Are goals necessary pt 1?

Goals are such an interesting topic! There are those that say, if you don't have a goal well then you'll never achieve anything. What's that old saying, "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail." Or something like that. In fact on doing a bit of research it was Winston Churchill that initially coined the term. I'm not going to disagree with good old Winston, I am simply going to give another perspective. After all, Winston probably had a reason for using that phrase, given that it was supposedly said during World War II. He may have wanted to rally the troops, or rally the civilians behind the war effort, who knows! On to another perspective.

Goals are often used within coaching as a means of focusing the coachee (person being coached) to move them forward. I think it is Anthony Robbins who shared a simple formula for success in one of his books that is along the lines of, ...Get clear on what you want, take action, review the results and modify your actions as necessary to get the results you want. Pretty simple really! The difficult part is getting clear on what you want - the goal. By the way, if you're having trouble with this, what about simply choosing a goal that feels right now and moving toward that? You can always change your goal as you go. At least then you're moving forward and out of your action will come greater clarity!

Now, hmmmm, there's an interesting word, an interesting place too, the now, the present. What does the present have to do with goal setting and goals? Not much historically. Now perhaps its liberating and actually provides a new way of looking at goals. Let's take a step back. Goals traditionally have been something for people to attach to and strive toward. Within coaching they can even be broken down into smaller goals along the way. The purpose behind this is so the coachee has small successes along the way towards their larger goal. The small successes serve to assist keep the coachee motivated and build their confidence or belief in themselves. All of which works, or can work quite successfully to assist the coachee achieve their goal. What happens when the goal is achieved generally? The person celebrates and feels good about themselves for a day or so until something else comes up. Be it another challenge, or a negative belief that rears its head, or perhaps the great feeling simply wears off and they seek something else to make them happy. This sequence of goal, striving, achieving, feel good, feel bad, goal, striving....can go on and on, when the goal is used as a means for finding that good feeling or happiness. There exists within many people an underlying dissatisfaction, an uneasiness and desire for something else! Generally they are not quite sure what, just something else, with the belief that the something else will make them happy, bring them peace.

Now - yes we've come back to the present. This place - the present - is actually where that peace is found, that contentment is found. When we are truly present, there is no problem, or dissatisfaction or uneasiness.

So goals, which of course are future focused, can be a valuable tool for assisting you to move forward toward something that you feel would be worthwhile for yourself and / or others. The key is not to attach to the goal, such that you are focused on the goal to the detriment of the present moment, which is where life is. Have the goal and then let it go. Enjoy the present moment each step of the way toward the goal. You may even choose every so often to see where you're at along the path of your goal. Ultimately the achievement of the goal is not what will determine your happiness or peacefulness, your ability to be present, in the moment and one with life will.

Here's a tip - be thankful for the present moment.

Thank you for this moment! :)

With love, Tim.


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