I’ve spoken at length about goals and how we can unleash the right brain through visualization and mind mapping. I said for goals to be powerful, they need to be specific and in tune with your core values. You might remember the saying by Carlos Castaneda, “Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone one question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.”
There’s an ancient story about sages who came to this planet many thousands of years ago with the secret of life. They argued where they could keep this secret so only the worthy would find it. One sage said, “Let’s hide it on the moon, and only the worthy will find it there.” The master replied, “No. Eventually, man will find a way to the moon.” Another sage said, “Let’s put it at the bottom of the ocean.” The master again said, “Eventually, man will find it at the bottom of the ocean, and it will be available to all.” Another sage said, “Let’s put it in the middle of the earth.” The master said, “No. Eventually, man will find his way to the middle of the earth, too.” “There’s only one safe place to put the secret of life,” said the master, “And that is to bury it in each soul’s heart. Those who look inside themselves will find it for themselves, and they will be worthy.”
Carlos Castaneda said, “Try every path, as many times as you think necessary.” Paths that I try, I like to break it down and ask myself to find if I’ve got that heart for the path, break it down to three questions. Can I do this well, really well? Can I do it better than most? Do I enjoy what I’m doing? Have I got a passion? Do I lose track of time? And, does it benefit me and does it benefit others? Is it an inspiration or of value to other people. I think these three questions really embody our heart’s goal, and if possible, give us that burning desire. You’d hardly think the racing car driver, Michael Schumacher, would risk his life each weekend racing Formula One cars for the money. He certainly doesn’t need the money. He does it, and he does it with passion, because he has that desire to be the best. He really enjoys what he does, and he can see the benefit to the people who surround him and the wider community. No doubt, he’s an inspiration to many.
Our two great motivators are love and fear. I call goals of the heart “love goals.” I often call goals of the head “fear goals.” Let’s have a look at these two things. Sun Tzu wrote about the greatest motivator being fear, and some religions are often based on this. Fear by its nature is attached to our ego. It is an attachment, and our ego directs us in what is going to make us look better momentarily, or feel better, or more secure, but it’s not necessarily doing what is best for us. It’s a long way from our heart’s goal. Let’s say when I decided at 17 I wanted to be a millionaire by the time I was 25, that was probably fear- and ego-related. I did all the right things, visualizing the waterfront home, how it would benefit others, et cetera, but I can’t say my motivation was out of pure love, albeit, there was that strong desire. When I reached my goal financially, I then had to ask myself, “But do I have a heart full? What do I truly want? What was that hidden treasure?”
This is quite an amazing dynamic because it took away from the ego- and fear-based, and brought it down to that love-based. By nature, the path that I then walked was phenomenal for my own self-esteem. The fear- and ego-related goal didn’t do anything for my self-esteem. In fact, it made me even more insecure, thinking I needed better cars and better toys to display this so-called success of mine. Having the love goal allowed me to really exercise my passion, and that built up a self-confidence and self-esteem that I still feel today, and it’s with detachment. So think about goals of the heart being love goals, and associate them with your self-esteem. Fear associated with ego, and as you dissect it, look to make those love goals. Love goals are what can I do, what can I do better than most? Do I really enjoy doing it? Have I got a passion for it? Does it benefit others?
Let me tell you the Parable of Wasted Time. Two young monks are seeking enlightenment. They go to a great enlightened master and ask him to be their guru. Guru is a combination of two root words: Gu, meaning darkness, and ru, meaning light. Darkness into light. The two young man ask this guru to help them reach enlightenment. The guru replied, “Yes, I will help you. Now go and work in that garden.” He pointed to the garden, which is probably the size of tennis court. The monks started working in the garden. Every night, they’d talk, wondering when the guru will start teaching them. Every day for the first month, they anticipate that the guru will come and congratulate them on their work and invite them in for lessons, but after six months, it still hasn’t happened. The two monks begin to wonder whether this is the right place to be, but they decide to keep going on.
After a year, the guru still has not spoken to them. One of the men started to become very despondent, but the other convinces him, “Well, let’s continue working in the garden for a little while longer.” Three years later, the despondent one has had enough. He tries to convince his friend that this has been a complete waste of time. They should leave. He’s heard about another visiting guru who’s promising enlightenment within 14 days, but the friend won’t listen. He’s actually not as attracted to enlightenment anymore. He’s become to have some sort of affinity with the plants in the garden that he’s been growing under his hands. In fact, he’s become quite passionate about it, and often loses all his sense of time as he works.
Finally, the despondent one could stand it no longer. Yet another guru has appeared on the scene, promising enlightenment in 10 days. He decides to leave and investigate on his own. The other man stays in the garden and continues to work. Sometimes, he falls asleep in the garden, forgetting to go to bed. Sometimes, he forgets to eat. One day, the guru walked up and stood right in front of him. The monk didn’t even notice he was there. Eventually, the guru tapped him on the shoulder and said, “You’re enlightened.” This monk went on to become a great teacher and years later, who should come to see him seeking enlightenment but his old despondent friend. “Friend,” says the seeker, “You’ve become enlightened, but how did you do it? I’ve been with many gurus all promising enlightenment, all these years, and I still haven’t found it.” “Friend,” said the teacher, “Enlightenment is inside your heart. When you become happy and useful in everything you do, that is when you’ll find it.”
Clearly, these two young men had the same goal, but one was there with a motivation of love and passion, and the other was motivated by ego and fear. What about you? What about your goals?
>>> Coming Next: Part 05 – Why Set Goals?
Please note: This is an extract from the Signposts for Success – it may not contain the exercises from the full version of the book/audio set, for full version please contact us or follow our blog for more.