Begin With The End In Mind

11 December 2009, by A. Cedilla

In this companion piece to Work Your Way Back, we’ll start off and leave you with three questions to help you in your planning your best year ever.

  • Why do you want your goals? – This question flips your goals over to find out the motivation underneath.
  • Do you really know what you want? – This question focuses your mental spotlight on the images that represent your goals.
  • What are the needs that your goals fulfill? – This asks you to honesty face what’s behind your motives.

Why do you want your goals?
I guess it would be safe to say that somewhere at the back of your mind, there’s probably a running To-Do list of sorts…and a mental wish-list. Admit it. I have a wish-list, you have one too, everyone ever exposed to advertising has one.

Have you ever thought about why you want what you want? Sometimes we tend to fixate on an obvious goal without realizing it’s a smokescreen for something else, and while motivation can keep you going, clarity keeps you aware of where you’re going and keeps you on track.

It’s like choosing a meal when you’re trying to lose weight. A high-calorie meal will fill your stomach like a lower-calorie meal, but only one option fits with your end goal.

Do you really know what you want? Play around with your most recent afternoon, hazy wishful daydreams. Write them down. Don’t be shy, or embarrassed. It’s for your eyes only.

  • 10 Million dollars.
  • A luxury mansion by the bay.
  • A really fast car. Like, really fast
  • A job. With health insurance. And a really good dental plan.

These are things. What are the needs they fulfill?

Break the images down:

  • Having 10 million dollars means never having to worry about money again, ever . – I can be free to live my life the way I want. In essence, wanting, dreaming and wishing for 10 million dollars is the overlying image that satisfies my wish for freedom, and not just from financial worries.
  • A luxury mansion by the bay can just be a place where I don’t have to pick up after myself, or make sure everything’s taken care of, and where I can enjoy some peace and quiet. And a view of the ocean. Sunset. Mmm, sunset. – Peace. No worries. Time for solitude. And sunsets. Mmm, sunsets.
  • A really fast car. Like, really fast – Sometimes I just want to get away from all this. Fast. And I need thrills in my ho-hum life.
  • A job. With insurance. And a dental plan – Security. A way to keep a roof over my head, feed myself and my family, and pay the bills. And keep my teeth.

So, instead of obsessing over the really fast car (like, really fast) parked in the garage of the luxury mansion by the bay, and sitting pretty with money in the bank and a dental plan that comes with the health insurance….focusing on identifying the actual needs that lies behind the fantasy can give me clues as to what need I need to address, and I can then turn my attention on more accessible, immediate ways of fulfilling those needs, other than wait to hit the jackpot in the Mega-Lotto. Scheduling time off so I can watch sunsets by the bay, for example.

Do you know why you what you want? We often drive ourselves crazy chasing dreams only to feel let down after we’ve managed to attain them. We mistake the goal as the end, when it’s an end in itself, a vehicle for what comes after it’s achieved.

Find your end points, understand what they fill in you, and you’re well on your way to fulfilling your needs and making heart-felt goals for your life.

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