When I worked as an Engineer, I was very good at problem solving. I could identify the source of a problem and quickly find a solution to that problem. However, as I became more accomplished at this skill, I continued to find more and more problems to solve. I took great satisfaction in finding problems that needed to be solved, but I did not always make good progress toward my goals. But, I sure had a long list of reasons why my goals had not been accomplished and what I was going to do about it.
Now that I am in business for myself, I have chosen a different path. You see the problem with my old method of problem solving was like what one of my mentors said about creating idiot-proof devices. He said the problem he had with making an idiot-proof device was that they keep building better idiots.
In my problem-solving model, I kept finding more problems to be solved. I moved in a circle. Find a problem find a solution, find a new problem, find a new solution.
Now, I use the conscious creation model to achieve my goals. This process involves a more linear approach to achieving your goals. Let’s look into the steps of the conscious creation goal achievement process.
Establish a clear picture of the goal
All things in life are created twice, first in your mind then in materials. This fundamental principle of goal achievement has been discussed in every book on success and management.
Let me tell you a story told about my Grandfather Strawbridge. He was a trick shooter and often took people on hunting trips. He knew the value of aiming at a target.
He once took a man hunting that had a shaky arm. My granddaddy pointed out a squirrel in the tress and invited the man to shoot it. The man held up his gun and waved it around wildly before pulling the trigger. Bam! The squirrel fell dead on the ground. The fellow asked my Granddad what he thought of his shooting. My granddaddy just grumbled and said; “Well you should have hit it – you aimed all over the tree. "
Before you set out to achieve anything in life, take time to make sure you know what it is that you really want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. Know how do you want to feel when your goal is accomplished.
You must know where you want to go. Without a destination, any road will do. But to get where you want to be, you must first have a clear destination in mind.
Develop a passionate desire to reach the goal
Your goal must inspire a passion to succeed. No worthy goal is ever achieved without some effort, so you need the power of passion to push you through the rough spots.
If you feel passionate about achieving your goal, then no amount of resistance can stop you from achieving it.
Your doubts will always be your limiting factor. You will achieve whatever level of success that you believe that you can achieve.
Have the confidence that you will reach your goal
You must also have confidence or faith that you will reach your goal. You have to be able to clearly imagine how it will feel when your goal has been achieved. This goes back to having a clear image of your goal. In you have trouble forming a clear image of your goal, then you will lack the confidence to achieve it. You will also lack the passionate desire to push it in to reality.
You must have faith in both your own abilities and in god’s power to help you along.
Later I will give you a tool for helping build you faith and confidence to aid in achieving your goals.
Take inspired action
Taking inspired action is your way of showing God you are serious about your desires. While it is certainly possible to achieve your goals by sitting on the couch watching TV, it is far more likely that you will be blessed with quick results when you are taking inspired action.
Notice that I am using the term inspired action. If you are acting out of fear and desperation, then you might be better off sitting on the couch watching TV as you may be moving away form your goal rather than toward it.
Inspired action is taking an action that involves faith and a clear direction of how this action will aid your progress toward your goal.
Many goals you set will be too big to just straight tot heir manifestation in your life. You will have to break them down in to smaller steps. Accomplish each of the smaller steps on the path to attaining the overall goal.
Create a calendar of events
This one is controversial for me. Most tradition goals achievement guides recommend that you set a specific schedule for your self. They say a desire without a deadline is just a pipe dream and that a real goal must be time based.
However in my recent studies on process improvement and personnel development, I have found that removing time constraints can allow God’s power to work more effectively in your life.
I more prefer to use the phrase “in its own perfect time" when planning my goals.
Sometimes a deadline can be a motivating factor. For others it just adds unnecessary stress. I suggest you try both methods and see what way works best for you.
Be consistent in the pursuit of your goal
Consistency is key to achieving a goal. Most people fail at their goals because they give up just before they succeed.
There is a story of a man in South Africa that was walking through a field picking up stones looking for gems. He stopped in his tracks and declared to all those around him that he had enough. He was not picking up even one more stone. He claimed that he had kept count and that the next stone he picked up would be the ten thousandth stone. There was not point in continuing.
Finally at the urging of his partners in the field he finally stooped to pick up another stone. That stone turned out to be one of the largest single diamonds found in that part of the country.
Tomas Edison was once interviewed by a reported who asked him about his work to invent the light bulb. After Edison revealed that it had taken him at least 10,000 attempts to make a working bulb, the reporter asked if all those mistakes had made him feel like a failure. Edison replied with a question" I now know 9,999 ways not to make a light bulb, how many do you know?"
Control your emotions
The very best mechanism that you have for knowing that you are on track to achieve your goals is your emotional guidance system.
You can know if you are on track if you feel good about you progress. If you feel bad about your goal then you are off course.
In my class on making healthy choices, I taught about controlling you emotions. However, I have recently found a better method for achieving more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.
You have heard me say many times that what you think about expands. This is true whether you are thinking about what you want or if you are thinking about what you don’t want. You get more of what you think about.
In order to know if you are thinking about the right things, you don’t have to wait to see what is manifest in your life. You can use your emotional guidance system to see if you are on track before something happens. If a thought about your goal makes you feel good, then that is an effective thought. If a thought makes you feel bad, then it is an ineffective thought. The more effective your thinking, the quicker you will attain your goals.
Have the courage to act
Taking inspired action often involves some form of risk. You must be willing to trust your feelings and have faith in God so that you can take measured risks to achieve your goals.
Taking bold and courageous action is the fastest way to attain a goal. Taking bold action is a visible summary of the steps we have covered so far.
If you have a clear image of your goal in mind, if you have a passionate desire to achieve that goal, if you have faith in you ability to attain it, and you are consistently striving toward, it, taking bold action is the next logical step.
If you lack the courage to take bold action, then review the preceding steps to see where you are lacking.
Maintain a conscious dependence on God
Attaining any goal is a group effort. You have a part and God has a part.
You must divide the workload between the two of you to create the effective working arrangement that is need to attain your goal.
Knowing which task need to be done by you and which tasks are best left to God is easy to determine. Just trust your feelings.
Do the things that you want to do and the things that you know you can do well. Take inspired action. Leave the rest up to God. We will do an exercise in a moment hat will help you divide up the duties.
Let’s take an example:
Who has a goal in mind?
We can use mine if you like.
In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the benefit of all, I intend $1,000,000 to come in to my life" who else wants to have a million dollars? “And into the lives of others who hold this intention. "
Lets us form a clear image of what having a million dollars would be like. Where would you live? What would you drive? Most importantly how would you feel? I would feel secure and powerful and free.
Next, we must check to see what our level of passion is about this goal. How do you feel about others who have lots of money? Are you jealous? Do you think they must have done something illegal or immoral to get it? Do you think rich people are somehow less spiritual than poor people? If so, then you can’t feel passionate about your goal to achieve it. You have to be happy for others who have already achieved this goal and seek to learn from them.
You must now check to see what your confidence level is on achieving your goal. Are you willing to burn bridges to get there? Andrew Carnegie who created the Carnegie Steel empire said that a wise man puts all his eggs in one basket and then watches the basket.
Take inspired action. Read a book, take a course, do some research. Just get started in some way toward your goal. One very effective way to get started toward a goal is to create a wish collage. Collect and cut out pictures that represent your goal and put them on a poster that you keep in front of you. I have mine on the bulletin board beside my bed so that it is the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night.
Be consistent. Guard your thoughts so that you are constantly thinking about your goal and it achievement. Don’t change goals unless you have a really good reason. Think only about achieving the goal and not the lack of it.
Use your emotional guidance system to make sure you are staying consistent in your thoughts.
Take bold action.
Depend of God.
Let’s divide up the duties. On a large sheet of paper make two columns. Make the one on the left slightly smaller that the one of the right.
At the top of the left column write, “my jobs" at the top of the column on the right, write, God’s Jobs.
Let’s take some examples of job duties.
I can register a domain name. God can inspire me to know what name would be most effective and make sure the registration process goes smoothly.
I can start an advertising campaign. God can inspire me to write an effective ad, and provide me with customers who are interested in what I have to sell.
I can be open to the possibility of joint venture and research potential partners. God can provide the chance meetings and special circumstances to make the joint venture possible.
If you use a day planner, take a look at your “to do" list. Is it longer than you can possibly accomplish in one day? Then move some of it in to God’s column.
Put the stuff that you want to do and that you know you have the skills to do in your column. Put the stuff that you would rather not do or the stuff you don’t know how to do in God’s column. Then just drop it. Have faith that God will do his part.
Achieving goals thorough the conscience creation model is a simple and stepwise process. The old model of identifying problems and seeking solutions tends to lead to goals in a circular route. Conscience creation through faith in God takes a more direct path.
Mike Strawbridge has set up a whole web site up to help people achieve their personal and business goals. Check it out at http://www.mikestrawbridge.com
He is also available for personal coaching if you would like help using the conscience creation model for achieving you goals.
This article was originally presented by Mike in the Adult 4 Sunday School class of North Cleveland Baptist Church, Cleveland, TN