Desperately seeking something.
There are literally millions of books and websites dedicated to the subject of goal setting and the achievement of our hopes and dreams. It would be hard to imagine you haven’t at some point in your life picked up a book on this worthy subject. Clearly, with the number of self-help books available, many of us are interested in the how to’s of goal setting and the turning of dreams into realities.
Diving in to read any such book may be a worthwhile and enlightening experience and yet with so much advice being dispensed your dreams continue to allude you. Vision boards, goal setting lists, life mapping and positive affirmations for the life you want. The search is on for life, unlike the one you have now or perhaps just a better version of your current life.
Secretly (or not) you set about creating a list of dreams and goals only to be forgotten once completed. The daily reminder of your future self and your future life begins to gather dust.
I’m not talking about goal setting at work, that’s something quite different, I’m talking about those long-held dreams and desires you want to achieve, but never quite get there. Those images of the most beautiful house, the perfect relationship, the best body ever, whatever your dream, all worth having and yet, remain somewhere in the distance and certainly not where you are right now.
Why is that? Why do we keep wishing and hoping for things that are just out of reach? Is the wanting and dreaming better than the having? Or is it just easier, more comfortable to wish for things, while sitting comfortably on the couch? No hard work required.
Acting first, thinking later.
Some of us, act first, think later. No time like the present. Let’s get it done now, worry about the details later. Others, think first, act later or in some cases never act at all.. for the overthinkers amongst us, it’s a head spin of what if’s and maybe’s
Me? I think for the longest time before I act. I ponder with envy those who act first and think about all the consequences later, after the fact. My cautious self wonders how acting without too much thought is even remotely possible?
But, is that what’s really going on for the ‘act first, think later’ individuals amongst us? Are they really saying “to hell with the consequences”? Are they so rash in their decisions? Or is there something else at play?
This week I helped the youngest in my family, my little sister move from a 10-year stint working in regional radio in country South Australia and relocate her life to the slightly bigger Australian city of Melbourne.
Leading up to this week, I had watched on as my sister came to a decision in her life and with crystal clarity began to set her goals. The idea to make a change had been on her mind for a long while but there were certain marker’s in her life that led to the very final decisive moment of knowing it was time to take the leap.
A vision board was created and, in what seemed the shortest of time, those images on her board began to materialise. These were the short to medium term goals, some would say easy to achieve, but finding a job in a much bigger market is never easy, nor is the move. It can be daunting and overwhelming, but with clarity comes confidence. There was no hedging on any of it.
And so today, I write from my sister’s new Melbourne apartment. The next step in her career, the next step in her life. The next big chapter is all about to begin. Vision accomplished. No luck required.
It’s not really what’s on the vision board (or whatever version of dreaming and visualising you’re into), it’s more about the clarity in setting the goal and a sure sense of the outcome being possible and within reach (no matter how lofty it may seem). When you’re sure, when you have mental clarity, the details all fall into place
This is not the time for wishy, washy.
If your dreams or goals are wishy-washy that’s where they will stay, stuck in a murky grey place of nowhere in particular and probably never achieved. The universe conspires when there is clarity, the universe does not like wishy-washy, undefined, maybe-someday-goals
But setting and achieving goals can be much harder than this. For my sister, the next round of goals will determine what happens next. Perhaps next time the goals will be just that little bit loftier, whatever the goals are, the habit of success has now been formed. There is now an expectation that dreams can be achieved. It’s all in the knowing. Knowing very clearly what or where you want to go and not getting too caught up in what might happen the other end.
There is a saying, we all know it. Be careful about what you wish for. Seven words that can leave some of us in the land of indecision. But if the outcome is not quite how we hoped. Does it matter? Spending too much time weighing up the pro’s and cons could leave you sitting on the fence for much longer than you intended, years can go by sitting on that rickety old fence. Just wondering.
To decide not to decide is to decide
Jean Paul Sartre, Philosopher.
Rather than risk the outcome of a wrong decision it’s tempting to take your dreams off the table-of-decision altogether. A fine idea if safety is what you seek, but ultimately unsatisfying and will hardly get you any of what life has to offer.
We all fail, we all stumble, we all regret. Some decisions seem risky and yet when the leap is taken everything falls brilliantly into place and then there are those goals which seem a sure thing and yet turn out all wrong.
It all happens as it should. There will be no signs, but if you are clear and committed, there will be what seems a strange phenomenon taking place, the universe sets the wheels in motion. We can refer to it as something otherworldly or outside of ourselves, but the truth is, it is our own will that determines the outcome, what seems like a miraculous set of circumstances, was your own determination to get to where we want to be.
Next time you are wondering why your dream or visions for the future have not materialised, perhaps have another look and check they are truly what you want, not what you think you can achieve, (that’s too easy), not based on making the wrong decision, (that’s just fear) and certainly not because you think your decision will win the approval of others (that’s just silly).
Checking in on your dreams.
Some say the biggest lies are the ones we tell ourselves, if this is true, then perhaps you’re secretly a little unsure of the dreams you’ve been seeking. Do a little check-in on those dreams as they may need a bit of redefining or maybe they are for all the wrong reasons. If this is the case, then at some deeper level your subconscious mind will obstruct you from achieving them.
We, humans, are complex creatures and contrary to what we all might think, we are in a continuous state of change, every minute of everyday, ever evolving. What you wanted 3 years ago may no longer be relevant today. The goals and desires you’ve already achieved may not be what you thought they’d be. Don’t fret on it. Just check them off as done and move on. Nothing like a re-boot with newly defined goals clearly in place.
Or perhaps you’re in a moment in your life where the setbacks of the past haunt you or you think it’s too late or all too hard to start over. Too late to dream? It never is unless YOU say it is and one of the loveliest things about the future is you can make it whatever you want it to be as long as you get yourself some clarity and stop worrying about the details, they will all come to light soon enough.
This article is dedicated to my sister Cheryl, who went out and asked and the answer was a resounding YES.
How about you? What have you asked of yourself knowing it was really, truly what you wanted and went out and got it? Share your thoughts below in the comments or if you like this article then why not share it with others who may be in need of a bit of decision-making motivation.
See you next time,