Time to renew, and review your list of goals for a new decade!
If you are all ready a “goal person” I am going to skip past the basics categories and go straight to the ultimate goals you are searching for in your life.
Instead of triggering you to come up with what you want physically, emotionally, economically, religiously or what achievements you want to work on in the next 365 days, I want to start with your big picture.
A new expensive car, a bigger house, a better job, more sales, a better stronger body, better connection with your family, are not really goals, they are all ways to the ultimate goals of happiness and contentment. Each of us strives after these sorts of goals not because we want those things, but because of how we believe they will make us feel when we get them.
If a new impressive car actually impresses those people you think are important, then the car helps you attain your goal of feeling equal, or less inferior. But you can attain the goal of feeling comfortable and equal with anyone without the car. Once you can identify the tricks your ego plays on you, you will have the power to rise above and attain your real goals of happiness and contentment every day.
If you have a list of short and long term goals, review them and identify what you truly think you will receive when you achieve them. Take the time to jot down beside each goal what your true desire is behind each item.
A big impressive house comes with an impressive mortgage. Attaining that goal might trigger fear of loss, or a lack of freedom to change jobs. Is that what you truly want?
The desire for a mansion or even your own house instead of renting is not that you desire being locked into a 30 year mortgage, who wants that? It’s how you think owning your own house would make you feel that drives you to pursue it. If controlling your own little piece of pretend property would make you feel secure, less fearful and more grounded you can have all of those things with or without the house. I say “pretend property” because you can’t really own anything. You can have some sort of control over things for a period of time, but you know that others will live in your house at some point in the future. I am the third owner of my current home, even though I have lived there for 20 years, and at some point in the future, it will be sold or passed on to others.
To reach your ultimate goals, you must understand that you are not your collection of possessions; they will be owned by someone after you, or discarded.
You are not your job; you will retire or move into another position eventually. You are not your family, you are not your achievements, and you are not your physical body.
If you have evolved to the point where you can read those statements and understand they are true, you know that all you are and ever have been is your thoughts. You can not take your ego trophies into the next life, and all your earthly pursuits are vanity.
If, however, a job, relationship, hobby, or pursuit consistently puts you in a state of contentment and happiness, then it is a good path for your achievement of your higher goals.
Now I know that you may be thinking “Hey, I like playing videogames or surfing the web, it makes me content or happy, so instead of working toward big goals I should just do stuff like that forever?” Obviously, no, that’s not what I am saying.
The gift I want to give you is one of clarity of purpose. When you know WHY you are striving after each of your goals, you can modify them so that you actually get what you truly desire in your soul.
If you can put at least one of the following “ultimate goals” next to each of your list of “thing/achievement” goals I know you will rethink your goal list in a whole new way this year.
Love: (Unselfish, benevolent concern for another) Does your goal demonstrate your love for someone else?
Joy: (Great delight; gladness of heart) Does this goal bring you and others true and lasting happiness?
Peace: (Tranquility, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord) Does this goal remove strife from your life, and does it bring peace and calm to others?
Patience: (Endurance and steadfastness under provocation, with no thought of retaliation) Does your goal help you develop patience?
Kindness: (Love for mankind, hospitality, readiness to help, human friendship, benevolence, taking thought of others, Goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others) Do you have a goal of attaining these attributes? If not, wouldn’t you want that list to be attributed to you by the people you know if they were asked to describe you?
Goodness: (An inner purity of thought that produces a generosity and total lack of selfishness.) Children are quick to sense and pick up on this quality in people who really have it. My Autistic son Nicky sees it and is drawn to people who have it like a magnet. Do you have a goal that moves you toward being a truly good person? Do you know someone who would never use you or manipulate you for his own personal gain because they are incapable of even thinking that way? Make a goal of being that person for someone else.
Faithfulness: (Steadfast, dedicated, dependable and worthy of trust) Which of your goals help you improve your standing with others as being trustworthy?
Gentleness: (Even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious, a person who has their passions under control) Do any of your goals reflect a desire to be defined as gentle?
Self control: (Sober, temperate, calm and dispassionate approach to life, having mastered personal desires and passions) This is really the final result of putting all of the other 8 goals into action. You will no longer be ruled by your personal desires and passions, instead you will be focusd on being the best “you” in the present moment. Incorporate these 9 goals into your daily life and you will live in a constant place of happiness and joy not only for you, but for everyone who has the pleasure of being in your life.
This list has been around a long time, but every one of them is still valid to be on your ultimate goals list. These 9 “fruits of the spirit” are really the keys to living a perfect life, or at least as close to perfect as humanly possible. I wish for you happiness and joy in the coming year!