Goals are a key tool which enable our inner navigation system. Whilst having goals has been popularised again in recent times, it certainly isn’t a new concept. The suggestion / recommendation of having goals has been written and spoken about for aeons.
For some, the way that goals have been impressed upon them (usually in a corporate environment where they are referred to as KPI’s) has meant that goals have a negative connotation and irreverence.
The result of which is that many consider goals as an obligatory task, a tick of the box so once it’s done they can focus on the “important stuff” – that long list of things to do. Thus there is no value, emotion or connection to the “obligatory” task/s that have been set.
So once done, the busyness of life takes over and becomes more important. Whilst the person is taking action and getting things done, they aren’t always the actions that will get them what they really desire nor where they want to be.
More than an obligation
Consider the origin of the word, goal, which is thought to derive either from the Middle English “gale” meaning “a way or course” or the Old Norse word of “geil” meaning “passage”. Goals thus can be considered as a guiding tool which guide and keep us on course or provide the passage to where we want to be or what we want to have. As well as a way to measure and track how we are progressing.
Imagine setting sail to sea without any co-ordinates as to where your destination will be. Whilst you will find a destination it may not be the destination you were after and you may waste a lot of time and energy in getting there.
This is a great analogy of what life is like without goals. Whilst we are sailing through life and finding ourselves at certain “destinations” they aren’t always the ones we really want to be at or desire. In addition to this we’ve often wasted a lot of energy in the journey of getting to such destination, as the course taken may not have been as direct as it could have been. Energy which could have easily been used more effectively.
Goals have an unexplainable magnetic quality that can attract situations, people and opportunities in order to support you achieving them. I personally believe that goals are a way to tell the Universe / God / Angels (whomever or whatever you believe in) what it is you want.
That once you are aligned with your goals mentally (beliefs), physically (taking action) and emotionally (goal has meaning) this is when your magnetic force is enabled and miraculous opportunities, people, etc come your way in order for your goals to come to fruition.
Yale University Study
A study was conducted at Yale University in the 1950’s which demonstrated the influential effects that having written goals can have on our lives. The same study was conducted in the 1970’s with the same results.
Although all graduates had goals only 3% actually had their goals clearly defined by writing them down. The graduates were tracked over a 20 year period and the results reflected that those graduates who had written goals were, in terms of wealth, worth more than the combined wealth of the other 97%. The results also showed that those 3% of graduates had superior health and relationships.
A client had a goal of working in management in the organisation she worked for. The management structure in her company is quite flat and the likelihood of her sitting on the management team in the near future didn’t seem high, however she wrote her goal and aligned to it. In the weeks that followed, one of the managers announced that she was taking a year off and may not return. My client applied for the position and was successful!
Teleological & Vitalistic
As humans we are regarded as teleological and vitalistic. Teleological is the principle that refers to our natural, inbuilt goal seeking drive and that if we are not out seeking our own goals we go off and help others to seek theirs.
This is what happens in a lot of companies, people begin to strive for their companies goals and not their own (please note I am not suggesting that we all have our own business, yet when working for someone else have clear defined goals, so you don’t “loose your way”).
Vitalistic is the principle that suggests we self determine our reality. In fact it is our minds that create our external environment. So dream up what you want, state it & then be open to opportunities that will present themselves. The main point of this principle is that we also are required to take action.
To support our vitalistic natures is our internal Reticular Activating System, which when told something is important (i.e. our goal) then it no longer dismisses information which it may have previously. Hence why we notice previously mentioned opportunities, people, etc.
One final and important point is that when we set goals which have a significance and meaning to us, our emotions are engaged. The word emotion originates from the French word “emouvoir” which means to excite, as well as the Latin word “emovere” which means to move.
Which means when our emotions are engaged we excitedly move towards our goals.