Reaching for the Stars – Enlightened Goal Setting (Part 2)

“The important thing is to strive towards a goal which is not immediately visible. That goal is not the concern of the mind, but of the spirit.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The ancient science of Numerology, which originated in Babylon and Egypt, was also studied thousands of years ago in China, India, Rome, Japan and Greece. It was in ancient Greece where a certain Greek Philosopher and Mathematician, Pythagoras, felt that the entire universe could be expressed through numbers, and his theories expanded Numerology (so that he became known as the father of Numerology).

Infinity_by_TheUnlikedOne_1600x1000In modern Numerology 2015 is an 8 Universal Year, (calculated by adding the digits of the year together).  The number 8 is said to represent infinite abundance, which of course could affect many different areas of our lives.

Let’s hope we can all harness this cosmic power moving forward…

Having done some soul searching, decide your definite major purpose.

There are nine advantages to this:

  1. You start to notice resources and develop the possible qualities needed to achieve your purpose.
  2. Specialise – attract the knowledge you need. This gives you focus.
  3. Budget your time and money. You don’t waste precious resources.
  4. It alerts you to possibilities you may have missed before, when your radar is honed.
  5. You make quicker decisions.
  6. You attract help. When you’re on a mission people will want to help you.
  7. Experience of the 12 great riches mentioned in part 1.
  8. Develop faith. Not so much in the religious sense, but in yourself.
  9. Develop success consciousness.

It is recommended to make goal statements. These should be positive, specific and with a deadline. Ideally they should fall under the categories of what, why and how. They should also be influence-able, i.e. under your control.  Decide the price you’ll pay, know how you are going to do it, and what you’ll learn and do. Read it several times a day, and memorise it.

Outcome Acting & Thinking:

Brian Tracy goal-quotes2Model yourself on other people who have done what you want to do. Study not just what they did, but if possible what they believed and their values. What were they focusing on? If you can meet such people, many successful people are prepared to help those with a dream. You can also learn a lot from books and people online.  To some extent you will go through trial and error to gain wisdom.

Working backwards is helpful. First you look at the big picture, and like a puzzle gather and fit together the pieces you need to achieve to reach your goal. It’s common sense to break it down into doable steps.

Remember to ask the magic question if you hit a brick wall:

“How can I____________________?”

Fill in the blank with whatever it is you need to know. It’s amazing how the answer will come to you. It could be in the form of meeting someone influential or knowledgeable in the area you’re interested in. You might see an article, hear a radio interview, read a book etc. Somehow, the universe will answer you.

It’s worth noting that without awareness thoughts and events happen on auto-pilot, according to our early programming.

Thinking:

  • Align your beliefs with your goals for the year. Watch out for your un-resourceful or self-sabotaging beliefs.
  • Values provide a source of motivation.
  • Filters allow us to let in the information that you need to reach your goal.
  • Create the big picture and then chunk it down into manageable steps and actions, so that you don’t lose heart or become overwhelmed.
  • Look at your method of making good and fast decisions.
  • You might find it useful to be aware of your psychological preferences. Are you extroverted or introverted? Sensing or intuitive? Thinking or feeling? Judging or perceiving? Why not take the Myers Briggs Test based on Jung’s writings in his book Psychological Types.
  • Understand your internal representations and how they steer your actions.

MyersBriggsTypes

We are all bound to hit some rocks on the road to success. Maybe even a mountain or two. There’s no avoiding it. I’ve found it helpful at such times to remind myself of Napoleon Hill’s statement that every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. It’s okay to feel temporarily discouraged or bad about it, but the most important thing to do is to evaluate the adversity and list its advantages.

Germinate the seed…

Shakespeare so often has the right words and wisdom for every occasion:

There is a tide in the affairs of men,

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries. ~ Julius Caesar 4.3.217-20, Brutus to Cassius

If we go the extra mile we will gain more satisfaction, make ourselves indispensable, increase our personal initiative, develop self-reliance and courage, integrity and eliminate procrastination. The qualities of all successful people.

Good luck! By that I mean: Labouring Under Correct Knowledge

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Reaching for the Stars – Enlightened Goal Setting (Part 1)

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” ~ Napoleon Hill

It’s a new year, and we’re naturally focused on what we might do differently or better than last year. Those well-meaning new year resolutions to exercise more, give up smoking, and all manner of ‘should dos’ get attention for maybe a couple of months before they fall by the wayside; even if we’re super determined. Life has a way of testing us to the limit!

To me, the term ‘resolutions’ sets us up for failure before we’ve even begun. It sounds too much like iron clad will-power is required. There’s no fun or adventure and excitement in it. It sort of implies that we’ll need to be as serious as the United Nations are when they publish a Security Council statement of will.

Some lofty intention that we don’t really believe is attainable, eating away at our motivation for sustained action. We certainly do need intention and resolve to achieve our goals and dreams, but that alone won’t propel us to the heights of achievement.

patanjali

In this and the next post I hope to break down the components of how to turn a few ideas on your 2015 resolutions list into a way of life: a step by step approach to create habits so ingrained that it wouldn’t occur to you not to behave in a way that takes you closer to your desired outcomes; so that when 2016 rolls around you can knock back the champagne knowing you did everything in your power to live the life of your dreams.

Every year is a stepping stone toward manifesting the full potential of your life.

It’s an ambitious task I know, but I wanted my first post of 2015 to be as meaningful as possible…

Perhaps we should start with questions.

Why create something?

For some it’s the joy of creating, but at the end of the day, we all need to survive. We all want stuff. That’s okay. For others, the challenge is the key. If you set yourself a challenge that’s just far enough away to motivate and stretch you, just a little more than you thought you could do, but not so far away that it’s frustrating and seemingly impossible, who knows what your life could look like in the process of striving for that goal.  The point is it has to be important and meaningful to you.

The dictionary definition of success is:  the favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

Napoleon Hill studied the most successful people in America over a period of twenty years, and at the suggestion of billionaire businessman Andrew Carnegie, he distilled this collective knowledge in his 1937 best-selling book: Think and Grow Rich.

In it, he lists the 12 Great Riches of Life:

  1. PMA – Positive Mental Attitude
  2. Sound physical health
  3. Harmony in human relationships
  4. Freedom from fear
  5. Hope of achievement, e.g. setting yourself challenges, which gives you a zest for life
  6. Capacity for faith
  7. Sharing your blessings with others
  8. Having a labour of love
  9. Have an open mind on all subjects
  10. Self-discipline
  11. Understand people
  12. Financial security

Napoleon Hill’s words of wisdom from the great man himself:

Do you know what you want?

Some of us have been told as children that we shouldn’t want anything, and in other cases these decisions were made for us. Some of us may have decided that what we want is not possible anyway. Just deciding this one thing could be the most important step you ever take.

It’s important to have that key ingredient of awareness, and ask: what are my beliefs around what I want? Beliefs are self-fulfilling prophecies that can either help us or hinder us in our quest.

The next thing to decide is the price. What are you willing to do, or to give of yourself to achieve your goals? The price must be paid in full (even though it’s January there’s no discounting allowed, sorry!)

Six Step Formula:

  1. Know where you are – this is taking stock of your situation. What do I know or not know? What resources are available to me?
  2. Know where you want to be, and be very specific.
  3. Take action. Doing something will lead to learning and to further actions. You may not know every action you should take, but an elephant isn’t eaten whole (if you excuse the example), just act the best way you can.
  4. Evaluate the action. What worked? How can I tweak it?
  5. Refine the action. Continue to act, evaluate and you will attract the people and situations that will help you.

I must away…until part 2.

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. ~ Napoleon Hill

How Purpose and Passion can Transform Life from the Mediocre to the Meaningful

“What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful. ~ Dalai Lama

Ivan Aivazovsky -maritime artDo you truly know what floats your boat? John F. Kennedy wisely stated that a rising tide lifts all boats. Forget that he was talking about the economy. I’m talking about the sea of life, the ocean of experience. Is your mast set to wind? Is your course charted? Or is your vessel rudderless? It won’t all be plain sailing, but you’ll have many adventures navigating from port to port. Before you know it you will have circumnavigated the globe. Okay, okay, enough of the nautical lingo…

Are you aligned with your purpose in life? We can look at many examples of extraordinary people who changed the world by simply following their dream. Individuals who stayed the course, no matter the obstacles they faced.

What will keep you going regardless of success or failure? Inner peace and happiness comes from being true to your vision and values. To inspire your fellow human beings and be the tide that raises other ships, your purpose has to be something other than the quest for money, endless consumerism or a new pair of shoes. I might regret saying that last part!

It has to be a deeply felt cause that is bigger than us as individuals. Without that inner resolve there is no motivation to get out of bed in the morning.

VF quote on happinessDuring my life I’ve done jobs I absolutely hated. Luckily, they were only for relatively brief spells. I found myself wishing away my life, desperate to get to the weekend. I could really relate to philosopher Henry David Thoreau’s words, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” How soul destroying it is to feel that your existence counts for nothing, that you do not matter. Do you know what you were put on this earth to do? Fortunate are those who have shaken free from the clutches of apathy, and are expressing their talents and passion in the world.

Viktor Frankl experienced more trauma in his life than most of us could ever imagine, or would ever face, and yet he went on to write a moving and inspiring lesson for us all, in his ground breaking 1946 book: Man’s Search for Meaning.

For me, when I look at the achievements of people past and present, such as Viktor Frankl, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Beryl Markham, Emily Pankhurst, Florence Nightingale, Madam Curie, Helen Keller, Joan of Arc, Ludwig van Beethoven, Daniel Barenboim, William Shakespeare, Mother Theresa, Walt Disney and many more than I could possibly mention, whose lives were, and are challenging, but through being true to their purpose left their legacy in the annals of time. We ordinary mortals can achieve our success according to our own values and dreams.

You don’t have to be famous to make a difference. You don’t have to have a world changing vision. You just have to know who you are, where you’re going and have a plan to get there. Sounds simple right?

Five pointers to help you find your passion and purpose:

  1. Pay attention to how you spend your time. Chances are, if you do something a lot it means something to you. Awareness creates choice.
  2. What knowledge can you share? What activities are you good at and enjoy, that you could make a living from or help others master?
  3. Write a list of your values, brain storm, then make a short list of your top 10 values and see where they fit into your life. What causes are close to your heart? How can you get more involved?
  4. Delve into your beliefs. What beliefs do you hold around money, work, success, health, and relationships? Be honest with yourself, and label each one as being either resourceful to you or a hindrance to you. How many of them are long buried self-sabotaging beliefs creating negative self-talk? Beliefs are powerful, and we always find ways to prove them, whether they are ‘true’ or not. It makes sense to have well-adjusted healthy beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. It’s time to shake off years of indoctrination and remove the glass ceiling.
  5. What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail? I know it’s a provocative question, but as Einstein stated, “Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.” He also said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Viktor-Frankl-quote1

There are really only four things that we have complete control over in our lives. How we feel, how we behave, the people and situations we attract to ourselves, and the meanings we assign to all of the above, our internal representations of our lives.

What Makes Life Meaningful: Michael Steger at TEDxCSU:

A recent Stanford research project explored the key differences between lives of happiness and meaningfulness. The meaningful life is a road worth traveling.

Feeling happy doesn’t mean our lives are easy, or perfect. We often feel sadness and joy along our journey, indeed, a whole range of emotions, that’s just the nature of life. But true purpose keeps us on course, gives us that inner peace that we are contributing to the world in our own unique way. Each of us has the ability to touch lives that no-one else can. Every day you are happy is a gift to the world. So in order to be altruistic you also need to be selfish. Indulge in what you love, and give it away…

PhotoFunia-time and tideWe all have the same time given to us. There are 86,400 seconds in a day, 31,536,000 in a year, and just over 2.2 billion seconds in a seventy year lifespan. None of us knows when our personal clock will stop ticking. Time is precious.

How will you spend yours?