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Goals

A year or so ago I read a book. It was a book on goal setting. Most of the books I’ve read on the subject, and the lectures I’ve attended, and the people I’ve talked to give up the nuts and bolts … go get a piece of paper, write down your goals, and tick them off as you accomplish them. Some even go so far as to say to fold up that piece of paper, put it in your pocket, carry it around with you, and refer to it often. Sage advice, but not very comprehensive.

This book, written by Brian Tracy, is comprehensive. This book digs deep into the whos, and whats, and whys, and hows of setting goals. The book is called, simply, Goals!, and is very good reading. Following are my chapter notes for the book, and I thought I’d share them with you.

1. Unlock Your Potential – Remember that your true potential is unlimited. Whatever you have accomplished in life up to now has only been a preparation for the amazing things you can accomplish in the future.

2. Take Charge of Your Life – You are completely responsible for everything you are today, for everything you think, say and do, and for everything you become from this moment forward. Refuse to make excuses or to blame others.

3. Create Your Own Future – Believe that you have no limitations on what you can do, be or have in the months and years ahead. Think about and plan your future as if you had all the resources you needed to create any life that you desire.

4. Clarify Your Values – Your innermost values and convictions define you as a person. Take the time to think through what you really believe in and care about in each area of your life. Refuse to deviate from what you feel is right for you.

 5. Determine Your True Goals – Decide for yourself what you really want to accomplish in every area of your life. Clarity is essential for happiness and high performance living.

6. Decide Upon Your Major Definite Purpose – You need a central purpose around which to build your life. There must be a single goal that will help you to achieve your other goals more than any other. Decide what it is for you and work on it all the time.

7. Analyze Your Beliefs – Your beliefs about your own abilities, and about the World around you, will have more of an impact on your feelings and actions than any other factor. Make sure that your beliefs are positive and consistent with achieving everything that is possible for you.

8. Start At The Beginning – Do a careful analysis of your starting point before you set off toward the achievement of your goal. Determine your exact situation today and be both honest and realistic about what you want to accomplish in the future.

9. Measure Your Progress – Set clear benchmarks, measures, metrics and scorecards for yourself on the road to your goals. These measures help you to assess how well you are doing and enable you to make necessary adjustments and corrections as you go along.

 10. Eliminate The Roadblocks – Success boils down to the ability to solve problems and remove obstacles on the path to your goal. Fortunately, problem solving is a skill you can master with practice, and thereby achieve your goals faster than you ever thought possible.

11. Become An Expert In Your Field – You have within you, right now, the ability to be one of the very best at what you do, to join the top 10% in your field. Set this as a goal, work on it every day, and never stop working at it until you get there.

12. Get Around The Right People – Your choices of people with whom to live, work and socialize will have more of an effect on your success than any other factor. Resolve today to associate only with people you like, respect and admire. Fly with the eagles if you want to be an eagle yourself.

13. Make a Plan Of Action – An ordinary person with a well thought-out plan will run circles around a genius without one. Your ability to plan and organize in advance will enable you to accomplish even the biggest and most complex goals.

14. Manage Your Time Well – Learn how to double and triple your productivity, performance and output by practicing practical and proven time management principles. Always set priorities before you begin, and then concentrate on the most valuable use of your time.

15. Review Your Goals Regularly – Take time every day, every week, every month to review and reevaluate your goals and objectives. Make sure that you are still on track and that you are still working toward things that are important to you. Be prepared to modify your goals and plans with new information.

16. Visualize Your Goals Continually – Direct the movies of your mind. Your imagination is your preview of your life’s coming attractions. Repeatedly “see” your goals as if they already existed. Your clear, exciting mental images activate all your mental powers and attract your goals into your life.

17. Activate Your Superconscious Mind – You have within you and around you an incredible power that will bring you everything and anything you want or need. Take the time regularly to tap into this amazing source of ideas and insights for goal attainment.

 18. Remain Flexible At All Times – Be clear about your goal but be flexible about the process of achieving it. Be constantly open to new, better, faster, cheaper ways to achieve the same result, and if something is not working, be willing to try a different approach.

19. Unlock Your Inborn Creativity – You have more creative ability to solve problems and come up with new and better ways for goal attainment than you have ever used. You are a potential genius. You can tap into your intelligence to overcome any obstacle and achieve any goal you can set for yourself.

20. Do Something Every Day – Use the “Momentum Principle of Success” by getting started toward your goal and then doing something every day that moves you closer to what you want to accomplish. Action orientation is essential to your success.

21. Persist Until You Succeed – In the final analysis, your ability to persist longer than anyone else is the one quality that will guarantee great success in life. Persistence is self-discipline in action, and is the true measure of your belief in yourself. Resolve in advance that you will never, never give up!

It is astonishing that most of us tend to plan trips to the grocery store more thoroughly than we plan our lives. Reverse that practice, and start living to your fullest Human potential. Remember, you are among the most spectacularly dynamic combinations of Time, Space, Matter, Energy, and Consciousness ever to grace the Cosmos. Be that way.

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You Are What You Think

You are what you think about most of the time.  Brian Tracy puts it this way, “You are what you think about most of the time.”  There is more to the story than acute awareness in your environment of those things associated with little black pickup trucks.  Your mind, and its imagination, has a powerful influence over your physiology.  Here is a tried, and true demonstration of this dynamic, if you would like to participate:

Close your eyes, and let your mind rest for just a second … then open them again so you can keep reading.  Imagine yourself going to your refrigerator, and opening the door.   On the top shelf of your refrigerator sits a fresh, yellow, lemon that’s been cooling in your refrigerator for several hours.  Reach into your refrigerator, and pick up the lemon with the tips of your fingers.  Feel the lemons density, and the texture of its rind.  The lemon is firm, but just a little spongy.  Its rind feels cool, and smooth, and  just a little bumpy.   Open your fingers slightly, and roll the lemon into the palm of your hand.  Look at the lemon in the palm of your hand; feel the shape and the weight of the lemon in the palm of your hand.  Take the lemon to your counter top, and set it on your cutting board.  Now, take a sharp knife, and cut the lemon in two.  Pick up one of the halves of the lemon, and draw it close to your face.  Smell the lemons fresh, strongly citrus scent.  Now, open your mouth, and take a bit out of the lemon.

Did you salivate quite a bit more than normal, particularly at the very end?  This, of course, is a dramatic response demonstration.  However, it is an outstanding indicator of how the human mind influences human physiology.  In this exercise your ego, or conscious mind, actually tricked your id, or subconscious mind, into producing an unwarranted physical response.  What about those things your ego says to your id which do not have such an immediate dramatic response, such as prosperity, happiness, health?  You are what you think about most of the time.  Be diligent of what, and how you think, act, say, or do.  Over the course of time, you will become these.

Brian Tracy presents this dynamic in easy to understand, easy to work with, cause and effect terms.  I know this dynamic to be true.  Here’s why.  I am 51 years old as I sit and write this entry.  I have spent my entire life getting to this moment in time.  Each and every thing I’ve done, every step I’ve taken, each and every move I’ve ever made has brought me to this moment, sitting in this chair, writing to you from this keyboard, whether I’m happy with my state of affairs or not.  My moments are mine, and mine alone to use wisely, or to squander.

While Mr. Tracy gives us an easy to follow format, the format is general, and is not comprehensive.  The Great Buddha, Prince  Siddhartha Gautama left us a tool set we can use to round out the task of taking charge, and assuming responsibility for ourselves and our outcomes in the guise of The Nobel Eightfold Path, the eight ways of doing:

The Nobel Eightfold Path

  • Correct Understanding
  • Correct Intention
  • Correct Speech
  • Correct Action
  • Correct Occupation
  • Correct Effort
  • Correct Awareness
  • Correct Concentration

Till next time, remember, you are what you think about most of the time.  So, think about things that are spectacular, because you are.