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Published:January 29th, 2008 16:56 EST
Goals Demand More From us Than Pen and Paper

Goals Demand More From us Than Pen and Paper

By Terry Sumerlin (Mentor/Columnist)

Suppose there were ways you could achieve all your business and personal goals. You'd want to know about them, wouldn't you? Yeah, me too. What if, on the other hand, there were ways we can simply experience a greater degree of success with our goals?

Recently, at a Kickoff Breakfast for the fine people of North Park Lincoln Mercury, of San Antonio, we considered some of these ways to achieve our goals. Here's what we discovered.

First of all, if you have goals that are written down you are an extremely rare individual. You realize that if you don't know where you're going you won't know when you get there. However, written goals alone are not enough for success. Goals must be specific and must be reviewed often. Otherwise, they become merely an exercise in writing.

One of the things I’ve found helpful in reviewing my goals is to put them at the top of my PDA memo list. That way I see them each time, in the course of the day, that I check my list. Whatever method works best for us, we must keep our goals fresh in our minds.

We must also take steps to stay in the zone with respect to our goals. Telling friends our goals can help in this regard. However, we should be sure they really are our friends. You see, true friends want us to succeed not fail.

Along this line, never share your goals with someone who specializes in finding all the reasons you can’t succeed. Though no one really has a right to steal another’s dreams, many do. If that's the only kind of friends we have we should not only keep our goals to ourselves when around them, but possibly we should get some new friends. They should be the kind that help us stay focused by means of encouragement, and that we can help in the same way.

Another way we can stay focused on our goals is to respond to life and people, rather than react. This is because, generally, reacting is negative, while responding is positive.

If we react to keep our child from getting run over by a car, in this case reacting is positive. Often, however, when we react the results are negative.

It's sort of like the guy who pulled up to the curb, ran inside a bar and asked if they had something for hiccups. The bartender picked up a wet towel off the counter and slapped the guy across the face with it. "What did you do that for?" the man yelled. "You don't have your hiccups anymore, do you?" the bartender replied. "I never did," the man said. "I was asking for my wife who is out in the car."

Similarly, when we react to life and to others, rather than respond, we tend to jump to wrong conclusions. Then we whine: “that person got in the way of my success” or “that situation blew my chances.” In other words, we lose our focus.

Another way we often lose sight of our goals is when we lose our sense of humor, or when we take ourselves too seriously.

It often helps me to keep a sense of perspective when I consider that 20 minutes after the eulogy at my funeral the burning question will most likely be where to find the potato salad in the reception line. We’re just not as important as we sometimes think we are.

When we lighten up and develop a sense of humor we find that our ideas sell better, stress and criticism are lessened and more energy is directed toward team and individual goals.

In conclusion I stressed to the staff of the dealership that focusing on goals really means focusing on and serving others. As John Maxwell says, “The entire population of the world – with one minor exception – is composed entirely of others.” When we forget this we either forget our goals or have empty ones.

So, it would do us well to heed the words of D.L. Moody: “Do all the good you can, to all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.”

BARBER-OSOPHY: Goals without proper direction and focus are only empty wishes.

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