A goal is a target you set for yourself to reach within a specified time-frame. For that reason, you need to make adjustments in yourself if you are to achieve it. Such adjustments could range from saving up money to influencing the involvement of others and everything in between.
Picture a darts board that you need to aim at. The board just sits pretty on the wall. You, on the other hand, must make the effort to dart it just at the right point to win. An ideal goal, on the other hand, is a personal vision of the best possible thing, person or situation that deserves to be in your possession, presence or circles. Picture a beautiful dream of whatever suits your fancy that frequently occupies your mind. Examples of goals are getting a better job, losing weight, making more money, falling in love and building a home, among others.
Many of us run around doing impressive mileage chasing the wrong things. Interestingly, these wrong things are very evasive leaving us in a perpetual quest for their achievement. Wanting to get a better job, fit within a specific apparel size or record an impressive bank balance are all not strong enough endeavours to ignite the fire in us to go the full nine yards on our underlying desires. This is the reason why the minute the processes become even a little hard or slow or unexciting, we give up and find excuses to explain our lack of achievement. We instead switch to telling the all-too-common tales to anyone who cares to listen. “I do not have the right qualifications”. “It’s in the genes, you know; my whole family is big-bodied”. “I do not have the money to invest,” and the list goes on.
We do not go all the way through to enjoy the fruition of our goals because they are really just side-effects of the more meaningful reason for our existence. Ideals are the name of the personal leadership growth game.
Ideals run deep. They are what you actually care about. Anyone can tell you what you want because he or she will presumptuously base it on what he or she themselves want. That will usually be totally untenable for you because it is an imposition of their programming on you. This is the reason that makes; “Who do you think you are to tell me what to do?” a common objection to advice, especially so for the unsolicited kind. All the rules, norms and acceptable ways of being are someone else’s creation. Think about it — all the people around you are conditioned to execute other people’s acceptable ways of being. Let us evaluate a few of these: “African culture dictates that women eat in the kitchen after the men and children have had their fill”, “Good wine is not sweet” or “Red wine is best drank at room temperature”, “Men don’t cook or cry”… you know them all. It is the year 2018. Why do you allow the opinions of people who had no idea about the life that you lead today to dictate how you live it? In my house, with my family eating my food I will eat anywhere from the stove to the stairs and all the spaces along that route.
My sons and hubby can feel an emotion and express it and when they are hungry, they will saunter into the kitchen and fix a meal. If I spend my money buying a bottle of wine as my chosen refreshment to enjoy in my space, where does this self-appointed perfect get the authority to dictate how I drink it?
What thoughts do you entertain? What feelings do they spur and consequently what actions and/or inactions are you engaged in on any given day? What a limited existence we allow other people to impose on us!
What you desire is a totally different matter. No one on earth can purport to tell you what that is. It is not a verbal conversation you can have with anyone.
It is an inaudible monologue borne out of long, patient and sustained the effort in self-introspection. It is the very personal process of finding meaning in our lives and articulating our purpose.
From practising good nutrition and nurturing good health to doing meaningful work that resonates with your purpose, for example, are ideals that make the afore-mentioned goals unnecessary.
You inevitably achieve your goals as by-products of pursuing your ideals. Which will it be for you — goal or ideal?