Goal setting and goal achieving are different processes. Goal setting is intellectual process, whereas goal achieving is a lawful process.
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein
Creativity & Flexibility
In Live2Lead 2017, John C. Maxwell gives two character traits of successful leaders: Creativity and Flexibility. I believe these characteristics are also applicable to anyone who wants to achieve a goal. When we set goals, we use our intellectual faculties. The key is to make sure that we use the right ones!
Creativity means that there is always an answer.
Flexibility means that there is always more than one.
As we work toward any goal we will encounter opposition. Use creativity to find a solution. The trick here is to be firm on vision but flexible in the details. So, when things don’t go according to plan, we can look for alternative ways to reach our big goal. We don’t have to give up on our goal, but we may need a new way to get there because of a roadblock in our way.
If we are firm on the plan instead of on the vision, we may never get to our goal because the circumstances have changed. When the environment changes and we don’t, we could potentially fail to take advantage of opportunities or overcome the threats that came up on our way which can stop us in our tracks.
So How do most people set goals and how can we be more successful?
6 Intellectual Faculties:
Our brains have six intellectual faculties.
All six of these are important functions for our brains to perform, but some are more beneficial than others for goal-setting. Most people set goals using their reasoning and memory intellectual faculties.
The problem with using reason is that it is based on logic. The goal or outcome must be derived from a logical process. When we do this, we are limited by what our brain feels is a logical possibility.
The problem with using memory as a basis for goal-setting, is that memory pulls from events in the past. When we use memory, we remember thoughts, feelings, and experiences that have already happened. We especially remember our mistakes and failures. We can’t think about future possibilities because we haven’t experienced those things yet.
“Live out of your imagination, not your history.” – Stephen R. Covey
When setting goals, instead of using memory and/or reason, we will be much more successful if we use imagination and intuition.
- What would you love to be, or do, or have?
- What would you love to create?
- What would you like to achieve in 6 months from now? A year?
Imagination allows us to dream. It allows us to reach beyond what’s logical or what we’ve already experienced and create new possibilities. It allows us look at old problems in new ways and develop innovative solutions.
Don’t let your memory limit your potential! Your past doesn’t have to equal your future (unless you want it to). Use imagination to think beyond what you have previously thought was possible.
“If prayer is you talking to God, then intuition is God talking to you.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
Intuition is kind of like our internal guidance system. Paul Martinelli describes it as “that part of us that knows that we know.”
When an idea comes to your mind and it registers as a desire, listen to that feeling. If it tells you to go for it, go for it! Invoke your imagination. Imagine what life would be like if you pursued that idea.
Once you set your goal, commit. People fail because of the lack of persistence.
You have to stay in the game long enough to actually manifest your goal. Use discipline and determination and go after it, even if it seems crazy. We are inherently creative beings, and if you use your imagination, it will serve you.
Don’t be afraid to break large goals down into smaller pieces. Do whatever it takes to stay invested for the long haul.
Bankruptcy vs. The Best Year Ever
Ramsey’s office building is located in Nashville, TN. During the commercial breaks while he is recording his radio show, he will often step out into the entryway and talk to people who come in to visit.
In 2008, Ramsey came out from his studio and saw a gentleman who was very downtrodden. He confided to Ramsey that he had just filed for bankruptcy and that he was having the worst day of his life. He was a landscaper in the community and due to the economic conditions had just lost everything.
That very same day, another gentleman, also in the landscaping industry, came in to tell Ramsey that he was having the best year of his entire life. While other landscaping businesses were closing their doors, he was getting all of their contracts, their employees, and their equipment for pennies on the dollar.
What was the difference? Their leadership ability.
Both men worked in the same industry, in the same city, at the same time, and in the exact same economic conditions. One was thriving and the other went bankrupt. The only difference between the two was their brain and how they used it.
“Organizations are never limited by their opportunity; they are limited by their leader.” – Dave Ramsey
This is true for us individually too. We are not limited by opportunity, we are limited by how we use our imagination and intuition.
We will never outperform our own self-belief.
“Whether you think you can, or you can’t—either way you’re right.” – Henry Ford
If you don’t believe you can, you are right. If you believe you can, and you do everything in your power to make it happen, you will find a way.
“Jump and build your wings on the way down.” – Paul Martinelli
- Amazon. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/
- Live2Lead. (20108). Retrieved from http://l2l.johnmaxwell.com/
- Maxwell, John C. (2017). No Limits. New York, NY: Center Street.
- Ramsey, Dave (2011). EntreLeadership. New York, NY: Howard Books.