Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Setting And Reaching A Goal

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I am a major football fan.  I am not however a fan of the “field goal” whereas a team gives up trying for extra yards towards the end zone and tries to kick the football through the yellow uprights for just 3 points, a consolation for failing to score 6 points.  That being said, when the pressure is really on, and it is only a matter of seconds left in the game, and those three points make a difference?  And the ball is lined up on the 45 yard line, making the actual effort more like 62 yards (10 for the end zone distance plus the actual yardage, and 7 yards for where the ball will be placed to kick it from), that effort really is a major attempt.

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So that is the analogy that I am going to make for this post.  That no matter what the odds are of scoring, or “achieving a goal”, no matter the hurdles against you, goals can be reached.

This post was brought on by a simple question to me the other day, “what is your goal?”  That is a pretty open ended question, quite vague, but I am a simple person, and I responded in such, “to be with my children again.”  Then he person realized I did not give him the answer he was looking for.  And yet, he repeated the question, in exactly the same form, “no, what is your goal?”  And I answered him the same response, “to be with my children again.”

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You see, I know how to reach goal.  And I know what my goal is, to be with my children again, hopefully very soon.  When I was diagnosed with cancer, my goal was to beat the cancer.  When I had my open heart surgery, my goal was to fully recover and get back to a normal life.  I am one for two with that one.

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Realizing the error of the structure of the question, he adjusted himself, “how do you plan to achieve a goal you set for yourself?”  Very different.  But unfortunately now, I had become a bit contrary and decided to toy with him and his intrusion, looking for details.  He had been looking for “pre goals” which I consider more “steps” to reaching my goal.

But I have a unique method of reaching my goals that I set.  I set the goal, and instead of working on steps to the goal, I work backwards.  It is an approach I learned from Norman Vincent Peale called, “Positive Imaging.”  I simply “see” myself at my goal, and then I work backwards.  Because I can see myself at my goal, in my mind, I have made it there, and all I need to do is “see” how I got there.  And because I am successful in “seeing” my goal, I work backwards from my goal.  Because I “see” the success, I take the final step prior to that, which was successful, and then the step prior to that.

It is an approach that has worked for me every time that I have faced a difficult time in my life.  And this period of my life is no exception.  Because my emotions are involved with this goal, being with my daughters again, I need to make sure that all of my thought processes are clear.  But if I were to set my goal, and work from the beginning, of the chaos and struggles that I am dealing with, I am focusing all of my attention on what is keeping me from reaching my goal because I am not seeing the success of each step until I take that step, unlike my way, where I see every successful step before I have taken it.

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And this works for me.  And it will work for this goal that I have set.  And because that goal will get recognized, I know that having done that, I will have met every “pre goal” or beaten every hurdle thrown at me.  I do not need to set multiple little goals, I have only one major goal.

I will be with my daughters again… and the sooner the better.

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