Traditional goal setting does not work as effectively as most ‘experts’ would have you believe.
This is because there is one factor, one key, a missing link, which, without it, you'd simply have no motivation to go about doing the things you are supposed to do to bring about the achievement of your goal.
And that is the big picture. Now, this is in my own words, what I've learnt from that audio interview I listened to a few days ago.
What do I mean by the big picture?
The big picture is like a vision. It's an obsession. A passion. A dream. A big, grand, bold dream that you have for your life.
In other words, it is a purpose. A life purpose.
I know these may all sound like big words to you, but the point here is for you to have an ultimate purpose for all your goals in life. What most people have are goals for material objects or for career advancements or monetary gains.
Most people, and I didn't say all, merely stop at these ‘bite-sized pieces', these small goals when it comes to goal setting. They don't continue on to think about why they set these goals and for what even bigger purpose do they set these goals.
Ask yourselves - why do I want this new Mercedes? Why do I want this big mansion? Why do I want to earn an extra $100,000 a year? Why do I want to have so and so person as my spouse? Why?
Keep asking why. And again, most people would realise that it comes down to a feeling or sense of fulfilment, happiness, of being loved, of being secure and safe, or of being free. Some people would just say, “I just want these things".
Well, all that may sound good and fine but do you truly think that once you get that Mercedes or that big mansion or the extra $100,000 a year or that person as your spouse, you'd be truly happy, fulfilled, free, secure and alive?
Try and look back at one past goal which you have achieved. Take a look at one milestone which you've already gone through. Do you find yourself something saying something like, “And now what"?
Most of us do. That's because we don't have that biggest, ultimate, most grand purpose for our lives. The reason why we are born. Some people call it destiny, or phrase it as “God's place for you in the world". Whatever it is, don't think of it as something beyond your power.
This thing called purpose or the big picture is a thing that is both within your power to choose and also outside your power to choose. It is the sum total of all your life choices from the day you were born up to this very day.
The proof that it is within your power to choose is the fact that you'd been making all the choices and decisions in your life all this while, asking for this and that, regardless of whether or not you get what you asked for, to build up an image, a vision or The Big Picture of your life, which is your ultimate life purpose - that reason you were born and the thing that you must fulfill in your life before you die.
Whereas the proof that it is also beyond your power to choose is the fact that you already have made all those choices before in your past and there is little or nothing you can do to alter those choices you've made in the past. There are some decisions we made which we can undo, but not without a significant amount of trouble, and there are many decisions we simply cannot undo.
This is the irony of human life and why it is beautiful to be human.
But if you are sitting right there where you are, reading this post, you still have hope. You do still have a chance. Create for yourself a grand vision of your life - why you are here on this earth. Conceive big, bold dreams.
Imagine you are a historian or a scholar studying the history of your life. What would you like to be remembered for? What would you like to be famous for? What would you like to be associated with whenever your name is mentioned?
Write an essay about yourself, as if you were a historian in the future, looking back into your life. Include all the glorious things you have achieved, and even the flaws, the mistakes and huge failures you've made. But also include how you've transcended these flaws, mistakes and failures. Write about the difference you've made to the world, no matter how small (or big) it is.
Have you left behind a wonderful family? Have you left behind a legacy? Have you left behind a successful business? Or simply a happy memory in the mind of a person you've helped in a small or big way?
Now, after you've done this exercise, you may proceed with your traditional goal setting methods. Create sub-goals out of this big goal of your life. Create the secondary goals to this primary goal. Set the milestone goals that would define your ultimate life purpose.
What this does to you is create a certain insurance or feeling of security, because, although you may fail to achieve your small goals (no matter how bold they seem to be), you're still on track because you have not lost sight of your ultimate life goal.
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