The focus of our Wisdom Note is a lesson gleaned from my childhood. My parents would always encourage each of us 10 kids to set goals and work hard to achieve them. They would tell us not to be a follower and not to set limits on what we could achieve. They truly believed that there were no limits and that you could achieve whatever you wanted.
This reminds me of the following story about a radish and a milk bottle. It’s a story that I have never forgotten.
A Farmer’s Lesson In Life
A farmer won the first prize at the country fair for his huge radish that was the exact shape and size of a quart milk bottle. Many were curious as to how the farmer was able to grow this radish that was the exact shape of a milk bottle.
Finally, one gentleman went up to the farmer and asked the question. The farmer replied, “It was easy. I got the seed growing and then I put it into the milk bottle. It had nowhere else to go.”
You can use this story as an analogy to life. Our lives are shaped by the kind of surroundings we place ourselves in, the people that we allow to influence us, and the goals we give ourselves.
These Are Key Ingredients
If we only dream and take no action, then we get no further. But if we plan, set a goal, and take action, then our life takes a different shape.
The important parts of goal setting go way beyond just writing down a goal statement and thinking that somehow your goal will be reached.
To write a goal is only a minor part of the way forward. The rest of the elements of how to reach that goal must also be stated clearly and with a definite time frame for each step.
This means that you must develop a detailed plan of action in which each action step is detailed on what you must do, when and how you must do it, and how much time it will take. If you do not make your plan detailed in this way and set specific target dates for completion, you will simply not be creating any expectation or urgency in your mind that helps keep you moving.
But what about the bumps along the path? Sometimes, even when you are following your action plan, you will run into a snag. Snags are not uncommon, and you should realize this before you even get started.
These snags, though, should be viewed only as little inconveniences; these inconveniences are meant for you to resolve and move forward again.
These little problems are those that most people cannot overcome because they simply quit, using the excuse that their goal was never meant to be.
Show that you are different. Show that you have the dedication and resolve to keep going, and you will demonstrate to yourself and everyone around you that you are dedicated to accomplishing that which you have set out in your goal statement.
Do Not Go It Alone
The fact that you know that there will always be minor roadblocks is a good reason to solicit the guidance and help of a mentor.
This mentor is a person who has a positive attitude, is very skilled at always looking and finding solutions to issues and problems, and is someone who has experienced similar issues along their way to accomplishing their goals.
I cannot stress finding the right mentor or mentors enough. I trust that I can fill the role as one of your mentors in life. If you ever have a need to discuss any issues with me directly, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will get back with you on a timely basis.
Goals and actions can help us accomplish more in a year than what some people will accomplish in a lifetime. To prove this point, read the biographies of successful people, and you will see that goals and actions did, in fact, play a big role in their success.
In summary, don’t put yourself in a bottle. In other words, move out of what is comfortable and secure if you want to move forward. Also, don’t allow others to try and force you into their bottle. Instead, follow the encouraging words of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Church in Rome in Chapter 12 verse 2, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”