Saturday, July 12, 2008


Decision Making and Goal Setting: Think Big by Joy Cagil

When I was seven years old, someone from my family asked me whatmy goal in life was. I felt the answer was easy, so I listed ahorde of vocations including becoming the first woman wrestler."A vocation or the area you want to work in is not what I amtalking about," my relative said. "I am asking why you want todo what you want to do. It helps when we look for the reasons underneath our desires." Many years later, I realized that thisrelative was teaching me the true meaning of goal setting.

To this day, I ask the same question to young people I come incontact with and those whom I am in a position to influence. Itis surprising how many do not know the answer. They do not know because most of us live by chance, accepting or complaining about what the events push on our path, rather than living by intelligent choice.

To know what you want in life and why you want it leads to success. In all cases, the answer to the question "why" is moreimportant than the answer to the question "what." Once a personunderstands the "why" of what he wants, the next step of settingit as a goal is easy. Sometimes, when we find out the underlyingreason why we want something, we may also find out that ourreason is an artificial one. Then, we know this is the time toquit instead of working at something that would make usmiserable at the end.

We all make a faulty decision at one time or another, but if westop and think about our reasons, we can make corrections or letgo the project altogether. For example: as an initial emotion, Ifelt true pride when one of my sons, during the time he was inthe tenth grade, announced that he had decided to enter the USarmy after talking to a recruiting officer in school. Then, hecontinued excitedly, telling us he would be getting free collegeeducation. At that point, I asked him his real reasons. He couldnot answer. I told him, his father and I were in a position toprovide him with a decent college education; however, if hewanted to be in the army because--above and foremost--he wantedto serve his country and that he would do anything and face anyhardship to give the best service he could possibly give, then Iwould back him up one thousand percent and I would be very proudof his decision. Our son told us that the recruiting officer hadnot even mentioned the importance of service, but had focused upon the benefits the kids would be getting from the army. At that moment, I felt that this approach of recruitment was aninadequate one. Our children are honorable and intelligentenough to want to serve for the right reasons, whereas artificial motives can lead them and the army into failure.

There has to be deeper, more meaningful purposes for ourdecisions. When a teacher chooses teaching, he does not--mustnot--choose it because of the long summer vacation, but for thejoy of teaching and shaping young minds for a better world. A physician should not become a physician because he will beconsidered the cream of the crop and he will make more money than fifty percent of the population. This truth-seeking goesfor all professions, avocations, the mates and friends wechoose, and whatever options we face in life.

After knowing the deeper reason behind our goals, the stepsleading to achievement become much easier. Our potential turnsinto being our process and it prepares our goal for fruition bysetting time limits for each step, afterwards leading us toaction upon our decisions, to vigilance for opportunities, towillingness to make small adjustments along the way, and topersistence on our path.

Also, when we focus our energies on one goal whose importance isclear to us, we are better able to let go of anything that doesnot serve a positive purpose. Guilt, fear, the mind'schattering, the feelings of unworthiness, bad habits, the worryof what others may say are eliminated when we are aware of ourtrue purpose.

Making an intelligent and well-thought-out decision leads tosuccess, instead of jumping into action. A wise choice benefitseveryone instead of a bad, fast choice, because true winners aredirected from their insides, and those who are directed fromtheir inner beings find their true calling and a life welllived.

Article Source:">Decision Making and Goal Setting: Think Big

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