How do you measure what you want?

A crisp breeze became an alarm clock that time of year. Two brothers sat down with new school supplies at the dining room table. Their mother leaned in from the kitchen, “How do you two think you’ll measure up this year?”

How Will This Year Measure

The older brother answered, “Keep my average up to be sure I won’t get cut from the football team, so I can get into college.”

The younger brother said, “Well, just be sure I don’t have to repeat this year, so I can stay up with my class.”

Two brothers. Two goals. One set of goals was specific based on winning, while the other was happy to get by. This is a true story about me and my big brother. He was the one with common sense and drive.  As any kid, I couldn’t wait for the school bell. But it wasn’t to go play. It was to go to work. My days of long sessions of window gazing and day dreams were focused on a career already decided. My passion came true at 14 years old with my first job on the radio.

Looking back, school was a short chapter. My real obsession for knowledge was sparked by my determination to win in my career. The process of goal setting never came to mind at my young age, but it was just that. A definite purpose pulled me into my future.

There are many articles based on the technical steps in goal setting, this story is about the journey.

That should be no big surprise as we all know that planning is critical to achievement. The challenge comes in developing a real plan to get real results.

Earl Nightingale wrote many radio broadcast and focused on the topic of goal setting in many of his best selling programs. Even though serious effort must be exercised when setting goals, Earl emphasized the quality of life we should enjoy on the journey to achieving our goals. In one of his thousands of radio broadcasts titled, It’s Not the Destination, he said, “Where a person goes is not nearly as important as how he gets there.”

He continues with an analogy of building a house, “That a house is built is not that important. It is the manner in which it is built that makes it great, average, or poor.”

This consciousness of how we execute the daily tasks needed to reach a goal is far more important than making a list and checking off items. Many of our articles focus on the mechanics of making the various long term and short term goal lists. This article is to focus on our attitude we bring to the completion of each step.

Another Nightingale Conant published author Jim Rohn said this, “Set a goal to make a million dollars. Not because of what a million dollars can buy, but what  you become by achieving the goal of making a million dollars.”

In Earl’s broadcast, he said, “People forget what they are really looking for, or what they should be looking for: the discovery of themselves.”

For some of us, our self discovery comes years after the cap and gown ceremonies have been forgotten. The change of the season isn’t important. The change in our daily actions is. On the subject of school and my academic acumen, one day my father and I discussed my time of being a bad student. He said, “What do you mean? You weren’t a bad student. You loved school. You loved it so much you went all year long. You never missed summer school.”

On that, I did do what was needed to not get set back and repeat a year. The question for all of us now comes down to the quality of our efforts in all tasks; both big and small.

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