by Dr. David Mc Dermott
Goals VS Life Goals
For this article, I use 'life goals' as being your life purpose or passion. 'Goals' are outcomes or desires that people choose for themselves. They may be aligned with life goals, but for many people, they are not.
People usually choose goals that, if achieved, will give them a sense of comfort or satisfaction or fulfilment and or some such sense. They engage in activities or acquire things in order to generate this sense. Very few start from a position of having this sense absolutely present for themselves, (ie., generated internally) and then decide what the goals or life goals are going to be. This may seem like a subtle distinction, and indeed it is.
However, the effects are magnified exponentially the further out you go. Especially when you consider that the two groups will most likely be engaged in different activities.
'Searching and seeking' or
In the former, people are doing/getting stuff to have the sense of satisfaction. In the latter, their decision making is designed around doing things to keep that sense intact. The first group only get what they want when they achieve the outcome and for a variable period afterwards. The second get to have ‘it’ even before they achieve the outcome, and way beyond it...
'Having and holding'
The first group often find that they need to repeat their activities, achieve bigger goals and reach harder targets in an attempt to generate the same level of satisfaction (you fill in whatever word is appropriate for you). Over time they may not even be able to generate it to the same degree. So they constantly need more.
For the second group, it becomes easier to have and to hold and to begin to increase the level of satisfaction they have. And the amount of effort and energy they need to expend to do this actually reduces! Think of the child who laughs after a particular activity and then goes ‘Do it again!’
Quality and quantity
Both groups may be achieving their outcomes with equal ability and skill, and within timeframes and so on. But I’m suggesting that there is a qualitative difference in the results that are achieved. Even if the results are quantifiably equivalent, there is a difference in how the results are perceived. By definition it's not quantifiable, yet it is obvious to those who experience it.
As an example, think of a time when you finished something small, such as cleaning out a drawer, or buying yourself something, or coming across an object you hadn’t seen for years. In the overall scheme of things it is quite minor, yet it can generate a massive sense of pleasure for you.
People who get a sense of fulfillment only by achieving their outcomes frequently have in mind how they should go about it. And they may be reluctant to do it any other way. When they realise that their way is not going to work, they may give up, or decide that they won’t reach their goals or life goals, and settle for second best. Which, of course, is even less satisfying than anticipated, and so begins a decline.
People who start with a sense of satisfaction will usually keep their goals or life goals in mind and will be very flexible about how they achieve it. They are not attached to how it is achieved. Therefore they are prepared to engage in the behaviors necessary to achieve what they set out to do, because even these are satisfying.
If you knew how to organize yourself to start with a sense of fulfilment, what goals or life goals would you choose for yourself in order to maintain this?
As you are moving towards your goals or life goals, if you knew that the next step was going to get you closer and be satisfying, would you be more or less likely to take it?
If every time you achieved one of your goals, no matter how small, it deepened your sense of life purpose and self worth, (which means it is connected with your life goals,) how would your life be different?
Goals AND Life Goals
The 'trick', of course, is to know what your life goals are, and then to use your decision making skills so that achieving each and every goal means you are also achieving your life goals. Then it becomes a magical life!
"One of the saddest lines in the world is, 'Oh come now - be realistic.' The best parts of this world were not fashioned by those who were realistic. They were fashioned by those who dared to look hard at their wishes and gave them horses to ride." - Richard Nelson Bolles
About The Author
Dr. David McDermott gave up a career as a Plastic Surgeon to study human functioning and decision making. He now teaches people how to change from the inside out, to connect with their inner purpose and passion and how to manifest that out into the world in everything they do. He works internationally as a Master Trainer of the MythoSelf® Process as well as doing private facilitation. He outlines his way of working at www.decision-making-confidence.com
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