“If a man knows not what harbor he seeks, any wind is the right wind.”
“Those who cannot tell what they desire or expect still sigh and struggle with indefinite thoughts and vast wishes.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I had never considered that I might actually “plan” to do any of the things I do for the last time. I’ve always figured I’ll die while I’m still doing what I love doing. When folks say they’ve heard I’m retired, I say with mock surprise, “Retired! Friend, you weren’t listening! I said I was reFIRED! I’m not gonna ease up, shut up, let up, or give up until I’m taken up! Matter of fact, I’m just getting warmed up!”
— Zig Ziglar
(At age 82, from his latest book, Embrace the Struggle, 2009)
Goals is one of those words that people have heard so many times, they hardly acknowledge it. It is also something that so many have done so little with. I have been one of those who has had some goals, and a lot of time had no real goals. I like the way Ralph Waldo Emerson put it about how they “still sigh and struggle with indefinite thoughts and vast wishes.” I have had plenty of vast wishes in my time.
This is also true: the times when I really got things done was when I had a definite aim and a focus. That’s essentially what a goal is except that most people think of a goal as having a time line or deadline. I think that is most people’s problem with goal setting–the time table.
The active ingredient is really the desire; the knowing what is truly wanted and that desire will translate into action with a focus on that desire, and if that focus is maintained, the goal is a foregone conclusion. The time frame is of no material interest except as a way of keeping score on the path toward the desire. It is also not nearly as important as it is made out to be. That should make it easier on everyone.
The most important aspect of goals to me relates to Zig Ziglar’s quote from his latest book. It is doing what you love. It is what drives him. It is what gives him joy and energy. It is a passion for him. With that, it is a really hard thing to not do it.
Every time I have lost my spark; my drive, my goals, I remember this quotation that I have always loved from Jack London: “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
To that I say, Yes and Amen! Or should I say, “Goooooaaaaaallllll!”
I’m ReFIRED! Got The Goals Goin’ On!
Spread Some Joy Today–Share some of your boundless enthusiasm with everyone you meet today. There is nothing so contagious and joyful! You have the power to change yourself and others will want some of that too.