The Hidden Benefit of Goals
Recently I came across a wonderful piece by Mark Susnow on Goals, here it is:
THE HIDDEN BENEFITS OF GOALSThe future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination... -John SchaarWe keep evolving; our work is never done.We think about the inner qualities that we need to work on so that we can become the person we want to be. We think about what we can do to make a difference in the world. We think about what we want to accomplish. We all have goals in one form or the other. Goals give us a focus and direction. In the early years, getting into law school was a goal, so was becoming an accomplished musician. Meeting my life partner and having a family was another. And there were the many ﬁnancial goals, some of which I’ve achieved and some I haven’t. There have been several studies that have documented that working with goals substantially increases your likelihood of success. The research also documents that writing these goals down increases the likelihood of success even more. What the studies haven’t demonstrated as of yet are the hidden benefits of having goals. Let’s explore this concept. Once you achieve your goal you’ll feel good for a while. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s human nature that once you achieve your goal, you’ll set another one. We’re always going to look for new rivers to explore. There is no question that working with goals is a powerful tool in transforming your life. Yet many people have an aversion to working with them or choose modest ones so they won’t be disappointed. Reaching your goal is not as important as who you become in the process. Goals are not an end-all but a beginning. They create a focus so that in the process you become more than who you are now. Every aspect of your life is affected positively. In the process you build a foundation for a life path that is unique to you. Let me give you a few examples. My nephew Tyler’s goal, a personal trainer while in college, was to become the top producer at the gym. Although he didn’t quite reach his sales goal, what he gained has been much more important. In the process Tyler had to improve upon his communication skills and to have a better understanding of what motivates people. Most of these people were much older than he was and had already achieved a high level of success in their lives. In the process of trying to achieve his goal, he became an expanded person, which has beneﬁted him in every aspect of his life. Let me tell you about Carl. In his mid fifties, overweight and out of shape, his self-esteem was low. Quite often he had the feeling that life had passed him by. Then one day he took up running. It actually began with brisk walking. After training on a regular basis, he completed a 10K race. That was the turning point. Did it matter where he placed? What was more important was who he became in the process. Recently he completed a half marathon. Now Carl is in great shape and his self confidence is sky high. In the process of training he gave up smoking which had been a life-long habitat. Carl is excited about life again and his business is better than ever. If your goal is to have a great relationship, you have to become a more evolved person. If your goal is to become a successful entrepreneur, you need to ﬁrst become more adventurous, more positive and more resourceful. I am sure that Tyler’s experience at the health club will benefit him in future endeavors. No matter what it is you desire, working with goals brings you closer to becoming the person you want to be and living the life you want to live. Even so, most of us experience a certain level of resistance. No matter how much we want to do something or how much we believe it would be good for us to do, there is another other voice that is giving us a different message. Overcoming our resistance is the gateway to living a fulfilling life. A few years ago, during a workout which I resisted doing, I noticed a quote at the gym that spoke to me and I think will speak to you and help you overcome the resistance in your life. As you read excerpts from this quote think of the “Workout” as a metaphor for life. The form of the workout doesn’t really matter. WHAT IS A WORKOUT? A workout is one part physical exertion and three parts self discipline. A workout makes you better today than you were yesterday. It strengthens the body, relaxes the mind and toughens the spirit. It prepares you to meet life’s challenges. A workout is a key that helps unlock the door to opportunity and success. Hidden within each of us is an extraordinary force. Physical and mental ﬁtness are the triggers that can release it. A workout is a form of rebirth. When you ﬁnish a workout, you do not simply feel better, you feel better about yourself. Whatever it is you want to do or accomplish take that first step and begin the “workout” that is unique to you. As the famous author and philosopher Mark Twain re- minds us: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do,than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Dream…Explore…Discover.” So what is your goal? What is your “big dream”? Remember our dreams were just ideas at one time. Those of us who feel fulﬁlled and successful have taken the necessary steps to begin actualizing the dreams we have envisioned. You know I love to hear from you. Let me know what’s happening in your life. Please feel free to forward this letter to those in your circle. JOURNEY ON MARK Mark Susnow has had a unique and varied career involving multiple transitions. A former trial attorney for 30 years, Mark has been covered by The New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Boston Globe and The San Francisco Chronicle. In 2000 inspired by the new millennium, Mark sought a new career and trained to become a life coach. Since then Mark has worked with over 1000 people helping them find joy and meaning in their life regardless of their circumstances. He is a contributing author along with Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and Denis Waitley in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book,Dancing on the River: Navigating Life’s Changes is now available. In addition to his work in the business world, Mark is an accomplished musician who has played saxophone, clarinet and flute in clubs throughout the Bay Area and Hawaii. To find out more about Mark and his services, be sure to visit his website:www.inspirepossibility.com © Copyright 2011 Mark Susnow. All Rights Reserved.
What Mark is talking about is a state of mind, a willingness to go beyond the comfort zone that enables one to grow. Comfort is wonderful and necessary, and so is growth. There must be a balance. Too much comfort and we shrivel up and become stagnant. Too much pushing and we burn out, become stressed, can’t sleep and blow fuses. Learning how to tune in to that inner voice that knows what the next step is, naturally, easily is the key. It is true that one can easily challenge oneself, and effortlessly go beyond the comfort zone. Athletes call this the zone. This is the power of the unconscious mind. Learn how to tap into that power and the world is your oyster, (or kale salad).