If we look at some ‘gurus’ in the field of self-help or personal development, they say that you need to write out your goals. That this is the key to success. When all it really is, is the key to successfully writing out your goals.

If you need to write out your goals in the hope that it will, somehow, force you to do something, it is a clear sign that you are lacking a real sense of direction and purpose in your life. More so that your goals are pretty miniscule and probably don’t inspire you.

Any goal that inspires or motivates me to action, I will be fully present to. Sometimes, I will be that excited by an idea that I won’t be able to sleep at night, as I imagine all the possibilities. That is how aware of it I am.

You don’t need to write it down. You just know.

I would reckon that at no point did Gandhi write out in his notepad, “My goal for today is to free India from British rule, and I’m going to do such and such to try and accomplish it.” He just knew.

Nor did Mandela ever write out, “Today, I’m going to do x, y and z to end apartheid.” He just knew.

Nor did Mother Theresa ever write out, “Today I am going to give love to 15 children in the slums of Calcutta.” She just knew.

Their heart spoke out to them. They listened. And then they took the actions necessary. That is enough.

The only purpose of writing anything out should be to clarify things, or to remind you, if necessary, of exactly what needs to be done.


Okay, whoa, let’s take a step back …

Writing anything down serves a definite purpose, and it should not be simply dismissed.

Anything that you write down is in existence. This gives it definition and structure. This is a very solid basis and foundation.

But it guarantees nothing. NOTHING. If you really don’t fancy it. If you are just doing it to placate your boss, or your therapist.

You can write out the most amazing mission statement, but if you ain’t feeling it, it won’t be worth the paper it is written on.

Never mind whether you have it written down or not, how badly do you want it? That will make all the difference.

© Phillip A. Klein March 2008

Published in: on March 16, 2008 at 8:03 pm  Leave a Comment