by Nate Truman
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
If you want to take command of your one and only time here on Earth, the most important step is to have a set of clear, written goals. I have read over many sets of other people’s goals, and 95% of them are standard wants and desires for items or situations that most people would agree could be a goal of theirs. Financial security, weight loss or increased fitness, career success, bigger and better homes, cars, and so on. Personal improvement goals and security or luxury goals do point you in a direction of action that will have you end up in a better situation than when you started.
However, if you get out your list of written goals, and look at the long range goals, do they excite you into action? Does the thought of eating small portions of egg whites and working out 3 hours a day to get to your “perfect” body fat percentage in 6 months bring a grin of anticipation to your face? Or how about denying yourself any fun spending for 20 years so you can retire at some early age to then be able to do nothing all day and gloat about it to those still working?
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for implementing self discipline to achieve personal goals like these. But how many people have had the above goals on their lists, only to give them lip service, or occasional effort? Why is that? The answer is simple, it’s because the goals are self oriented, and ultimately not compelling.
Now if you had a “world changing goal” at the top of these same goals, it changes everything. It is all about whom you are doing them for, and why, that will create constant an enthusiastic action.
Let’s suppose that you have a motivation to change a wrong in this world, or create a solution to a problem or situation that would literally change lives if you achieved it, even partially? What if you needed the stamina that only a healthy body could give you, to be able to pursue that goal? What if you managed to contribute so much at your job, or create something, that the money would flow to you, allowing you to retire from your daily job, so you could devote all of your waking hours to helping even more?
From what I have read about Michelangelo, he was tireless, and always had more projects he wanted to achieve than he had time to do. Bill Gates was tireless in dominating the computer world and the internet until that became too small of a goal for him, and now he’s tackling world problems.
As far as I know, neither Michelangelo, nor Bill Gates is known for their rock hard abs. Bill does have a pretty big house, but it wasn’t his long term goal. It was a result of solving problems, and creating new ideas. Michelangelo had money problems at times in his life, but relaxing in a big comfortable home was not his drive. He worked tirelessly to release as much of the art and imagination that was in his soul as he could each day.
I think Bill Gates is happier now, than when he was at the top of his game in the competitive world of computers. Instead of his top goal of trying to dominate markets, his newer world changing goals are solving problems that help others. He has always been driven to solve problems, but now his end goal, his driving force is motivated not by winning, or having the most money and stock, but by helping millions around the world live a healthier, more prosperous life.
When your over riding goal changes from looking good, and having things to impress others, to staying fit and using your things to help others, true happiness is achieved. Abs and a mansion for you, or millions of healthy, better educated children because you lived? Which of these goals would motivate you more? In the end, which end result is truly more impressive?
I know, we don’t all have the talent of Michelangelo, or the resources of Mr. Gates. But what if you modified your long term goals in your area of influence, to help one student? Support one great teacher with supplies, or started a movement to solve a problem in your town? Once you focus on how your contribution can help elevate and improve other people’s lives, you will change your part of the world, and leave a legacy that will bring you happiness.
A world goal will outlive you, in ways you can not even dream of. So write out your true inner motivation for each goal on your list. Next, cross off a few that are only motivated by self centered desires. Lastly, create your first world changing goal right now, and take the first small step of action before the day is over. The universe only has one “you” to do the good that only you are in position to do.