“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.” ~ Joel 2v28
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle.” ~ Sun Tzu, The Art of War, 400BC
Goal setting requires strategy to ensure a successful outcome in the pursuit of your dreams. Just like any endeavor in life you will be sure to come across obstacles and many setbacks. Setbacks are never an indication that all hope is lost. They cause us to think differently and are the stepping stones that enable us to reach our goals. Knowing what is at your disposal is just as important as knowing the challenges that you are likely to encounter along the way.
When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It’s as simple as that. You cannot expect to move from point A to point B when you have no idea about how you are going to do so. That’s the mistake that many people make in life. It’s foolish to think that if you have written the goal it will work itself out. Life is best lived one day at a time. Set goals that span over ten years, five years, the next year, six months, and weeks and so forth. In other words you should set short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. Layout your action plan and as you take action it’s important to regularly measure your progress to know how well you are doing.
See the Big Picture
Set goals that are interconnected. The accomplishment of one goal should lead to the accomplishment of another. Understanding the direction of your life leads to self-discipline because clear goals by nature facilitate order and discipline. Know where you are going in life and why you are going there. People who know their purpose in life find a way or make one to get what they want. Once you have that kind of conviction then there’s absolutely nothing that can hold you back.
Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world which makes it more difficult to realize our dreams. We can’t control everything that happens to us but we can control how we respond. Whenever you come across setbacks it helps to take some time out to meditate and alter your plan of action but still be heading in the direction of your dreams. Meditating on the Word of God is a great source of strength and helps you realize that you have the capacity to overcome your setbacks. Affirming the promises of God’s Word gives you the much needed energy to keep pursuing your goals until you finally achieve them. Exude confidence and act like you are in control even when things don’t seem to be going your way. Sooner or later you will start to see a change and things going in your favor. You are only defeated when you choose to throw in the towel.
Composure is a quality that I admire and goes a long way in determining how far you go in life. In any kind of battle the enemy will aim to rattle your emotions, induce fear, get you under their control and finish you off at just the right moment. I see this principle at work more clearly in sports, particularly soccer. What happens is that when one team is on the back-foot and under pressure they fight back by winning possession of the ball. Once you win possession you get peace of mind and can start dictating how you want to play the game, and gradually put your enemy to the sword. If you learn how to do this consistently you are likely to be victorious more often than not. This ability to remain calm or peaceful is a great virtue and you should do everything you can to acquire it. It will pay you great dividends.
A friend from high school once told me that nothing great was ever achieved without taking a risk. Achieving great things requires calculated risks that will give you a chance to succeed. Taking risks also raises the possibility of failure and because of that most people would rather completely avoid taking risks. I believe that it’s better to try and fail than not to try at all. If you don’t try you’ll never know what might have been. If you fail while trying you become wiser because of your setback. It gives you the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. You become a failure when you don’t even try and when you don’t learn from your mistakes. The flip side of risk is what makes for great adventure. Adventure carries so many experiences that can change you for the rest of your life. What you become by realizing your dreams is more valuable than the actual dream itself. You have nothing really to lose and much to gain.
Make Informed Decisions
We all make choices all the time and for every choice we make there are consequences. It’s important to be in charge of your own life and make good decisions. To make sound decisions you need to consult other people, read relevant books, etc. In simple terms, two are better than one. Consider carefully all the advice that you receive and make your decisions based on that. Do not allow other people to decide for you because everyone has the right to choose for themselves. Have a personal ‘Board of Directors’ that can help you make the decision but remember that the final decision rests with you.
Be all you can be!