Goals are interesting. They can show the way or they can get in the way, depending upon how we use them.
For years "goal setting" has been touted as the pathway to higher accomplishment. Personal Planners were developed, and in the '80s People of Power were seen carrying them around wherever they went. These were thick, diary-type books, often leather bound, with little tabs for Every Human Thought, Stray Notation, or Activity. Budgeting of one's time was seen as another tool with which to produce Optimum Output and Maximum Effectiveness.
A few years later personal computers became ever more personal, getting smaller and smaller and finally fitting into the palm of one's hand. The Big Fat Leather Books went by the wayside as fast as they'd come upon the scene, replaced by Palm Pilots, Handheld PCs, Blackberrys, Bluetooths, and Huckleberrys. (I just made that last one up, in case you rush out looking for it!)
Today Goal Setting and Day Planning is as ubiquitous as ever. Ours is an achievement-oriented culture, especially, I notice, in the West. Yet I see people asking themselves life's most important question: What is it I am trying to achieve?
Individually as well as collectively, we seem to have lost sight of the target--if we ever had it in sight.
Perhaps this is why our lives are stories of continuing struggle.
Conversations with God tells us that the difficulty lies at the core of our thinking. Most of us, it says, have no idea of why we are here (with a body, on Earth, I mean), and those of us who do have an idea have an inaccurate one. We're way off base. We're badly mistaken.
Heck, we don't even know who we are. The latest (and final) book in the CwG dialogue series-- HOME WITH GOD in a Life That Never Ends --puts this succinctly when it says: Every problem in life results from a case of mistaken identify.
Once you understand who you are, the "why" of your being here becomes more clear, easier to understand, and exciting to embrace. Yet some people then replace the Inner Peace that this knowledge was intended to bring us with a sense of outer urgency; an urgency to get things done , or to heal the space, or to change the world , or to manifest destiny , or to alter personal reality. Or whatever else we have it on our agenda to do in order to demonstrate our awareness of our true identity, and to help everyone else demonstrate theirs. The irony of this is that this very urgency to establish our identity pushes us away from it.
So what, then, of Goal Setting and Day Planning?
Well, it has its place, so long as we understand the real Goal and the best use of a Day.
By "the real Goal" I am talking here about the goal of the soul, not the goal of the mind or the goal of the body. I have become very clear that these are very different. Profoundly different. I am very clear that our entire lives would change overnight if we could move into an awareness, in the key moments of every day, of The Goal of the Soul.
And we can.
This is something we can do.
Just stop. Whatever you're doing in that key moment, just stop. Stop.
Now ask yourself, Why am I doing this? What am I trying to accomplish? Why have I brought this experience to me? What am I creating here?
That last question is the most important.
What am I creating here?
In the language of the soul that question would be translated as: Who am I, and who do I now choose to be?
You cannot ask these questions in the key moments of our day, however, if you do not know what the "key moments" are. First, you have to notice them, you have to recognize them.
The key moments of your day are the moments in which you feel yourself losing peace, stepping away from joy, falling into confusion, embracing stress. You know when those moments are. You can't miss them.
Next week: the Real Goal, and the only reason for living.
Copyright © Neale Donald Walsch. All rights reserved.