The fine art of goal setting

I’m going to assume, for the purpose of this conversation, that you set goals, whether they be weekly, monthly, yearly or long-term. My first question is: are your goals means goals or end goals? Examples of means goals are: make 5 sales calls, sell 6 widgets, get a promotion, buy a new car, buy a new home, sales of $X this year, profitability of Y%, etc. Can you relate to those types of goals? I suspect that most of your goals are those kinds. So why do I call them means goals? Because they are goals you set thinking that they are the pathway to the real goal you have, which is the end goal.

Here’s some examples of end goals: I get to drive a wonderful car that brings me joy and excitement, I live in a fabulous house in the country surrounded by lots of trees, I have all the money I need to live the life-style of my dreams, I work in an environment that is fun and nurturing and allows me to express my talents for which I am richly rewarded.

Look at the difference between the first and second types of goals. Why do you care if you buy a new car or a new home if you get to drive a wonderful car that brings you joy and excitement and you live in a fabulous house in the country surrounded by lots of trees? Why do you care if you get that promotion if you work in an environment that is fun and nurturing and allows you to express your talents for which you are richly rewarded?

In other words, I’m suggesting that you stop setting goals which you think are the means to an end you really want and focus on the end. The end might come in a totally unexpected way. Plus, do you really think you’re smart enough to know exactly what the best path is to what you really want? I’ll answer that question for you: No! All you know is what you’ve learned in the past and that is fundamentally limited. So focus on the end you want and let the universe show you the best way to make it happen. Giving up trying to control and manipulate the circumstances of life is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

If you’re open to taking this conversation up an additional step, consider the following: What do you really want in the end anyway? Do you really want the house, the car, the promotion, the sales, the profitability or do you want what those things will bring you? You may not have ever thought about it but isn’t it true that you want those things because you think they’ll make you happy?

Most of the things we want in life we want because of the “feeling” we think those things will bring. But here’s the great reality: we don’t need those things to have that feeling, whatever it is. You can choose to have that feeling right here and right now. And here’s the best part: if you choose to have that feeling, whether it be joy or happiness or excitement, whatever, right now, the likelihood is that you will indeed attract to you all of the things you thought would bring you those feelings. And then, you don’t have to wait to have them to have those feelings. You can enjoy them right now.

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