Do we really want to succeed?

Almost all of us have some specific ambition, some accomplishment we want credited to us at the end of our lives. This can be as simple as graduating from college, or as complex and daunting as becoming the next Renaissance Man (or woman), akin to Leonardo Da Vinci attaining mastery of so many professions. Most people have more than one. For now, my goals are to find a job to save up some money, get an apartment, and finish the series of fantasy novels I have been working on for a few years.

And whatever goal you have, so long as it is not sinful I congratulate you and applaud your desire to do something worthwhile in your brief stay on Earth, and I wish you the best of success. But what we seem to forget almost every time we have set out to do something, is that it takes much more than just desire to bring about your goals. Effort, vigilance, organization, the ability to say no, and common sense are all required, as well. Too many times I have seen goals fall through, whether I or someone else set them up, and we attribute them to bad luck, the external circumstances of economy or finances, or just not having enough time on our hands. Of course, for some goals these really are the determining factors, and no amount of prudence and hard work on our end will bring them about. However, more often than not, we sabotage our own goals, by inaction or poor organization or trying to please everyone or any of a hundred other wrenches we can throw into our own plans. The problem is not necessarily that we want the wrong things or that we traffic in fruitless endeavors. Usually, they fall through and look like bad ideas because we did not want them badly enough. We get distracted, or perceive a need for putting our time elsewhere when usually it is not actually needed.

This is just as much to solidify my thoughts on goal-meeting as it is to offer readers something of value. It is difficult to give any specific advice when addressing the vague topic of meeting your life goals, and so many people have done it far better than I could. But I hope I can offer a few words that, just maybe, will get you started off in the right direction.

Effort. Working with intentionality toward your aspirations is an absolute must. Want to be a writer? Then plant your rear end in that chair and tap away at the keyboard, or start putting pen to paper. No bestseller has ever written itself. Do you want to become a lawyer or doctor? Then I don’t care how difficult law school or medical school are – you still need to face down the difficulties if you actually want to be in either field. Want to properly raise a child? Then you need to set aside plenty of time, love, and patience towards that tiny human being, teaching them by actions and not only by your words.

Vigilance. The effort will get you past square one, but the finish line will come a lot closer if you stay dedicated to it. Build your work towards your goal into a habit, put it on a daily schedule, find an “accountability partner” to text you every weekend and remind you to work a little more at it – I don’t care how you do it. Just find a way to stay dedicated to your goal.

Organization. It should go without saying that a goal needs a worthy plan. I will leave this up to you, but whatever plan you devise, keep it concise, specific, and be sure you will see it at least once a day. Your success at meeting goals will only be as good as your plans to reach them.

The ability to say no. God only spins the Earth so fast. There are only 24 hours in a day, and I would accomplish very little by wishing for longer days, pining after something that would require a planet to slow its rotation. And sometimes you will have to decide between your goals and various other factors in your life. Socializing, classes, your job, taxes, etc. all limit our options. I have found through experience that I can easily forget I cannot have every single thing I want in life, and if I desire the meeting of a goal badly enough, sacrifice is part of the price. If you absolutely must choose between working on your goals and having a night out with friends…well, I won’t say choose the goal. I probably would select my friends anyway. But if you decide the goal needs to be worked on for that night, then remember: they are your friends. They will forgive you and understand.

Common sense. A little bit of this will go a long way in just about every area of life, and it is particularly potent in reaching for the goals we place in our lives. Do you want to be financially independent in ten years? Then pay off the credit cards and student loans, don’t take out a second mortgage, and stick to a budget plan that helps you spend less than you make. Do you want to tutor students in another country to help them learn English as a second language? Then finding the organizations with those programs and applying for them is probably a good idea. The less time you spend talking about your aspirations and the more time you spend actually working on them, the better off you will be.

Well, I guess that’s it for today. Thanks for your time, everyone. I hope I have been helpful.

Kindest regards,

John

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