‘The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.’ Benjamin Mays

This is an interesting quote that I came across when I was looking for a title for this article. It reminded me of a time in my life, soon after I arrived in the UK, when my life was standing still. Often we don’t realise that this is just what is happening! I know looking back now, that was exactly what I was doing – standing still. Having selecting to live in Windsor, I got back into the routine of work, errands, household tasks, making and meeting up with friends, building a social life, and having fun.

During this period I was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful group of friends and work in some diverse organisations learning anything from the manufacturing process for flexible hose and ducting to green wellington boots and tyres; and a range of industries in between. A serious spine operation saw me return to Malaŵi for three months convalescing, which gave me time to think about where my ‘career’ was going! I realised that one of my desires was to work in the ‘City of London’. This sounded so exciting! On my return to the UK I made a decision to look for a job that would allow me to experience my desire and yes I find one and then another. Commuting from Windsor to London didn’t curtail my social life at all and I found that it was just expanding the work and social opportunities available to me. Life seemed a whirlwind of fun.

Holiday times were spent visiting my parents in Malaŵi and occasionally spending days or maybe a week in another country in Europe or the USA. So what about this made me think that I had achieved my dream of travelling to and through the northern hemisphere? Travelling to the northern hemisphere … yes, I can truly say that I had achieved this goal; but travelling through … no! I didn’t realise this for many years and by the time I did my commitments meant that I was no longer as free to travel as I had been when I first moved to the northern hemisphere – a mortgage and a more responsible job meant that I wasn’t able to just leave the house, pack everything into my rucksack and travel. What happened?

A quote I found recently by Denis Watley made me realise the reason I had not achieved my goal – ‘The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.’

Looking back at what you captured last week, let’s take the first step to achieving your goal. Which of your dreams rated a 10 or close to a 10, and which of your dreams rated a 1 or close to a 1? Starting with those dreams that rated a 10 or close to a 10 ask yourself:

  • What would happen if I was to achieve this dream? Write down your answer – either in bullet form or in a sentence or two.
  • What would happen if I was notto achieve this dream? Again write down your answer – either in bullet form in a sentence or two.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is low and 10 is high, how important is this dream to me? Write down the first number that comes into your mind.

Once you’ve worked through those dreams that rated 10 or close to 10, start to work with those dreams that rate the next lower number i.e. 9; until you’ve worked your way through all your dreams.

In the next article we’ll discuss how to progress what you’ve just captured.

© 2010 Barbara J. Cormack
First published under Cormack’s Capers in Magna Intuitum