The Incredible Question awaits your answer now

I woke up this morning in my hotel room in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with a heart bursting with gratitude. So much gratitude that my eyes were filling up with tears. And right behind the gratitude was a question. A searing question that burned into me. So now let me tell you my story and let me ask you my question. The question first...

What lies on the other side of goals?

Believe it or not, this is a question that no one ever asked me, ever -- much less answered. And this is going to turn out to be the most important question of your life.

I promise you.

When I was a young man it seemed to me that everyone and his brother was taking pains to point out to me "the importance of goal-setting." I came of age in the days before hand held personal computers and Blackberrys and all that. The Big Thing when I was an Up And Comer was the Franklin Planner. They were all the rage, and you could tell the Serious Ones Intent On Success from the Flakes and the Going Nowhere's by who walked around lugging a big fat leather-bound tabbed book and who did not.

The Franklin Planner had tabbed sections for everything: Today's Appointments; Current Projects; To Do List; Short Term Objectives; Long Term Goals; Memos; Contacts. Strategies. A flick of the wrist and you could tab to any thought you had ever recorded on any subject, or put your fingered on any data that you could ever need to get through any moment -- and, indeed, if you used the Planner correctly, your entire life.

The Planner was your entire life, and if you accidentally left it somewhere -- like, God forbid, on a bus or the subway or someplace where you could not immediately go back and get it -- you were in Full Disaster Mode. "Ohmigod!", one could hear people exclaim. "My whole life is in there!"

Over and over again in those ancient times (I'm talking about the Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties. You know, last century...) people Older and Wiser than I were telling me that I must set goals. I must set goals. Without goals I was going nowere. Without goals I was simply floating down a river on an inner tube, headed wherever the current was taking me. I needed to get it. It was all about

Goals and Objectives

And it was all about Setting Intentions

The sooner I understood that, the sooner I could set off on my Life Journey. Until I understood that, I would find myself going around in circles, getting nowhere.

Now, as an older man, I want to tell you that I think this was good advice. As far as it went. I mean, I think that it is important to have a clear idea about the things you want in life, and some well thought out, step-by-step plans about how to get them. And I think that Intention Setting is a major tool...a major the creation of your own reality.

So whether you have your check-off lists and contacts and daily appointments in MSOutlook or on a Blackberry or in your cell phone, I think it's good to have a personal organizer of some kind, and to have a set of long term goals and objectives as well.

But, as an older man, I want to also tell you that you are going to be missing something very big, something huge, if you do not ask -- and answer -- what I now consider to be a Key Question in Life:

What is on the other side of Goals?

Or, to put this perhaps somewhat more directly: What do I do when I "get there"?

You see, I'm 66 -- an "older man" for sure, but still relatively young by most contemporary measures, still in my active years, still very much on the playing field. They haven't carted me off to the Old Folks Home yet. And I've got a problem. I've already met all of my goals. So now what -- ?

If my life wish was to be loved by a wonderful woman and have wonderful children and grandchildren...well, okay, I'm lucky enough to have had that happen.
If my life wish was to be a home owner... I'm lucky enough to have had that happen.
If my life wish was to be on radio or television... I'm lucky enough to have had that happen.
If my life wish was to be a newspaperman --- a reporter, then maybe a managing editor... I'm lucky enough to have had that happen.
If my life wish was to be in the movies...been there, done that.
If my life wish was to be on the stage...been there, done that.
If my life wish was to be a best-selling author...been there, done that.
If my life wish was to be a professional photographer...been there, done that.
If my life wish was to be deeply involved in politics...been there, done that.
If my life wish was to be a musician...been there, done that.
If my life wish was to be a world traveler...been there, done that.

...I just don't know what else anyone could ever hope for or ask for.

Gosh! A person could wish for any ONE of these things and, if he got it, feel fulfilled...

I even got to live my dream and become a radio sportscaster, doing live baseball and football games -- high school and minor league, but still, sportscasting! Man, oh, man!

...and...if my life wish was to be a Messenger of God...I have been blessed to have been able to do that, too.

I am sooooo blessed. So incredibly, astonishingly blessed. I have achieved all of my goals. I have lived all of my dreams. I have accomplished everything I set out to accomplish and experienced everything I wanted to experience in life!

If you look back on your own life, you, too, will be able to come up with a loooong list of things for which you are deeply grateful. (In fact, that may not be a bad idea. What a wonderful little mental exercise for today! Why not do it?)

But then what?

Let that be the question for the day. What's on the "other side" of goals? Is it more of the same, just bigger and better? Naw. There must be something else.

And there is.

Yet until we ask that question...and give ourselves the answer....and LIVE that answer...all that we have experienced and all that we have achieved will mean nothing.


~ Neale Donald Walsch - God's latest Scribe? ~


Beverly Stewart 12th November 2009 8:02 am

Thanks for this message Neale. I recently met a major long term goal that I had set for myself. I had focused and worked so hard on this goal that when I finally reached it, I was left disillusioned and thrown totally off balance for a couple of days. I had never considered what I would do once I reached this goal and once reached it left me with a sence of nowhere to go, therefore, it took me a couple of days to figure out where to go next. Something that had never even crossed my mind. What a great message!

Llovley 12th November 2009 10:45 am

Such an interesting question you pose. It is one I have never put any thought into. I personally have never worried about the next goal and here is why:
Goals are merely visualizations of what we would like to accomplish. A mental picture of how we want our life to become. Goals are changeable, mutable if you will. The Goal it's self is less important than the journey that takes us towards it. During these journeys we grow and mature and learn. Thus changing small aspects of the goals we hold, redefining them by molding it to fit our needs today and changing it yet again to meet our needs tomorrow.
Don't get me wrong. These goals are reachable, attainable, as you have found that you can surpass them over and over again.
When you reach your goal what do you find? What's on the other side? You know the answer to these questions. It is in your heart and shows in your writing. (Gratitude, Love, Excitement.)
Worry not about what is next, rather EXPECT opportunities to arise that will help define new goals and provide growth. It will give you many more interesting stories to share.

k 12th November 2009 2:01 pm

If a person works through the ego driven desires of the physical world, they realize that all things of this world pass away and the accomplishment of goals in this world really do not matter. Why are we here? What is the main purpose of our existance, the main goal we should seek? It is the improvement of our soul. This body and everything we achieve in this world are very temporary, but the soul goes on forever. Becoming a master of one's self is not an easy task, but the reward is very great, even while we exist in the physical realm.

linda kristien 12th November 2009 2:09 pm

Full surrender to what Is...

LOVE, Apple

Aliah 18th February 2010 9:21 pm


Aliah 18th February 2010 9:22 pm


Aliah 18th February 2010 9:22 pm

a 13th November 2009 5:08 am

Love this question. To me it is when we bask in the fullness of our being. When we melt into the isness of life and savor the magnificent blessings that surround us daily. My question to you, do we have to wait to do this until we meet our goals?

This practice of basking and melting into the sweetness of life is just as delicious when we are birthing new desires and moving in the direction of these goals.

Thank you for the magnificence of who you are, we are so blessed God decided to share you with the world

Mailena 13th November 2009 7:45 am

There ist me :)

Llovley 14th November 2009 11:00 am

Beautiful Reminder k! Thank you.


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Author Information

Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God.


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