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Don't Forget the Benefits

by David DeFord

When you start working on a new goal you feel so excited. You find it easy to move forward—like coasting down an easy hill on a bicycle. Every day you see joyous progress. You are sold!

You sail along in blissful forward motion for a time, and then you hit a roadblock. You will always hit roadblocks. Your enthusiasm wanes. Your forward progress slows. And you discover the cost is greater than you thought.

When you hit such obstacles, you unconsciously perform a cost/benefit analysis. You weigh the cost which is in your immediate vision with the benefit which may appear beyond the horizon of time—months or years away.

You have reached the most important stage of your goal achievement effort.

Are the costs so high that you choose to abort the goal? Or do the future benefits outweigh the immediate costs?

These costs may come in the form of time, money, effort, or willpower. The cost may reflect feelings of isolation because your friends have not made the same commitment as you.

Say you want to eliminate your debt. You chose that goal for a reason. Maybe you’re on the edge of financial disaster and must eliminate your debt to keep the collection agencies at bay. You may have decided on that goal as a preparation for a comfortable retirement, or to reduce your monthly outflow.

But as you blissfully head on the path toward debt elimination you hit an obstacle—extra expenses in the form of car repairs or a big sale at Macy’s. Oh it’s tough to stay on track. The immediate need seems greater than the future benefits.

This is especially true if you don’t continually reflect on the benefits. Where you focus your gaze is where you will steer your life. If you focus on the immediate costs and think little of the benefits you will never make it.

So, in the face of a tempting purchasing decision, you must weigh the costs and benefits. Which do you want more—a new outfit or progress toward a debt-free life?

Of course you need to count the costs. In fact, I suggest you count them before you make the goal. You will underestimate them often. But when the obstacles appear, don’t forget to look at the benefits. Focus on them. Visualize enjoying them.

We call focusing on the enjoyment of the benefits at the attainment of the goal “vision.”

Develop vision and you will attain your goals and dreams.

Related Quotes

Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds. Orison Swett Marden

Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the high road to pride, self esteem, and personal satisfaction. Brian Tracy

To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to. Kahlil Gibran

If we are striving, if we are working, if we are trying, to the best of our ability, to improve day by day, then we are in the line of our duty. Heber J. Grant

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I've just read "Ordinary People Can Achieve Their Lofty Goals" for the 3rd time in 3 days. The first time, I only got to page 10 before I felt so inspired that I had to stop and finish off some work on some goals I'd let slip. The second time, I just couldn't put the book down. I read and re-read the articles and learnt so much. What an amazing collection. So profound and uplifting. The third time, I decided to cancel everything else and devote a couple of hours to the book and read them all through. It's like a Masterclass in Motivation. My mood lifted so much, I felt so inspired at the end. It's definitely going to be a book I'm going to come back to again and again. Brilliant concept, brilliant execution, brilliant results.
By the way, there's no hype in that paragraph. That's exactly how it was.
Eric Garner


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