Setting goals… aim higher
Between us and a better life there’s a stairway built with a certain number of little steps, each of them representing an improvement in our lives, and these steps are called goals. Now, why do we have to set goals? What good does a goal do for me? What do I need to take into account when setting a goal? In this hub we are going to talk about what good it does to us, where the benefits are, and the importance of setting higher goals.
If we are not growing we are dying. Most people of age get older so much faster after their retirement. How come? Most of them have been longing for that day to come! And when it finally arrives there is no more joy than what used to be! We were not made to do nothing, we were made to develop ourselves as much as possible, and to realize by our own experiences that we are limitless. The retiree, just like everyone else, needs to do something, have goals to achieve. If we do nothing we get the feeling that our life is meaningless, that it has no value, and we get depressed. Then we don’t have the motivation to do anything else, because everything seems to be pointless, so we fall deeper and deeper into depression, and the snowball gets bigger each time.
I want to mention a line from the movie Alfie (2004), Jude Law says, “I’ve no desire to become the richest man in the cemetery”. The character decided to live life to the fullest, that was his goal, he was certain he didn’t want to spend his life working and working until he made a fortune by the end of it. He simply wanted to work enough to have the necessary means to enjoy the pleasures of life.
And on the other hand…
A lot of people say they want to be rich, and if you ask them why they want to be rich, the vast majority will most likely tell you, “Because I don’t want to work anymore”. Well, don’t take me wrong, I am not judging them. Their position is really understandable considering if they work several hours in a place far away from home, spend a majority of their lives stuck in traffic, not being able to spend a good quantity of time with their loved ones, and on top of it they get low pay for doing all of this, plus they only do the job they were accepted to do, not something they are passionate about, and this is exactly what I wanted to point out, but let’s put this on hold one minute.
If I want to be rich just because I don’t want to work anymore, then my goal is a little bit contradictory to itself. Allow me to explain; I am setting a goal to be great just to have enough money and time to be lazy. If I fulfill this, then I won’t be happy with the money, because it doesn’t have a flavor, money does not bring me satisfaction by itself, and neither do the things I can buy with it. My satisfaction comes from the effort I made to earn the money in my bank account, which is why it is a good thing to love your money, because it is a physical manifestation of your work. So it won’t make a difference if I get paid a hundred or a thousand dollars (in terms of satisfaction), since I will know that I gave the best of me. And even better, sooner than later my income will increase.
Once again, it is not about the money! It is about you, and me! About oneself! As we said above, money is just a physical manifestation, but it is not what is truly important.
Ok, minute is over
When I am not passionate about what I am doing, then that job becomes a heavy burden. Not so long ago I read a survey which stated that less than 19% of the population of the Earth say they are satisfied with their jobs, that means most people are unhappy doing what they do with their lives, and that is way too many. This is why it is so understandable that most people want to be rich just to leave their jobs.
It is not that unusual to read about the richest men alive leaving a big part of their fortune to charity. I remember one case in particular, the man was asked, “Why don’t you leave it all to your children?” -He answered, “I want my children to have enough money to do what they would want to do, not enough money to do nothing”. I think… He already tasted what it is like to have billions, so he knows what he’s talking about. And I conclude: If he didn’t leave it all for his offspring, obviously he knew a lot of things I don’t know. But I do know one thing, money alone would not bring the satisfaction to his kids, so he would just be leaving them a life full of money but filled with dissatisfaction, and all the money in the world cannot buy satisfaction. What is money without satisfaction?
A short story and I want to share it with you now
There was an Indian who was really talented in the bow and arrow discipline, but being talented was not all that he wanted to be, his goal to dart the moon. So the man built countless arrows, and he shot them pointing to the moon night after night, improving his technique to reach his unachievable goal. Obviously he never got to dart the moon, but without noticing it he was able to shot arrows to extremely long distances, and hit small targets really far away that nobody else could reach, so he became the best archer in the world during his time.
The same thing happens with us, when we aim high we may not get where we are aiming, but we are going to get close enough. If I throw a stone pointing south there is no way for it to land straight anywhere close to north, if I set my goal and I commit to do anything in my power in order to achieve it and I persist, then I will get closer and closer every day.
- "For what it will make of you to achieve it". -John Earl Shoaff
Why set a goal?
When setting the goal, what is the most important thing to consider?
I love what Mr. Jim Rohn shared: “When I started making my list of goals, Mr. Shoaff (referring to his mentor, Mr. John Earl Shoaff) said: ‘Mr. Rohn, why don’t you set a goal to become a millionaire’. And he said: ‘Here’s why’. And I thought: ‘The man doesn’t need to teach me why. I’m thinking: Wouldn’t it be great to have a million dollars!’ He said: ‘No! That’s not it. Here’s why: for what it will make of you to achieve it’. The greatest value in life is not what you get. The greatest value in life is what you become”.
But not everything in life is money. And not everyone’s main target is to become a millionaire. But this works for any goal you may have. Let’s suppose you want to lose weight, there are many ways to do that, but there is only one way to get fit for good, you must see yourself in that desirable shape or all other efforts will be useless. There are so many testimonies out there of people getting expensive surgeries to lose 100 pounds of fat, and in less than a year they gained 130! Why did this happen? The main reason is because they only saw the final result; they didn’t focus on what was really important. In this case the body you finally got is not as important as the person you became. The food you ate, the exercise you did, the care you take for your body and mind, the medical treatments required for your endeavor, etc. All the changes you had to make in your life in order to get the body you desired and the health that comes along with it.
Maybe I want to be the first in my class, the best in my job, or simply to be acknowledged by the people around me. What do I have to do to be all the previous? What sacrifices I must make? If my goal is to attract a mate, is being with that special someone the most important thing? Or the person I become, and the way I see myself? If I set the goal to be the best hubber in HubPages, What will it take? What do I need to improve about myself to achieve it? What efforts do I have to do? What books must I read? Or maybe my goal could be to overcome a fear, or a condition or disorder, like stuttering, insomnia, depression, you name it. Who will I be before I achieve my objective? It does not matter the goal I set, the “why” will make the difference, because what it will make of me to achieve that goal.
If I am an athlete and I set the goal to get the Gold Medal in my discipline, when I finally get it, is important the piece of metal I’ve got important? The answer here is yes! Of course it is important! But only because it is a symbol representing the new person I had to become in order to be worthy of getting that Gold Medal. So even more important than the piece of fine metal is the satisfaction behind it, the satisfaction of knowing that I made myself valuable. I made sacrifices; I kept myself from certain things I like to do, I woke up early in the morning for training, I improved the quality of food I was eating, I obliged myself to think positively, to believe in myself, to test my inner strength and to keep going on until success, and so many other changes to get better. So now I earn the Gold Medal for all the effort I dedicated, not just for that last performance. I could steal that Medal, I could buy it, they could just give it to me, or I could even cheat to get it, and I would get to take it home either way, but it could never taste the same. My earned Medal would proudly stand at the top of my gallery, constantly reminding me the new human being I became to be worthy of it. And if I don’t get it in that very competition, I’ll always have the new “me”, and I will get “Gold Medals” in other aspects of my life.
Conan O’Brian said: “Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get”. So true, but you can be all you want to be.
Don’t aim to have the best, aim to be the best.