One of my favorite chapters within Keith Ferrazzi’s book.
I have been thinking about the concept of goals and mission statements a good deal lately, going on a tirade about how I have grown sick of them and see them as rather limiting. But perhaps that’s because goals need to come from a much grander place than they often do:
“’A goal is a dream with a deadline.’ That marvelous definition drives home a very important point. Before you start writing down your own goals, you’d better know what your dream is. Otherwise, you might find yourself headed for a destination you never wanted to get to in the first place.”
The problem with many goals is that you’re always in a pre-failure state until you achieve it. However, if you understand that the goal is a stepping-stone towards your dream, then everything changes.
To find your dream and begin to set healthy goals, first look within yourself to determine your loftiest mission:
“There are many ways to conduct a self-assessment of your goals and dreams. Some people pray. Others meditate and read. Some exercise. A few seek long periods of solitude. The important thing when conducting an internal review is to do it without the constraints, without the doubts, fears, and expectations of what you ‘should’ be doing. You have to be able to set aside the obstacles of time, money, and obligation.”
Once you have looked inside of yourself, then it’s time to look outward and figure out what you can begin to do and who you can surround yourself. The author reminds the reader that this is the way towards growth:
“Human ambitions are like Japanese carp; they grow proportional to the size of their environment. Our achievements grow according to the size of our dreams and the degree to which we are in touch with our mission.”
If you find yourself thinking that being a ‘dreamer’ isn’t enough, you’re right. Yet you shouldn’t disparage the act of dreaming itself. Instead, strike a balance:
“Disciplined dreamers all have one thing in common: a mission. The mission is often risky, unconventional, and most likely tough as hell to achieve. But it IS possible. The kind of discipline that turns a dream into a mission, and a mission into a reality, really just comes down to a process of setting goals.”
To create the path forward for your life, create dreams with deadlines and grow.