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Is it Your Dream? Tao of Goal Setting


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We live in an era of dreams. Not only are we urged to dream, it seems that we'll have to dream big.

"Set the target to achieve your first million! Pin the picture of your dream home up. Admire it every morning and imagine that you've already owned it, " says the typical motivator.

It is important to dream. Dreams motivate success.

I am what I am, partly because of my dreams.

It is, however, equally important to pursue a dream that is truly yours. When setting your sight on what you want to do in the future, ask yourself: Is the dream really yours? Or has it been imposed on you by others or circumstances.

Do you strive for the first million because it is what your heart directs you to, or it is what seems to be the ‘right’ way to dream? How do you define your dream home? Is it defined by its size and swimming pool, or by the love and warm it permeates?

"When people see things as beautiful, ugliness is created. When people see things as good, evil is created, " says Lao Tzu, the sage of Tao, in Tao Te Ching.

In the definition of Tao, nothing is absolute.

A dream can be a dream. The same dream can also be a nightmare.

A pursuit of dreams can be arduous. Not only could it be time and energy consuming, it requires commitment and could be at the expense of your other ambitions. On the other hand, it may take your loved ones away from you, or delay a relationship you want to develop.

In a nutshell, quest for dreams involves sacrifices, and the stakes can be high. Imaging how miserable it can be if you have braved the rough seas to reach the dream island, only to realize that it is a wrong place to be in - and there is no turning back!

When this happens, a dream turns into a nightmare!

The way to avoid landing on the wrong dreamland is to be truthful now, not later. Reflect on what you really want. Let yourself go, and allow your inner self to tell you what exactly you want. Not what others want!

It takes courage to examine the truthfulness of dreams. This is especially when, instead of dreaming big like others, you choose dream simple.

Simple, nevertheless, can be big. The Indian Independence leader Mahatma Gandhi led a simple life. But he was by no means small.

"Long and short define each other. High and low oppose each other. Fore and aft follow each other, " says Lao Tzu. There is no one standard in life. There is no one standard in defining dreams. If there must be a standard, it must be yours, not others’. You need the courage to recognize your standards, which may not be the same as your neighbors’.

This is because ultimately you are the one who has to trek the journey, pay the price, and get the rewards - or penalization - if any. Not your neighbors!

In fact, your heart knows your standards, if you allow it to speak.

In any case, if you must pursue a dream, it must be truthfully yours!

Tekson Teo, BSc (Econ), MBA, DIC, London; is a writer and speaker specializes in Tao and self growth. He makes Tao easy to understand and use for achieving clear mind, effectiveness, leadership and health. He is well versed in Chinese and reads the original Tao literature including Lao Tzu and I Ching. URL:


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