A book I read recently has a small section highlighting the merits of goal setting. I have never been very good at this, partly because I am so indecisive and have a hard time deciding what I want to accomplish. The author of this particular book was so persuasive, however, that I have decided to have another try at it. He emphasizes the extreme importance of writing your goals down, so I am using a special, shiny silver notebook and doing just that.
When I think about goals and achieving success, the first thing that comes to mind is what kind of person I want to become. Success to me is a way of being. If I even begin to embody the qualities of patience, kindness, compassion, serenity, gratefulness, humility, and love, I would consider myself highly successful, but, hopefully, I would be too focused on living life and serving others to notice.
What I would notice, I think, would be feelings of satisfaction and peace of mind, and an absence of struggling. I certainly believe in effort, hard work, and discipline, but I don’t think this has to involve struggle. There is a flow to life that can be accessed by not resisting “what is”, but always reaching out for and believing for what we know can be.
So, if I have a goal to become a person of integrity, a whole person, a person who exhibits the qualities I talked about earlier, how do I begin? I already began by making the intention and writing it down. Now I keep that goal always before me, read it often, and make choices.
Because the goal of patience (or kindness or gratefulness) is at the forefront of my mind, when I face a situation where I could go either way, I drop impatience and put on patience. I know the seed of patience is already within me, and I have nourished it by thinking about it and believing it is possible. Now I can see the fruit of patience come forth.
It isn’t as easy as writing these few paragraphs has been, but it becomes easier as I make it a habit, a way of being. I have never tried this, but it would probably be helpful to see myself in my imagination being patient in different situations. It would reinforce the idea that I can be patient (or kind or generous) because I have already “seen” myself being just that.
It is a way of telling myself I believe something is possible before I have actually seen it with my physical eyes. I do believe that if there is something you even dare to let yourself imagine, it is possible – another great reason to keep your mind fixed on those things that are “pure, lovely, of good report, true, honest, and just”.
I do have other goals – relationship goals, creative goals, goals for my garden and home, but I have noticed something interesting. Some of these goals really wouldn’t be possible if I wasn’t at least on my way to achieving the “way of being” goals, and the rest of them just wouldn’t be that pleasurable or fulfilling without working on the primary ones.
In the long run, what you are is what makes it possible to enjoy what you have, and to hold onto it so loosely that you can let it go when necessary to make room for something even better.