Everyone knows that goal setting is an important instrument in your success principles toolbox. However, the traditional advice on goal setting has a number of flaws and can actually set you back and move you further away from your goal rather than getting you closer to it.
The resulting delays and frustration may even make you give up on a worthwhile goal that could bring you pleasure and success if you go about goal setting in the right way.
Here are the three golden rules. We will look at each of them in more detail.
1. Know thyself
2. You are your success benchmark
3. Keep the path and your goals flexible
This is perhaps the most important rule of the three golden rules. It is also the one rule which is neglected and misunderstood by many.
In order to be totally honest with yourself, you need to look inwards and you need to understand your true nature, also referred to as your authentic self. Both traits, honesty and the ability to look inwards are lacking in most people, simply because they have never been trained to systematically develop those traits.
In a society that focuses on the action, the importance of the inner path is neglected. Sure, you will be able to achieve your goals eventually, when you follow the western traditional action fixated way, but you are expending unnecessary energy and force to bulldoze your way to success. By the time you reach the finishing line you are exhausted and less likely to maintain your performance at a time when it is important that you keep high levels of motivation and enthusiasm.
The path to total self-honesty is via increased self-awareness. Strangely enough, when you learn to witness yourself you also develop the ability to go inside. The two go hand in glove. You can learn to develop those qualities and my workshops and retreats will help you do exactly that.
You are the benchmark against which you measure your progress
Life is not a competition, but an ocean of oneness in which each wave has to perform its nature given part. The same applies to your path as you walk towards your goal. You are an integral part of the whole and not a separate part that functions independently. If you view everyone around you as the competition you are creating a negative force field around you which hinders you rather than propelling you towards your goal.
The only way to measure achievement is against yourself. Compare where you were yesterday, last week, month or year and note how far you have come. This is the only reliable benchmark to work with. If you know your self intimately, you also know which adjustments you need to make.
Everyone is different, if you measure your progress against the performance of your boss who has been doing his job for the last 30 years, who may have had a very different education, different life experiences and different beliefs and value systems from you, your comparison will be inaccurate and based on a partial view of the picture. When you compare yourself to other people what you see of the other people is only ever the very tip of the personality iceberg, the complete persona is well hidden from view. The real structure is beyond the surface, you never get to see it.
You cannot know how another person’s internal reality is made up, no matter how much you admire their outward performance and appearance. Even if you know them well, there are countless hidden aspects to their personality which are beyond your grasp. Any comparison with other people creates a separation from you and your goal. It produces self-judgment and self-criticism. Both drive you away instead of driving you seamlessly towards your goal. because when you measure yourself against another person you are looking at an illusion of a fixed reality, which ultimately is pretty meaningless.
I could also say that everything that creates disharmony and thus increases the waves in the ocean of your being produces delays and setbacks on your journey to achieve your goals.
And finally, be flexible. The goal is not the endpoint
Add to that the fact that there are no beginnings or endings; these are just models that help us to live in our reality, you will see how any goal that is too specific or fixed limits your chances to achieve your optimum potential. I know that this is a very tough concept for many people to grasp. Also, maintain flexibility to allow opportunities along the way to come to you.
Be like the willow and learn to bend with the wind graciously, you will not only achieve your goals faster, you will have the energy to enjoy them and who knows what you might discover along the way…