Thursday, January 8, 2015

Goal Achievement: Choosing a Guide

I have tried to teach my kids that when we choose a New Year’s Resolution or any goal, we need to also choose a guide, mentor, coach, trainer to help us obtain it.  This is someone who has already achieved the same goal or a similar goal AND has the time, desire, compassion, empathy, and faith in our potential to assist us in our journey.  I call this person a Cause.

It’s hard to trust someone to help us who has not already achieved the goal we’re seeking to achieve.  He or she needs to at least have obtained an incremental degree of it and be ahead of us on the journey. 

Conflict enters a relationship like this if we look on others who are ahead of us with envy or jealousy.  We may somehow think that being behind them defines our inherent worth, or lack of it.  We may even think it’s impossible for us to achieve what a certain Cause has or that there is a finite supply of the things we want.  We may imagine there’s not enough room for us to occupy a similar position.  

It makes it harder when Causes act as if the above reasoning is true.  They may treat us as if we are not as valuable as they are because we’re behind them in the journey.  They may judge our inherent worth based on the fact that we have not yet achieved the same goals they have.   

If they fail to differentiate between our present position on the journey and our POTENTIAL, their judgments of us interfere with our ability to achieve goals for REAL REASONS.  I call a person who has achieved certain goals but DOES NOT HAVE the time, desire, compassion, empathy or faith in our potential to assist us in our journey YET ACTUALLY WANTS US (however unconsciously) to envy him/her a Conflicting Cause.

I saw this conflicting type of relationship in my kids when they had to trust teachers and coaches or even friends who treated them like this.  It messed up their REAL REASONS to identify and accomplish goals.  Instead of wanting to do it to gain abilities, talents, and strengths to be of greater service to their fellow men, they wanted to do it just to prove they were of worth.  They felt like they needed to be in some sort of a rat race competing for an exclusive position and status.  Get ahead of their fellow men, get to the top, pass others up, show everyone what they’re made of.  

Losing Cup Cake Wars
It’s so easy to get caught up in that kind of thinking.  Overcoming the influence of Conflicting Causes is a major feat.  The only way we can do it is if we have a True Cause—someone who has already achieved the goals we’re trying to achieve AND who has the time, desire, compassion, empathy, and faith in our potential to assist us in our journey.  He sees and KNOWS the strengths we already have.  He appreciates them.  He recognizes our present value.  It’s all sincere, REAL.  No fakeness in a True Cause’s ability to evaluate our VALUE.  He also is aware of just where we need help, the steps we need to take to accomplish our goal, what’s holding us back, and what pace is right for us.  He is dynamically gentle and firm with us.  He doesn’t let us slack off and he doesn’t push us to run faster than we have strength.

This kind of Cause almost sounds too good to be true.  Yet it has been my experience that these kinds of Causes do exist.  The one I have chosen is this way.  I have introduced my kids to him and have worked to help them develop their relationship with him over time.  You would think they would have no problem whatsoever recognizing the value of such a Cause and doing everything they can to be allegiant to him. 

But the issue is there are so many Conflicting Causes out there who offer all kinds easy ways to accomplish our goal.  They prescribe short cuts and immediate obtainment.  They pull up next to the rugged mountain path we are ascending in a bright red sports car and tell us we can drive to the top instead of hiking.  The workload on these proposed journeys is dramatically reduced.  It’s the easy way.  And sometimes, in the moment, these Conflicting Causes seem to be the best option.

Because all of these factors exist in our goal achievement journeys, I have tried to teach my kids that they need to choose their Cause.  Evaluate the people who want to teach, train, and coach them.  Take a good long look.  I want them to use their heart to guide them when they analyze the way a Cause has achieved his/her goal.  Check out how he/she treats other people who have not yet achieved the same thing.  And focus on the REAL REASONS for goal achievement.  Fight against the smoke-screen-purpose of obtaining goals to get ahead of everyone else as a means to establishing value and obtaining happiness.

Now that we all have most likely identified our New Year’s Resolution, the next step is to choose a Cause.  It may be choosing a book about a Cause and his/her journey.  It may be choosing a college to attend, a degree, and certain classes.  It may be choosing a company to work for.  It may be joining a community cause.  Whatever it is, we must know that this is our choice and we must actively choose it in order to arrive at our desired destination in the end.