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Use Goals to Help You Grow

Every Bit of Human progress– our inventions big and little, our medical discoveries, our engineering triumphs, our business successes -were first visualized before they became realities. Babymoons circle the earth, not because of accidental discoveries but because scientists set “conquer space” as a goal.

A goal is an objective, a purpose. A goal is more than a dream; it’s a dream being acted upon. A goal is more than a hazy “Oh, I wish I could.” A goal is a clear “This is what I’m working toward.”

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Nothing happens, no forward steps are taken until a goal is established. Without goals individuals just wander through life. They stumble along, never knowing where they are going, so they never get anywhere.

Goals are as essential to success as air is to life. No one ever stumbles into success without a goal. No one ever lives without air. Get a clear fix on where you want to go.

The progressive corporation plans company goals ten to fifteen years ahead. Executives who manage leading businesses must ask, “Where do we want our company to be ten years from now?” Then they gauge their efforts accordingly. New plant capacity is built not for today’s needs but rather for needs five to ten years in the future. Research is undertaken to develop products taht won’t appear for a decade or longer.

Each of us can learn a precious lesson from the forward looking busness. We can and should plan at least ten years ahead. You must form an image now of the person you want to be ten years from now if you are to become that image. This is a critical thought. Just as the business that neglects to plan agead will be just another business (if it even survives), the individual who fails to set longrange goals will most certainly be just another personlost in life’s shuffle. Whthout goals we cannot grow.

Let me share with you an exzample of why we must have long-run goals to achieve real success. Just last week a young man came to me with a career problem. F.B. looked well mannered and intelligent. He was single and had finished college four years ago.

We talked for a while about what he was doing now, his education, his aptitudes, and general background. Then I said to him. “You came to see me for help on making a job change. What kind of job are you looking for?”

“Well,” he said, “that’s what I came to see tou about. I don’t know what I want to do.”

His problem, of course, was a very common one. But I realized that just to arrange for the young man to have interviews with several possible enployers would not help him. Trial and error is a pretty poor way to select a career. With dozens of career possibilities, the odds of stumbling into the right choice are several dozen to one. I knew I had to help F.B. see that before he starts going some place careerwise, he’s got to know where that someplace is.

So I said, “Let’s look at your career plan from this angle. Will you describe for me your image of yourself ten years from now?” F.B., obviously studying the question, finally said, “Well, I guess I want what just about everyone else want: a good job that pays well and a nice home. Really, though,” he continued, “I haven’t given it too much thought.”

Here are two steps that will help

First, visualize your future in terms of three departments: wouk, home, and social. Dividing your life this way keeps you from becoming confused, prevents conflicts, helps you look at the whole picture.

Second, demand of yourself clear, precise answers to these questions: What do I want to accomplish with my life? What do I want to be? and What does it take to satisfy me?

Use the planning guide below to help.

Read More: Case study on Alibaba

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