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The importance of goals

Gary Newborough
V ictor Frankl a Viennese psychiatrist who survived the horror of the Nazi death camps in World War II in his book "Manís Search for Meaning" describes how those who had a purpose for living were able to withstand torture and starvation. The purpose for living could have been revenge, building a new homeland, or waiting for the Allied forces to arrive. Those without purpose, goals or positive self-direction died quickly.

Dennis Waitley, in his book, "The Psychology of Winning", tells a similar story of how the Vietnam POWs who adjusted most easily upon returning to freedom were those with goals.

It has been said that two of the greatest tragedies are never to have had a goal or to have reached it. Life is a series of ever growing accomplishments, and few have only one goal, which they reach and then call it quits.

Goals must be ardently desired. If you just want something a little bit, you may not work and strive to attain it, and, in all probability, you will not accomplish it. You really need to want the goals that you are working toward. This applies to both personal long-term and short-term goals.

Itís also important to vividly imagine the accomplishment of your goals. Thatís part of the training for world class athletes not only do they develop their levels of physical fitness, but they focus on a result that they ardently desire and vividly imagine achieving that result. They are prepared psychologically as well as physically. When the astronauts first landed on the moon, they described it as being just as they had imagined and rehearsed. Pilots are trained in much the same way. They practise time and time again in simulators so that when they do it for real itís natural doing just what they have done many times before.

This is what the winners in life do. They not only set their sights on their goal, but they imagine themselves achieving that goal.

You have to make a commitment such as ĎI want to be the best salesman in the company in eighteen months,Ď or ĎI want to complete my professional qualifications by the time I am 25. I want to visit at least one foreign country a year.

What are your goals? Do you passionately desire them? Do you regularly picture yourself achieving them?

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