There are few things in life that can empower a person more than committing to a worthy goal or cause. It’s been well documented how the human spirit can respond to the seemingly impossible in front of them. Whether its the story of a prisoner of war who lived to come home, a cancer victim who beat the disease, the sports star that wins against all odds or a child born into poverty who makes good, these stories always inspire and amaze us.
Most of us won’t live through anything as high or as low as these situations, but this empowerment is available for you and I as well. Life doesn’t play favorites when it comes to the laws that are established in the universe. Like it or not, gravity works for everyone, and so does the power of setting goals.
It’s easy to talk about this, but how do we get there? I used to get my gas from a Mac’s store that was really close to a freeway. Often I’d hear people asking the cashier how they could get onto the freeway, which seemed like a strange question because the freeway was almost built right over the store. But even though it was close, it was hard to find the entrance, much like our goals. They can be really close and we can almost taste them, but often we still can’t seem to realize them.
Here are 6 steps that can act as your on-ramp to realizing your goals:
- What is it? The biggest issue in people’s lives isn’t that they don’t set goals, it’s that they don’t know what they want to do with their lives. Once you can quantify your purpose, your vision, your goal, you’ve moved more than 50% of the way to seeing it come to pass. We’ve all experienced having an entire day off ahead of us. We’re excited to get things done, but before we know it the day is over and we did almost nothing. Why? Many times it’s because we didn’t have any idea what we wanted to do before the day began.
- Write it down. Once you think you know what it is you want to do, write it out with as many details as possible. Don’t worry if everything makes sense or flows on the page, just write it down as it comes to you. This process helps to bring clarity to what you want to accomplish, you will see it clearer as you write it out. The old adage says ‘if it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist’ and it’s right.
- Ask someone else about it. If I planned to re-roof my house, but didn’t know how to do it, I would make a point of asking some people who knew before I even pounded my first nail. It’s interesting to me that people value their roofs more than their lives. Ask a question, even if think it’s a stupid one or that you will be turned down. You’d be surprised how many people really want to help you. If you don’t ask, it’s still a no.
- Take a ‘short term mission’ in the area of your goal. For little to now cost, you can often confirm whether your goal is right for you. For example, if you believe you are called to work among the people of India, it would make sense to take a trip there to see what it is that you were planning to dedicate your life to. If it confirms what you feel is your purpose in life, you have gained a great asset. If it confirms that you shouldn’t make this your life’s purpose, you’ve saved yourself from a great disaster.
- Take a risk. Do something, do anything, but get moving! Many people want to have all of their questions answered, every ‘i’ dotted and every ‘t’ crossed before they step out. Believe me when I say, this will never happen. Yes we need to prepare as best we can, but anything worth doing in our lives must entail risk at some point. If you wait for the risk to be gone, you will never live to see your goals realized. Remember: the great ships of the ocean were built for the waves. Regardless of the risks, they will always last longer in the sea than when they stay tied up to the dock.
- Ask the Father to direct you. Make the accomplishment of His purpose in your life more important than any of your goals. If you prioritize your Maker who knows everything, He can quickly show you the ‘onramp’ you’ve been asking about. ‘Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.’ – David – Psalms 119:105
‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’ – CS Lewis
Larry E. Moore
Executive Director – AYMI