Published On: Wed, Feb 26th, 2014

The power of goal-setting

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Imagine playing football or hockey in an unmarked field or rink with no goal posts. It would be a hopeless endeavour, with nothing to be gained, with no goal to strive for and not a score to be attained. We must have purpose in our lives and goals to strive towards; for a strong passionate purpose is the flame that sets the soul on fire.

Everyone must have a goal. Ralph Waldo Emerson is often quoted as saying, “The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.”

The dramatic significance of setting goals is illustrated by a study that was conducted in 1953 at Harvard University. The University gave a questionnaire to the class of 52 asking them about their goals or if they had any. The result was 3 per cent had written goals, another 10 per cent had goals but they weren’t in writing and 87 per cent had no goals at all. Twenty years later, in 1972, they gave out another questionnaire to the same grads and the results were as follows:

The 3 per cent who had written goals had a combined net worth in excess of the other 97 per cent combined.

The main reason for great success in any endeavour is clear, specific, and measurable goals written down and backed by a written plan and a burning desire to accomplish them. The primary reason for failure and underachievement is vagueness, confusion and the inability to decide exactly what it is that you desire. As sales trainer, Tom Hopkins, says, “You must be specific to be terrific.” ZigZiglar says, “Most people are wandering in generalities rather than meaningful specifics.”

Goal Setting

The fact is you can’t hit a target you can’t see and, worse still, how can you hit a target you don’t even have? Denis Waitley writes, “Most people spend their time in tension-relieving activities rather than goal-achieving activities, getting no closer to the goals they haven’t even set for themselves.”

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. A person without clear, specific goals is like a ship without a rudder blown about in a constant sea of indecision and confusion. A person with clear, specific goals, written down with time lines, on the other hand, is like a ship with a rudder, sailing straight and true to its destination port.

It’s incredible how fast your life will improve and be enhanced by becoming intensely goal-oriented. When choosing your goals, let passion and excitement be your guide. They are the physical translation of the vibrational resonance that is your true, core natural being. Whatever your goal is, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and then you can legitimately expect to win.

The reason writers make so much money writing stories and the movie industry is so enormous is because most people never realise their dreams. They’ve given up and become disheartened. Regarding their dreams, most people wish to avoid confrontation. When you ponder and think about what sets most men apart, you’ll discover it is goals.

There are two great tragedies in life, however. The first is never to have had great goals, and the second is to have fully reached them without setting more goals, so that tomorrow holds no eager anticipation of challenge. Napoleon Hill said, “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievement.” In the Book of Proverbs, it states, “Where there is no vision the people perish”; and of course the flipside of that is, where they have a vision and goals, the people prosper.

Listen to what the late great Malcolm Forbes had to say about this, “When you cease to dream, you cease to live.” Cease to live? That’s strong! Do you know anyone who has ceased to live? Abraham Maslow said, “The history of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.” The reason people settle for far less than what is possible for them is that they have become consciously or unconsciously convinced that there is nothing or very little they can do to change things. In reality, the only limitations on what you can accomplish are your imagination, desire and your ability to set and achieve goals. Remember Napoleon Hill’s famous words, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” And I would add that you must be heart-aligned as well.

Mark Victor Hanson says, “The secret to goal-setting is how much and when.” A goal in writing makes every day exciting. Regarding goals and the achievement therein, ZigZiglar says, “It’s your moral responsibility to set and achieve high goals since others who see us will either draw inspiration from us and decide to do likewise, or they draw discouragement from us because they see us not doing the most with our abilities.”

All depressed people share the following three negative thought patterns: 1. They have a negative view of themselves; they have low self-esteem. 2. They have a pessimistic outlook of their experience. 3. They have a negative outlook regarding their future; they have no goals.

If you are successfully setting and realising your worthy goals, it’s impossible to be depressed.


Culled from SUCCESS TO SIGNIFICANCE by Richard Carswell

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The power of goal-setting