by David DeFord
The Grocery Bag Analogy
Have you ever noticed a plastic grocery bag on the roadside? The wind from passing cars tosses it into the air and pulls it in the car’s direction. When a car passes in the other direction, the weightless bag whips back that way. The sack cannot control of its own movements; it travels by the external force of the air currents. It passively follows where the wind determines.
The bag receives action rather than performs action. It becomes the object of action rather than the agent of it.
We need not be subject to the winds of external forces. We have the freedom to choose our destinations. We can become the agents of our own futures rather than objects of life’s forces upon us.
We have that freedom, but we don’t always choose to exercise it. We often allow ourselves to be swept along by life rather than choosing our paths. We must actively pursue what we want.
Early in our lives, we develop lofty dreams. Thoreau calls them “castles in the air.” We see ourselves becoming physicians, lawyers and famous authors. We form beautiful dreams of happiness and achievement. But as life’s challenges press upon us, we tend to lower our expectations. We cede control like the plastic bag—tossed by the winds of adversity and challenge and deposited by the side of the road that would have led us to our dreams. We take the seeming easier path. By doing so, we put limits on our freedom. When we live more deliberately we fortify our freedom and expand our options.
Jim Rohn has said,
"If you don't have a plan (goals) for what you want, then you will probably find yourself buying into someone else's plan and later find out that wasn't the direction you wanted to go. You've got to be the architect of your life."
Before the builders of a massive office structure begin construction, architects spend months in designing every detail. They discuss functionality, beauty, local ordinances and they make detailed plans for the building’s construction.
They produce blueprints that detail the physical structure, the ventilation and electrical systems. They consult with interior designers to create the finest possible plans for beauty and function. The planners consider the number of workers, their functions and traffic patterns. They design the facilities to maximize productivity and convenience.
Contrast the planning and construction of an office building with the efforts of a young boy building a tree house. He dreams of a place he can go to be alone—a secluded, secret place. He imagines a wonderful “castle in the air.” But, rather than plan the details of such a structure, he finds a board and nails it to a limb. Next he finds some masonite and nails it next to the board. As he finds other materials, he adds them to his little structure. Without planning, his castle becomes less than a shack. It fails to satisfy his dream and may prove dangerous to his health.
You need not live similarly. Don’t settle what comes your way. Plan what you will become. Don’t give up on your dreams in the face of difficulties and trials.
Road Construction Analogy
If you found your usual route to work barricaded for construction, what would you do? Would you give up and go home? Would you go somewhere else? Of course not, you would find another route to your destination.
Barricades will block the way to your dreams. But, you need not give up and settle for a different destination. If you attained your dream too easily, you aimed too low. The difficulty of attainment of a dream raises its value. Rather than changing your dreams, change your route to them. Find another way to get there. Make a new plan. The blueprints may change but our ultimate dreams need not.
Napoleon Hill, in his classic book, Think and Grow Rich, relates the story of R. U. Darby’s “gold fever.” Young Darby staked a claim in California’s gold fields and worked to exhaustion with pick and shovel in search of a vein. After weeks of labor, he found what he sought. Needing machinery to bring the ore to the surface, he traveled back to the East and raised money from friends and relatives and purchased the needed equipment.
Darby excavated car loads of rich ore. He had hit pay dirt. After a short time, though, the vein of golden ore disappeared. To no avail, he moved around his field, drilling and searching for more.
Finally, he gave up and sold his machinery to a junk dealer. This wise fellow called in a mining engineer to study the abandoned mine and to assess its value.
After considerable research, the engineer advised that the project had failed because Darby had quit too soon. He had stopped drilling just three feet from the true vein.
That junk dealer extracted millions of dollars in ore from Darby’s deserted mine! He lived the dream Darby had abandoned in difficulty.
We need not settle. We can live our dreams. We need a plan.
When you know what you want, and you want it badly enough, you’ll find a way to get it. Jim Rohn
I used to say, ‘I sure hope things will change.’ Then I learned that the only way things are going to change for me is when I change. Jim Rohn
Roger Bannister didn’t break the four minute mile one day while he was out for a jogging. He planned, prepared, and made it happen. David DeFord
Goals: How to Get Everything You Want-Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy
This is the most complete book on setting and achieving goals ever written. It is based on more than 20 years of research and speaking to more than two million men and women throughout the United States, Canada and 22 foreign countries.
Readers will learn a series of powerful, practical strategies to set and achieve goals in every area of life—faster than most people would imagine possible.
The book explains not only how to set goals, but the detailed process of organizing your entire life around the achievement of everything you want, both financially and personally.
Check out the goal achievement resources at http://www.TheGreatLifeStore.com
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