Having a clear purpose in mind gives you the strength to persevere until you reach your goal, regardless of the odds, regardless of the obstacles, and regardless of the setbacks you will inevitably suffer along the road to success.
When you get up in the morning with no apparent goal, what do you do? You settle into routine work and follow your subconscious mind. You go with the flow of life, wherever it takes you, with no control over your destination. You follow what others have planned for you. You unconsciously do the same things every day.
Einstein once said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Perhaps you hope an outside factor will change the result, but the fact is your life is on autopilot. If you monitor yourself, you will find that 95% of your daily activities are controlled by your subconscious mind, and only 5% by your conscious mind.
As a human being, you have the greatest power: the power to choose. You can choose whether your hidden subconscious mind controls you, or you consciously control your own mind.
Goals provide a clear sense of direction and meaning to your life. They narrow your attention and direct your effort towards goal-relevant activities, and away from goal-irrelevant activities. Definite goals allow you to spend your time productively. By setting a goal, you are beginning to consciously guide yourself in the direction of wherever it is you wish to go. Soon you will be able to control your life, your dreams, your desires, and your aspirations. You will follow your own plan for yourself.
1. Goals give focus.
Goals provide you with the power to focus on relevant acts, rather than wandering aimlessly from one activity to the other never knowing what to focus on or how to prioritize. Just as a magnifying glass concentrates the rays of the sun into a little burning knot of heat that can set fire to a piece of paper, goals will concentrate your energies into a burning desire that will set a fire beneath your dreams.
Setting goals activates the Reticular Activating System (RAS) of your brain. The RAS is an area at the base of your brainstem whose function is to act as a sorting office, evaluating the incoming information from all senses and deciding what enters your brain and, eventually, what gets your attention. The RAS awakens your consciousness, and keeps you alert.
But your conscious brain can’t capture everything. That’s why your subconscious brain is also at work processing information – you’re just not aware of it. In fact, your conscious mind can only consume 50 bits of data per second through your five senses, namely, sight (vision), hearing (audition), taste (gustation), smell (olfaction), and touch (somatosensation). Your subconscious mind, on the other hand, can consume 20 million bits of data per second.
Suffice to say your subconscious mind is a source of massive potential. And by setting goals, you tap into that potential. The more serious you are about what you want in life, the more your subconscious will focus on achieving it. You create a filter whereby your mind starts paying more attention to relevant activities and ignoring unrelated activities. And that, in turn, will help you achieve your targets.
Focus helps you concentrate on your goals. It’s a state of mind where nothing can divert your attention from what is important to you. Even when things don’t go your way, you’ll find a way out of the problem – because your goal comes first, always. Hence, sharpened focus is an essential tool to reach your destination. A definite, written goal provides you with that sharpened focus.
With definite goals, you have a clear vision for your life. You’ll stop wasting time on the things that don’t serve your goals or your aspirations. Your actions will have a purpose, and your time will be well spent. Procrastination will be a thing of the past, because you’ll know with absolute certainty what you cannot put off until tomorrow.
When you focus on the outcome rather than the obstacle, and focus on solutions rather than problems, you move towards achievement.
2. Goals systematically motivate towards achievement.
When you define your goal clearly, you can plan your actions. When you plan your actions, you can monitor your actions. When you monitor your actions, you observe your progress – and that’s a powerful motivator. A proper systematic approach is the without a doubt the best way to
keep yourself motivated.
Goals set the path towards progress. They direct your thoughts towards utilizing the available resources efficiently and forging the path ahead.
3. Goals provide control.
Goals provide more control over yourself and your actions. A well-structured goal should include a clear understanding of what you need to do to achieve it. And once you understand how to achieve your goal, you become conscious of distractions, and you take action to eliminate them. You also stop procrastinating, and start building confidence in your capability to move forward with determination.
You can control every aspect of your life, both professional and personal. You can observe your feelings, emotions, and thoughts, and thereby regulate them. You can prioritize daily tasks and recognize which ones need more attention. It all starts with setting a goal.
4. Goals develop assertiveness.
Goals develop assertiveness: self-assurance without aggression or arrogance. When you know your path, you become more confident and develop a greater ability to control your emotions. And when you achieve a challenging goal, that assertiveness and self-confidence is lifted to the
next level. You gain momentum, and start to aim for more ambitious goals. And you find ways to develop the skills to achieve them.
As you progress along your personal path, be careful to always maintain an awareness of those around you, too. Honesty about your thoughts, opinions, and feelings is integral to assertive behavior, but so is showing respect and concern for others. When you care for others’ goals, they will care for yours.
5. Goals increase efficiency.
Goals enhance your ability and effectiveness, allowing you to get work done faster and to a higher standard. With a clear vision of your goal, you will manage your time and resources diligently, always with your ultimate destination in mind.
“People with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period than people without them could ever imagine.”
— Brian Tracy
As you focus on a specific goal with a dedicated plan, you are bound to increase your efficiency. Eliminating non-productive actions saves time that can be better spent on result-oriented activities.
Goals improve effectiveness because humans cognitively and behaviourally pay more attention to a task that is associated with a goal than to a task that is not associated with a goal.
6. Goals activate the subconscious mind.
When you set a particular goal, it is adopted not only by your conscious mind but also by your subconscious. The mind immediately gets to work looking for ways to reach your goal, even when you are not consciously thinking about it.
The subconscious mind will work day and night to fill the gap between your current reality and your envisioned reality. Specific, written, time-bound goals give the mind proper input and instruction to work on. When your subconscious mind gets activated, you will find that you are able to achieve your desired goals with far less effort.
7. Goals apply the Law of Attraction.
There are hidden powers that will start working for you as soon as you set goals, bringing together all you need to fulfill your aim. The Law of Attraction will attract the people and circumstances necessary to attain your goal. Opportunities will start to occur as if by magic. It’s just like when you think of buying a Mercedes Benz car, and all of sudden all you see on the road is that model. Goals are magnets for resources.
“A person is what he or she thinks about all day long.”— Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you set an intention and maintain awareness of what you are looking for – when you are clear what you want – the universe will provide, and you will attract what you need.
According to the Law of Attraction, the universe cannot distinguish between “I don’t want/like” and “I do want/like”. What matters and what will be attracted is the object that follows these phrases. If you’ve ever tried to avoid someone or something and ended up encountering that someone or something, this will sound all too familiar!
Most of the time, the more you run away from something, the more you seem to be hunted by it. This is because your thoughts are focused on the things you don’t want, and reinforced further by the strong emotions you attach to them. The universe answers by giving you what is in your thoughts. This is the why you must never think about the things you do not like or want. Instead, focus on what you do want to have.
According to the Law of Attraction, “how” is not important. There’s no point endlessly wondering how you will achieve your goal. Such thinking can only trigger worrying, and worrying is a negative emotion that must be avoided.
Being specific is also crucial to the process. Stating what exactly it is that you want is key to making the Law of Attraction work. If you want to have more knowledge or skills, you must state the exact type of knowledge or skills you want.
Finally, the most important – and yet the most difficult – ingredient: belief that you will reach your goals. Without this belief, the other factors count for nothing. If you don’t believe in your goals, no one else will either – and you will never achieve them. But with genuine trust and faith in the power of the mind, you will start to see the Law of Attraction at work in your life.