If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.
-- Charles Kettering

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - August 2007

What do you really want?

What do you really want out of life, and why? When was the last time you asked yourself that question? When was the last time you truly focused your thoughts and your attention on what it means to be alive, and on what would bring the ultimate fulfillment to your life?

Have you ever spent much time thinking about it? Many people haven’t. Surrounded by a society that focuses heavily on material consumption, we tend to substitute materialistic tokens for our true desires. That often leads to extreme frustration on several levels. Material objects are only rough approximations of your true desires. As such, you’ll have problems maintaining a sustained commitment to achieving them. When there’s a weak connection between your outer goals and your true, inner desires it becomes impossibly difficult to reach those goals. Even if you do manage to reach the goals, they won’t satisfy your desires, and that leads to even more frustration.

Do you set a goal for yourself, and then try to work your true desires into that goal? That’s an upside down approach. A goal, in and of itself, will not motivate you to achieve it. You’ve got to motivate you. And the way to do that is to align your goals with your true, driving desires.

For example, suppose you decide you want to earn $200,000 per year in income, and you set that as a goal for yourself. Why is it your goal? Because it is ambitious, because it is substantial, you tell yourself. You figure that it’s a high enough amount to accommodate just about anything you might want to do with your life.

Yet once you set that goal, you’re going to have trouble reaching it. Why is that? Because, for the most part, it’s meaningless to you. You’re focused on $200,000 as an abstract concept instead of being focused on the real, compelling desires you have for your life. You’re focused on what you think you want rather than on what you really want.

Is it possible for you to earn $200,000 per year, or even more? You bet it is. Without question, such a goal is within your reach. But before you can reach it, you have to truly want it. You have to forge a solid, continuous connection between that goal and the true desires you have for your life.


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—Ralph Marston