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Your Dreams, Your Visions, Your Goals

Your Dreams, Your Visions, Your Goals

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Published by: Theophilus V Claridge on Apr 20, 2012
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Your Dreams, Your Visions, Your Goals
© 2011 Nightingale-Conant Corporation
There is an old oriental proverb that says, “If you don’t know whereyou’re going, you won’t know when you get there.”
How can you get asense of purpose or meaning in life unless you have dreams or visions of whatyou want to achieve?Goals are dreams with deadlines, which propel us on our journey of self-discovery and self-fulfillment. Goal setting is the most important tool youhave or can develop. Having a focus in life, a deadline, if you will, is the onequality that is consistently found in people who are high achievers in life. Yet,according to a recent survey, only 4% of the population actively set goals bywriting them down. What is even more astonishing is that the 4% who writethem down achieve them almost 100% of the time.If goal setting is so powerful and successful, why do so few people engage inactively creating their own destiny? There are two reasons. Number one,aside from wishful thinking about having certain things in life, few people areclear about their priorities, or what they want most out of life. The secondreason is that most people have never been taught any techniques or steps onhow to set and achieve goals. Nor have they been taught the importance of establishing goals.Become a part of this elite 4%!
Achieve ALL your goals in 2012.
Of course, many people mistake wishful thinking, or daydreaming, for creatinga focus, or goal, in one’s life. To be sure that you understand the differencesbetween these two states of mind, right now, simply select a goal you arecurrently working on, and then daydream or fantasize about it. Go on toembellish your daydream with hoping and wishing thoughts that everythingwill turn out the way you would like it to. You can take a minute or two to dothis. Then, take the same goal, feel, and taste the intensity of your desire forachieving that goal, almost as if the passion and excitement of anticipationwere making every cell in your body tingle. Run a mental movie of your goalhaving been achieved, creating a state of expectation and that you haveabsolutely no doubt that you will achieve your dream. Act as if you have that
 
goal and the feelings of excitement and joy that accompany its attainment. You can take a minute or two to do this.Next, take a few moments to go back and forth between these two states of mind.Quite a difference, isn’t there? When I first did that brief exercise, I foundmyself experiencing a greater sense of control, optimism, and feeling morepowerful as a person when I exercised determination and focus in makingthings happen in my life.Now YOU can experience this same control, optimism, and power in 2012!Wishful thinking left me more with a sense of blah, and the feelings I had as ateenager, daydream, daydream, daydream about things I wanted, but I wouldsoon drop it and would then create other kinds of wishful thinking, becausenothing was happening. How frustrating! If only someone had shown me howto translate wishy-washy adolescent adventures and fantasy into how to setand achieve goals with a focus. There is something very magical, almost mystical, about goal setting in that itignites energies, mobilizes resources in ourselves that we have yet to identify.One of the most intriguing outcomes is that some people are able to postponedeath in order to experience a positive experience in their lives that they arelooking forward to. Two researchers from the University of California examined the deaths of 1,288 Chinese women for the 25-year period from 1960 to 1984. They wereinterested in the death patterns the week before and the week after theChinese Harvest Moon Festival. That holiday is particularly meaningful toelderly Chinese women, who play a central role in its festivities. Over the 25-year period, there was an average 35% drop in deaths the week before thefestival, and a 34% increase in deaths above the norm the week after. Thismortality pattern was not evident in older Chinese men, younger Chinesewomen, or a control group.A very similar finding was established among Jewish men. The week beforePassover, there was a 34% drop in mortality, and a 35% increase in deathsimmediately after Passover.How can that be? Are people able to postpone death briefly in order tocelebrate an occasion that is psychologically significant to them? And if we
 
can delay death, even briefly, with a simple goal, what can we do if we bringall our energies, all of our mental resources together, in order to achieve acertain outcome in life? Thus, the themes of control versus helplessness are becoming increasinglymore important in your understanding of being more in charge of your life andyour chosen achievements that you want to fulfill.When Dr. Judith Rodin decided to do a series of interviews on nursing homepatients, she was appalled at what she saw. Older patients were sittingaround in a stupor. There was little to motivate them during the day, excepteating and striving to be early for their appointments. She described the dayrooms and open wards like walking into a wax museum. The patients were allsitting immobilized with a vacant look in their eyes.When people have no sense of purpose, no goals, no sense of control overevents in their lives, they develop what psychologists call a learnedhelplessness response to life. The body begins reacting accordingly byincreasing stress hormones in the bloodstream, the immune system becomesmore burnt out and less efficient, depressive feelings of hopelessness arecommon, and inactivity and pessimism about life are almost always present.How did Dr. Rodin handle this despairing scene? She began by providingthese oldsters with more of a sense of purpose, or mini goals, to change their“less-than-ideal” existence. They were given control over such decisions asthe planning of their meals, which movies to watch, where to move thefurniture in the day ward and their own rooms, and control of all recreationaltherapy programs, such as social affairs and dances.What turned things around perhaps more than anything else was their choiceto bring in mentally and physically handicapped children to care for and relateto on weekends, a goal that many of them looked forward to, since it madethem feel useful once more.Equally exciting was their decision to have pets, goldfish, budgie birds, andcats for those patients who wanted something to care for again, giving them asense of purpose. The results? These oldsters showed profound changes, including improvedalertness and memory, lower levels of stress hormones in their blood, fewerillnesses and infections, and, perhaps most important of all, the day rooms andwards became alive with excitement. The wax museum effect was dispelled

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