If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.
– Yogi Berra
“Where do you see yourself in five years?” You’d better have an answer if you want to do well on any job interview. And how about your Five-Year Plan? Your Bucket List? New Year’s Resolutions?
Goals. Do a search and you’ll find people who can help you learn how to set your goals properly, discover the most effective way to achieve them, and inspire the people who are going to help you get to your destination.
And your destination is something you should really consider because goals take you somewhere. Your life is a journey and goals are stops along the way. You choose your next stop and you plan a route. Sometimes you have to make adjustments but you finally reach that goal and there you are. Now what? On to the next goal of course!
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
– Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Time of Your Life
You have an entire lifetime to achieve your goals. When you are 20 that statement can be inspiring. When you are 50 that same thought can cause anxiety.
Moses wrote in Psalm 90, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Do you want to be wise? Consider the short time you have to live in this life and factor that into your goal setting.
Champagne Wishes, Caviar Dreams and Deathbed Regrets
Here is an exercise that will give you a healthy dose of perspective and humility.
First, think about being on your deathbed with hours left to live. In that moment, what will you think about the goals you set and the choices you made on your journey. What regrets will you have about how you used your time? Will you wish you spent less time on some things and more on others? What about your relationships, the people you love? What things will you regret not saying? What things should have been forgiven and what apologies should have been made?
Now consider your funeral. Who will be there? How will people remember you? Maybe there will be thousands at your funeral because of the success you achieved in your lifetime. How many of those souls will have been merely “extras” in the scenes of your life story? How many will have been casualties of the battles you fought on the road to accomplishment?
Plan your goals with that kind of perspective.
I fear the popular notion of success stands in direct opposition in all points to the real and wholesome success. One adores public opinion, the other, private opinion; one, fame, the other, desert; one, feats, the other, humility; one, lucre, the other, love; one, monopoly, and the other, hospitality of mind.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson