All this talk of positive affirmations (PA’s) got me thinking about the critical and close connections between PA’s and goal setting. Is there a serious connection between the two?? Absolutely!
PA’s really are the basics of goal setting. A goal is obviously something you’ve thought about and decided it’s important enough to act on. If you’re smart you will have written it down. If you’re really smart you will have also put a deadline on it. By doing this you’ve feed a message to your mind and reinforced it by making a visual note on paper and, yes, your subconscious, which has just been sitting there waiting for directions, is now being told what to do and what to believe.
So no matter what the goal is that you’ve stored in your mind and put on paper, the ever vigilant and very smart subconscious says “Ok … that’s what you want to do so we’ll do it!” Remember it doesn’t matter whether it’s positive or negative –your subconscious doesn’t care. It will get to work on it as soon as you plant the seed and keep working on it even while you sleep or think about something else. That sneaky inner brain obeys and thinks “I’ll keep at this until you call me off or change your mind and goals.”
Of course, if you feed it negative stuff or if you don’t keep practicing positive PA’s the subconscious (SubCon) will be just as content to let the negative PA’s dominate — remember it just doesn’t care–it’s job is to do what you tell it to do without question. That is pretty powerful stuff.
With age, and the experience of achieving great success, it has become glaringly clear that wealth, power, status, fame, possessions, etc. do not, by themselves, add anything significant to the actual quality of our lives. Yes, I find having wealth is nice and allows me to do many wonderful things such as travel (like I am right now!), and I do thoroughly enjoy many of my physical possessions like my new house and all the bits and pieces my wife has brought in to make it a home, but these things are not how I measure how well I live.
Most of what makes a life worth living is not to be bought or collected but can be found in the experiences you have, what you give to others, what you accept, and how you choose to look at the world. It’s those many small steps that make up the journey that determine the true importance of the destination, not the destination itself.
If your ‘destination’ is great wealth, gaining that wealth will only be important if you’ve lived well, struggled often, and celebrated your small successes along the way. This is why lottery winners almost always end up unhappy. There was no journey, no sense of success and no memories that made up the path to their wealth. The money just became a condition of their life, not something that engaged their sense of personal acheivement.
This idea brings together much of what I’ve been talking about these past few weeks. Live in the moment, because these moments are what your life is truly made of. Choose to be happy or your life will be made of many disappointing moments and thus your life will be disappointing. And don’t forget to look for joy in the wonderful act of giving to others, acts that will infuse your life with the kind of treasure that you could never buy or fabricate.
Go ahead and go for the wealth and the status and whatever else you dream of. Just remember to live a quality life along the way, and keep up your passion for living, not just for the future life you’re after.
You might have already noticed that no matter how well you map out the steps you need to take to reach your goals or how intent you are on hitting every deadline you set for yourself, you don’t always manage it. Sometimes unexpected circumstances arise and other people need your time, attention, and support. It’s important that you make the needs of your family and friends one of your priorities-—helping them and others is a big part of living a fulfilling, passionate life–but you must never forget to take care of yourself as well.
I know this can often be very difficult and some days you just want to throw your hands up in surrender. Well don’t. No matter what is happening you really can help the people you care for, keep making progress on your own goals, and keep sane all at the same time. The way to do this is to use that “L” factor I talk about in Chapter 8 of my book, How to Ignite Your Passion for Living–list making.
Lists are the ideal life line for when things get hectic so be sure you make a list of what you want to get done for yourself and others every day. Then when the proverbial wrench gets thrown into your plans get the issue resolved or the interruption wrapped up as soon as possible and return to your list. Don’t worry if it takes hours to get back on track or even the next day. The important thing is to keep the list as the guideline for your day so you don’t get sidetracked or lost in the chaos.
You will also find that if you complete the items according to their priority for that day that even if you are interrupted, the most important things still get done. Anything left undone should be transferred to the next day’s list and made a priority for that day. If one or two of your top priorities are steps toward accomplishing your goals, you are certain to make the progress you need to keep up your enthusiasm and eventually accomplish what you are after. Because, in the end, it’s not how quickly you reach your goal but that you have something to strive for that fuels your passion and creates a life worth celebrating.