Category Archives: Goal Setting
The Partial Advice
We often hear the advice given to career seekers: “Do what you love” or “follow your passion.”
This is good advice, as far as it goes. It is terrible advice, however, for both what it omits and the huge caveat it fails to mention.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
So why should we be cautious of the advice to “do what you love”? Because we often aren’t clear on the one thing we truly love. As humans, we often deceive ourselves. When I try to focus on “what I Love” or “what I am passionate about,” I can think of dozens of things I love to do without breaking a sweat.
So now I still haven’t narrowed it down, but I realize it isn’t what I am doing. If I was able to narrow my passion down to a single item, I still have to know I am capable of monetizing it (if the goal is to “do what I am passionate about,” as a job, I am going to need to be able to make a living at it, correct?)
The Full Advice
While it is critical to do something you love and have a passion for, the full advice that should be given to career seekers has three parts:
- Do something you are passionate about; and
- Do something you are good at; and
- Do something you will work hard at.
The way to discover which path will lead to all three of these things is to analyze what you spend your time on. Time is the one resource that is a constant for every single person on this planet. Rich people don’t get more of it. You don’t get less opportunities for time if your country is poor or you are born into the wrong caste. Time is not subject to the whims of inflation, the foreign exchange rate, or interest rates. No matter what religion, ethnic group, gender, or political party you belong to – you receive the same 24 hours per day that every other person receives.
We all are going to die eventually. And we all know it. Each 24 hours brings us one day closer to the day we will die. We don’t get to choose the day we will die – but we absolutely do get to decide whether we will LIVE before that day rolls around! We exchange each 24 hours for one day of our life . . . whether we spent that day doing something we love, or with people we love – or as slave to the grind just making ends meet and wishing for the weekend.
We don’t get to choose the day we will die – but we absolutely do get to decide whether we will LIVE before that day rolls around!
Some people with the greatest faith have found themselves in the latter situation and simply quit, trusting in God that He would provide another job for them doing something they love. The problem is: a year or two into the new job, the person sometimes realizes that this is not their “Great Passion.”
The way to avoid all of this is not to “follow your passion” or “do what you love.” Instead “follow what you do with your time.” That is what you actually love. What you spend time at, you will become better at. As you become better, you will enjoy it more and more. This in turn, will tend to make you love it. As your passion grows, you will work hard to become better. This will cause you to enjoy it even more.
And so on.
Ultimately, getting “stuck” in an endless loop like that. . . isn’t a bad way to spend your Life!
To finding the Time of your Life,
We all feel overwhelmed at time. This usually results from feeling like we have too much to do and that we will never get it all accomplished, or at least not in time.
As Brian Tracy sagely reminds us, “Although there is never enough time to do everything, there is always enough time to do the most important things, and to stay with them until they are done right.” – Brian Tracy
To regain our mojo and again feel like we are back in control of our lives, then, we need to effectively set and accomplish goals.
Elements Іn Effective Goals Setting:
- Goals must be in writing. Until then, your goal is just a wish (and likely will go unfulfilled).
- Your written goal needs desire behind it (otherwise you will likely find a way to leave it undone)
- A goal must have a definite “end line” (another words, you must be able to definitely know when to check the box or cross through it indicating it has been accomplished).
- A goal must have a realistic time to be accomplished (without a time that pushes you to finish the goal, the item will actually ADD TO instead of alleviate your sense of overwhelm)
- Make sure you believe you are capable of accomplishing the goal (as Napolean Hill tells us, we can achieve whatever we believe. The inverse, of course, is that we are incapable of achieving something we do not have faith in ourselves to accomplish. Especially when you feel overwhelmed these kind of goals making your list will be counter-productive. The goal can stretch you, but you must have faith in your ability to get it done within the timeline)
- Judge your effectiveness in terms of showing up and performing rather than tying your self-esteem to the outcome (i.e. – never make “Going out with Suzy Jones” a goal. Instead make “asking out five girls I like” a goal. Anytime you tie the accomplishment of a goal outside your ability to control, you set yourself up for failure.)
- Set goals based on the person you wish to become, not based on what your think your religion, parent, teacher or priest wants for your life. These people are important, but you are not living their life, right? LIVE YOUR LIFE. It is the only one you can live.
- Now that you have your goals, work your tail off to get them done (“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” – attributed to many great people, original source unknown)
From my heart to yours,
Yes, I am sure there must be a great lawyer joke in this post’s title. But it is not a joke. So focus.
Question: Which one, attorney or wolf, left unchecked, is most dangerous? Are you focused on that?
What if both were inside your head? Focus on which would be most dangerous then.
How about two of each inside your head?!? Two attorneys and two wolves.
You must have a gigantic noggin for us to have stuffed all that inside! But that’s not the point. In this post we are focused on . . .
Alan Cohen, the author of Why Your Life Sucks And What You Can Do About It (awesome and hilarious book in the event you have not read it), writes:
“Imagine two lawyers in a courtroom inside your head. One is arguing for your possibilities and you achieving your goals. The other is arguing for your limits and why you don’t deserve what you want. Who will win?
The lawyer whom you pay the most.
The way you pay these lawyers, however, is not with money; it is with your attention.”
* * *
“One evening a Cherokee elder told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside of people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between the two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all. One is Unhappiness. It is fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment, and inferiority.
The other is Happiness. It is joy, love, hope, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth, and compassion.’
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, ‘Which wolf wins?’
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.’”
So, what are you focusing on? Whatever it is, it merits 100% of your focus. Do you want that to be thoughts of who you could be? Your goals and ambitions? And how you will achieve them? Ultimately, how you will spread your Love and make the world a better place?
Or do you want to continue focusing on your fears? Your past failures? Your regrets? And how nothing you do matters? Or how it won’t work out anyway?
THE CHOICE IS YOURS AND YOURS ALONE. BUT THE RESULT IS GUARANTEED.
Your Life is 100% guaranteed to follow your thoughts. As we have discussed before, God is THE Creator, but He has entrusted you and me with the power to create, as well. And we create with our thoughts.
Want to explode into the life of which you have always dreamed? It is 100% guaranteed to happen if you dwell on nothing but those thoughts.
If you instead wish to stay mired in a failed relationship, a business failure, a poor childhood, or any other negative portion of your past, simply allow your mind to concentrate on those things. You are 100% guaranteed to repeat them.
THE CHOICE IS YOURS AND YOURS ALONE. BUT THE RESULT IS GUARANTEED.
Pay attention to whatever it is you are doing. Love and feel how alive you are when you are 100% focused and completely engaged in it. Complete it. Then, and only then, move your energy and mind 100% to the next item.
Alan Cohen quarterbacks us on the game-winning drive with this analogy: “Your real enemies are the self-defeating thoughts, paltry expectations, and beliefs that you must live at less than full throttle. You will experience as much pain as you are willing to accept. You do have control over how much you hurt. Pain happens; suffering is optional. You can choose thoughts that bring you relief rather than imprisonment. To find your freedom, stand at the doorway of your mind and monitor your thoughts. Notice which ones lift you and which ones drag you down. Then, like a bouncer at an exclusive party, admit only those on the invitation list and send the others back where they came from. Fate is not a net cast over you by capricious fortune; it is a garden you cultivate by the thoughts you attend to. Shift your attention and you will shift your life.”
Brian Johnson’s reflection on the above: “LOVE that image of a bouncer at the doorway of your mind! How AWESOME is that? 🙂 We talk about this All. The. Time. For good reason: It’s the key to your happiness. So, get your big bad bouncer self rockin’ that velvet thought rope, will ya?! Challenge your negative thoughts. Don’t let them crash your party.
“So get your big bad bouncer self rockin’ that velvet thought rope, will ya?!” – Brian Johnson, Chief Philosopher
“So get your big bad bouncer self rockin’ that velvet thought rope, will ya?!”
Did the Chief Philosopher really just write that?!?
A few more Alan Cohen quotes that I love in closing:
“Your life is not what the stars, numbers, genetics, environment, politics, or economic conditions make it; it is what you make it. External variables influence, but internal variables determine.”
“Your true strength resides in holding your power in the midst of those who have abdicated theirs.”
“When you fall in love with yourself, you will be irresistible to everyone else. When you find your beloved inside you, you will find your beloved beside you.” – Alan Cohen
Quotations above by Alan Cohen. Find him at www.AlanCohen.com