I’ve been reading Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink. I expect I’ll be writing an article about Motivation when I’m done with it. But while the book does question the value of setting goals, I am still a big fan of them. In Drive, the studies seem to discount the value of external drivers toward accomplishment. And I agree that externally motivated goals are not the way to go.
But that’s not how I teach you to write goals. A well-written goal must include your internal motivation, your experience of what your life will be like when you have accomplished the goal. Because while we benefit from external rewards. We are driven by our internal needs. Your goals need to reflect and express your life’s purpose. And when well-written, I believe that goals allow us to create our lives with volition.
In my experience, goals serve two main purposes:
1 – Definition of Your Path and Your Direction
When you set a goal, you are by its very definition determining that you are going in this direction and you are not going in that direction. The more specific the goal is, the more defined your direction and the more options you have eliminated.
I believe that’s a good thing. Very often people become completely paralyzed because they have so many choices, they don’t know where to start and so they just don’t … start….
In my experience with clients and in my own life, it is better to start down a road in a specific direction and change your mind than it is to wait until you know for sure. Very often, if you begin to move in a particular direction, you can discover information that you would never discover if you wait. Finding out that this path is the wrong path is extremely useful information. You can decide what you don’t want, which can lead you to more specifically determine what you do want.
And you will develop skills in the process that will greatly enhance your abilities to create success once you clarify your path.
I don’t believe there are any mistakes in life. Because as long as you are in a learning process you will benefit from your experiences. And your experiences will feed the next choice. I have often “accidentally” discovered an amazing opportunity that I would never have seen had I been waiting for the “right” path.
2 – Placing Your Order With the Universe
So, first, I believe in the Law of Attraction. As a reminder, here are the two main tenets of that law:
- What you focus on expands
- You get what you expect
So, in terms of goals – when you are focusing on your goal, you are actually expanding your opportunities in that direction. And since by the very action of setting a goal that you believe is achievable within the time frame you’ve set – you are setting the stage for the achievement of the goal – because you expect it.
I look at goal setting as placing your order with the Universe. You are inviting the Universe to align with your intentions and support you in manifesting what you want. You’ve heard the expression – be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. That’s what this is.
And it’s better to place a specific order than a general, vague order. Think about it. What if you went into a restaurant and said to the waiter, “Hello, yes, I’d like some cow, please.” Do you know what you’ll get? You might get a steak, but you might get tongue (yech!).
On the other hand, if you say to the waiter, “I’d like a filet mignon, with a baked potato, sour cream on the side, and an order of steamed broccoli.” You’re more likely to enjoy that meal.
So, what are your goals for 2013? And does this help you begin to think more specifically and clearly? Please share your insights!