to judge or censor. That will only shut down the creative process. Let it be okay to think of the ridiculous, because nothing is as ridiculous as it may seem. People have taken up mountaineering at the age of sixty five. There was a time when Van Gogh had to learn to draw, and he was already an adult at the time!

Hence, be gentle with yourself, but retain the belief that much is possible if you have faith. It may takes days, weeks or even months. However, if you make developing a life vision your primary goal, then all others will fall into place, and you will find the infinite inner energy with which to accomplish them.

Copyright 2011. Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.

If you liked this article, then you will love my new book, Aspire To Wisdom, which is filled with dynamic strategies for personal change and spiritual growth.

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