virgin islands scene

Some people change their ways when they see the light; others when they feel the heat.
-- Caroline Schoeder


The MONTHLY Motivator - February 2006

Achievement from the inside out

Are you continually setting goals for yourself, and working diligently to achieve them, only to be disappointed by the results? Or do you have trouble staying committed to your goals once you’ve set them, eventually abandoning them and becoming disillusioned by the whole process?

It’s very possible that you are focusing your awareness and your efforts on the wrong goals. What may seem to be your goals could likely be only crude and inexact materialistic representations of them. The fact is that every outside goal you have corresponds directly and inextricably to an inner goal. That inner goal is actually where the real substance of the goal resides. Yet when you focus solely on the outer goal, on the mere worldly representation of the goal, you can make it nearly impossible to achieve.

Why is that? Because the commitment and discipline you need to achieve any goal are inner qualities. And to fully benefit from them, you must connect them to a goal that is inside your being. It may sound nice to set as your goal the purchase of a fast new sports car. Yet no matter how great that car may be, it is not really your true goal. Your innermost goal in such a case, the thing you’re truly seeking to achieve, is the way you will feel when you own that sports car. When all is said and done, that is what you’re really after. And the more fully you acknowledge that reality, the more ability you’ll have to achieve both the inner and the outer goals you set for yourself.

One very common problem when seeking success is that people will struggle to create some specific outer achievement in order to experience a certain inner achievement. The pitfalls of this are many. There are all sorts of obstacles and limitations that stand in your way when you seek only the outer achievement without regard to what it’s connected to inside.

However, if you are able to first experience, fully, completely, and genuinely, the inner achievement, then the corresponding outer achievement will be vastly more forthcoming. The obstacles will no longer have the power to stop you. The limitations will fall away. You’ll find yourself easily, naturally and quickly working through those challenges that once seemed so difficult.

A key concept to realize is this. Your outer goal is not really what matters most to you, as wonderful as it may appear. What matters most is that inner goal. When that is achieved, you are already where you want to be. Most people assume that they must first achieve the outer goal in order to have the inner goal. Very rarely it happens that way, but, by many orders of magnitude, that approach is the most difficult, challenging, burdensome way to do it. There is a much easier, more joyful, more fulfilling, more life-affirming and natural way to do things.

And it is all based upon the fact that although your outer goal corresponds to only a single inner goal, the reverse is most certainly not true. For every inner goal there are any number of outer goals that will correspond to it. That is an extremely powerful reality, because it enables you to achieve your inner goal much more quickly and with far less effort than you would have otherwise imagined. And then, once the inner goal is reached, any outer goal that’s associated with it becomes much more surely within your reach.

Let’s go back to the example of the sports car. It’s easy to set such an object as your goal. Once you’ve done so, however, it’s important to ask yourself some key questions.

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--Ralph Marston

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