One of the main factors attributed to failure, is the absence of clear and measurable goals. However, Anthony Robbins said that: "Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction."
The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it's who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.
Goals can therefore never be the end in itself. The reason many people lack a sense of fulfilment when achieving goals, is because the role that goals play, has been distorted to be something it was never meant to be. When this happens, many people abandon the whole discipline of setting and achieving goals, denying them one of the most powerful tools to achieve real success when used correctly.
Putting Goals in its Right Place
Goals need to be subject to a predefined Life Plan or Mission. Just thinking up goals in the absence of a well defined end picture will still bring you nowhere even if you achieve all the goals you can come up with.
The Goal setting process is a very powerful way to focusing your thinking with regards to your ideal future, however it is subject to this ideal future being created first. Your life mission must be the driving force, indicating the direction you want your life to take. It is only when you have defined your personal success, with a clear picture of what you want your legacy to be like, that you can embark on the process of Goal setting.
Goals then become the plan or the roadmap you can follow to make your mission a reality. Pursuing focused goals in line with your life mission will incrementally move you towards achieving personal success and fulfilment.
Defining the Purpose of Goals
By making Goals subject to the definition of your legacy, it can start fulfilling its right full purpose, by assisting you in:
Acting As the Roadmap Pointing You to the Destination.
"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. Which road do I take? she asked. Where do you want to go? was his response. I don't know, Alice answered. Then, said the cat, it doesn't matter."
Without the focus of goals, it becomes almost impossible to make direction changing decisions. If you do not know where you are going, it does not matter which decisions you make.
Motivating You to Overcome Obstacles.
Victory over obstacles and difficulties encountered along the way will eventually lead you to the fulfilment of the desired outcome. Without a clear set of goals aligned to your life mission, your life becomes governed by obstacles. Since there is no good reason to go through the difficulty and sometimes pain to overcome obstacles you will wander from obstacle to obstacle, never really achieving much, aimlessly wasting your life away.
Provides A Yardstick Against Which You Can Measure Progress.
In overcoming obstacles and working through setbacks, it is important to be able to measure progress against completed goals. Measuring yourself on your journey against achievement will provide the necessary motivation to keep going.
Used for its correct purpose, goals become an invaluable tool for achieving incremental success in our personal as well as public lives. Without goals pointing to the true north of our life mission is very easy to lose our way and become so caught up in living a life of avoiding obstacles that we very quickly end up with unnecessary regrets instead of success and fulfilment in our lives.