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Purpose, Vision And Goals

by Bob Proctor

Do you have a definite purpose that guides your ambitions, vision, and goals?

It doesn't matter how you think you ar rived here on this planet or under whose direction—the fact remains that each of us has specific talents and gifts that are uniquely coded within our own DNA.

As you go through life, you don't just pick up things you like doing by chance.

You discover what you're good at because you were meant to discover it, just as you were meant to figure out what your fingers do, and how your elbows work. Your unique gifts are hardwired into your system just as surely as your lungs are given their blueprint to breathe.

And it's from these specific talents and gifts that you're able to define and determine your definite purpose...the reason why you're here. What's in you cannot be found in another living human being. In fact, it's quite possible that what you bring to the table hasn't been duplicated—ever—since time began. That's right! This "purpose" is serious business.

"What a different story people would have to tell if they would adopt a definite purpose and stand by that purpose until it had time to become an all-consuming purpose." – Napoleon Hill in "Laws of Success"

If you fail to determine your definite purpose, everything else is wrong. It's like working with a broken compass—you may think you're going North, but you're not. You're not sure which direction you're heading, so, you're just wandering aimlessly.

Without your purpose identified firmly in your mind, you will wander through life, never quite feeling that you're "in the flow". I say, then, that it's imperative you recognize what it is you're good at—what it is you really love to do. Your purpose in this lifetime is to do the thing that you love.

People will tell you they already know what they're good at, and what they love to do most, but they'll never earn money doing it. Whoever gave you THAT idea? When you're sorting out your purpose, I don't want you thinking about THAT non-issue at all. You can earn money at ANYTHING. Once you determine your purpose, you won't even have to think hard on HOW to earn money—it's as if you're being guided by an unseen hand, heading in the right direction...and everything falls into place.

The key to your life is not that you settle for the "safe" thing that will bring in the money. The key is to turn and do what you really love. Fall in love with an idea. That's your life! That's your purpose.

Fall In Love With An Idea

More often than not, when we think of "love", we tend to think of two human beings in love. When they're in love, they enjoy the same ideas; their feelings are in harmony.

Love is resonance. Love occurs when two entities are on the same frequency. So, when a person falls in love with an idea, his conscious and subconscious are resonating...they're in sync. And, it's what's going on in the mind that dictates the vibration of the body and moves the body into action. So, you must first allow yourself to fall in love with an idea...what is it you really love to do?

The psychologist Alfred Adler once said, "I am grateful for the idea that has used me." When you fall in love with an idea, it guides you...you don't guide it anymore.

Nor are you going to find yourself digging around for ambition or seeking to achieve your purpose. It'll push you out of bed in the morning long before your alarm clock considers doing the same. When you land on your purpose and truly start doing what you love, it's like being 12-years-old again, waking up to your first glorious day of summer vacation. What might have been drudgery for you just a day before is now grand opportunity and discovery. You're loaded with ambition.

Did the weather change? Did the sun rise several hours sooner?

Of course not. The only entity that changed between the last day of school and the first day of summer vacation was YOU. In similar fashion, acting on your purpose pushes your ambition through the ROOF. The gifts within you were programmed to SING in a spotlight on center stage! Ambition is the talent agent that promotes these gifts and believes in your gifts to get them to that stage. The performance you do from that stage...that's your life's purpose.

Getting Past The Negatives To Find Your Truth

Purpose gives meaning to WHY you're doing what you're doing. It's time to listen to that inner voice, to give serious attention to what comes naturally to you...to what gets YOU juiced...to what gets YOU moving at the start of each day.

It's time to sit down and have a serious truth session with yourself. Nobody knows your gifts better than you—it's an innate sense you have. I don't care what your parents, guardians, teachers, bosses, and best friends have said in the past...and neither should you. In this session, don't entertain ANY negatives about yourself, past or present, real or imagined.

Understand that negative images have been crowding your mind since your first week on this planet. Even your first school papers were marked in red slashes when you were "wrong". That red mark drew your entire conscious attention, even if it was the only mark on the entire page. It shifted your energy completely; you might have brooded about it for days; it might have made you fearful of the next mistake you'd make. In many cases, it's this ongoing conscious attention on negativity and failure that keeps people from making any kind of different directional move in their lives.

You've had failings in your life. I've had failings in my life. When we fail, it's not a fault issue—we simply were not in harmony with what we were trying to do. You might have a failed relationship in your past that's left you with the opinion that it was your fault. You play the tapes back again and again rethinking what you said or how you acted. You're so embroiled in what you should have done differently that you're not seeing the bottom-line truth: The relationship was not in harmony, it wasn't resonating.

You might have failed in school. How can you get straight As with something you're not in harmony with? When I was in grade school, I was bored to tears. I didn't pay attention and I didn't get very good marks. Because I didn't get good marks in grade school, I expected the same—and my teachers expected the same—when I got into high school. So, what did I earn in high school? Bad marks. In Canada, we high schoolers had the option of attending a more academic college setting versus a trade-school setting. I remember telling a teacher that I was going to be applying for the academic college, at which point I was immediately told, "Don't go there. You'll never do well in academics. Go to the trade school, instead."

See, the masses are obsessed with conformity rather than creativity. I know you've had a great deal of input from well-meaning people who would rather you just stick to the status-quo...even if it's making you miserable. In their eyes, the status quo is safer, less invasive, more comfortable, and it doesn't push them into thinking about their lives.

I listened to my teacher. I conformed to what the masses thought of me, and off I went to trade school. I wasn't even there a month before I shoved my thumb into a bandsaw. Why did I fail there?

I was going in the wrong direction. I wasn't on purpose. I wasn't listening to myself, to what was true within me. In fact, I didn't think I was very special. I spent decades of my life thinking I wasn't very special.

You must recognize the unique gift of you. You're an individualized, phenomenal expression of life. If you start focusing on the mysteries, the spectacular parts of you that come together in perfect harmony in order to just accomplish the writing of your name...you begin to see the wonderful, complex person that you are. Add to that the ability to: paint in oils, put a car's engine together, program systems that make thousands of people's lives easier, play the piano without looking at a note, add and subtract reams of numbers, speak from a platform, match a person's hairstyle to their personality and lifestyle, fashion chairs and tables from a log of wood, put to paper a blueprint in your mind that becomes an architectural masterpiece...and you begin to discover the absolute, awesome uniqueness that resides only within YOU.

You're Not On This Planet To Live Someone Else's Dream

What is it you love to do? Don't bother yourself with what anyone else says...that's why you're here. As I have already explained, when you're not on purpose, odds are that you're not going to build in the right direction. But equally as important is this: When you believe you've found your purpose, do not allow yourself to be dissuaded by others' opinions—don't allow them to tell you in which direction to build.

After about 5 years of working at Nightingale Conant, I landed on an alarmingly great idea...I was going to do this on my own.

I wanted to do just what my close friend and mentor, Earl Nightingale, was doing, but I wanted to do it under my own name and with the education and knowledge I'd been personally acquiring over all the years. So, I got a tape recorder—you know, one of those old fashioned kinds with the big buttons and the red "RECORD" button. You put the tape in and it click-click-clicks away while you talk into the microphone...that kind of thing. And I sat down and recorded my own thoughts on the subject of personal growth.

I needed someone to give me feedback, so I called up a good friend and told him I had a great idea I wanted to share with him. I took the tape and recorder up to his house, turned it all on and...well, Joel Goldsmith's phrase "Thunder of Silence" couldn't have fit the situation better. As the tape played on, the pressure in that room became enormous—it was his embarrassment for me. I eventually turned the tape recorder off, and mumbled, "Well, it was just an idea."

As I was driving back to my house, it hit me: I was letting him steal my dream! This was my DREAM! I wasn't going to let him steal my dream! And that's when it clicked in my mind...I can DO this.

Had I listened to him, I would have fallen off my life's purpose. I would have kept obtaining goals and building long-term visions in my head, but I would have been going in the absolute wrong direction.

See, if you're not on purpose, EVERYTHING is off course.

When you have the right purpose, you'll easily develop the right vision.

When you have the right vision, you'll quickly recognize the right goal.

Purpose Leads To Vision, Vision Leads To The Goal

Once you've found your purpose, how do you express it? By creating and maintaining a vision.

Vision is what you do with your life. Vision is the strategy behind the fulfillment of your purpose. You accomplish this strategy by creating several short-term goals to keep you on course.

Van Gough once said, "I dream my painting and then I paint my dream."

We all know that Van Gough knew his purpose in life.

His vision, then, was the completion of paintings, each uniquely different from the other. How he put his vision to canvas involved a series of short-term goals. I work with a young woman who builds websites. Now, for most people, putting websites together can make your head hurt so bad that you just quit and decide to go do something else—anything else. Websites are complicated—and, unlike a house or an office building, you can build the whole thing before you realize you forgot to put in the plumbing...many websites aren't really functional.

But when this woman starts working on someone's website, she gets a feeling for what the client is looking for, and sees the site's entire blueprint in her head. Then she just follows the blueprint. See, she has the vision in her head—what she does to get from vision to a completed website is a series of short-term goals between herself and the programmer.

Vision is the key connector between one's daily goals and one's lifetime purpose.

Fix On Your Vision, Then Plot Your Course

This summer, I had a wedding to attend in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I had a few days to spare, and my wife and I enjoy each other's company, so I suggested to Linda that we drive instead of flying. She readily agreed and started collecting the maps we'd need for the trip. As we plotted the course, we would be driving from Toronto to Detroit, Detroit to Cincinnati, Cincinnati to Lexington, Lexington to Louisville and then into Gatlinburg.

We were plotting the vision, you see, to get us from Point A to Point B.

When we got in the car to begin the trip, which city was I thinking of? Detroit. I had to get to Detroit first; if I missed Detroit, there'd be a good chance we wouldn't find our way to the wedding at all.

Detroit was first on my list—that was my GOAL. After Detroit was accomplished, Cincinnati became my goal and so on...all the way to my final destination—Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

I've had people come up and tell me that they've given up on their big dreams because they never seemed to get closer, no matter what they envisioned or tried. The error they're making is that they're looking for their Gatlinburg, Tennessee while they're still sitting in the driveway in Toronto. In many instances, they're writing their Gatlinburg goal on a Goal Card I've given them, or they're writing it in a journal somewhere. This is all well and good, but if you're not also plotting your course to get from where you are to where you want to be...if you're not figuring out the first goal for Detroit, then following that plotline forward in progressive order, you're going to end up in Montreal instead.

You've GOT to plot the course. Figure out what you need to do between here and there and make those your goals.

Once you have the course plotted, though, there are three very distinct rules of thumb I want you to remember.

First, just because you've plotted the course doesn't mean you can put your whole plan on auto-pilot. When pilots reach cruising altitude they'll quite often put the plane on auto-pilot and let years of genius physics and calculus computations steer the plane toward its destination. But even with auto-pilot, you've got to manually get the plane in the air and manually land it. And even with auto-pilot, you've got to keep an eye on your instruments and pay attention to possible curve balls Mother Nature might toss your way.

You cannot rely on auto-pilot to get you where you want to go. You have to be personally involved and focused on the process.

Second, don't get so carried away with the details of plotting the action steps within your vision that you don't ever get out of your driveway. You know what I'm talking about—you see people around you do it all the time. They get so caught up in planning and charting and graphing their future that they never BEGIN it. This is fear in disguise—that's all it is. Your plan doesn't have to be perfect. Get the foundational elements in place and get moving.

Third, don't be so intent on motoring to Detroit that you miss the scenery along the way. You're on purpose...you're on your way...enjoy the journey, for heaven's sake. After all, that's what you're doing this for, isn't it?

When The Vision Doesn't Work

Now, it's imperative that you not confuse your purpose with your vision. In our solar system, the sun is the one stable element around which all the planets revolve. Your purpose is your sun. It doesn't move; it doesn't change. Your vision and its subsequent goals are the planets that revolve around your purpose's perimeter.

People will often say that they THOUGHT they were keyed in on their purpose in life but, for some reason, nothing seems to be falling into place to further that purpose. They mistakenly conclude that it's the purpose that is off-kilter. While this may be true, in most cases it's not the purpose that's off-kilter—it's the vision that's not getting you there.

If you've really honed in on that inner voice...if you've been true to yourself...if you've not allowed any negativity to sway you from what you believe your purpose to be...if you have duly noted that these unique gifts of yours actually run in your blood...then you're on purpose. It's simply time to do some analysis of the vision you've put in place.

I want you to imagine that you're in Chicago and your goal is to go to Detroit. Away you go in a rush. You're driving and driving, you stop and grab a coffee, you get back in the car and keep driving and...all of a sudden...you see a sign up ahead that says "Nashville, 186 miles."

You think, "What the heck? I'm going to Detroit. Nashville is in the opposite direction."

You're concerned now and even a little worried. You might even be a bit miffed. But you keep driving in the same direction. An hour goes by and you see another sign...Nashville, 102 miles...at this point, you're downright annoyed. "How in the world could this be happening?" you ask yourself. But you keep driving.

Now, if this were a real-life happenstance, you wouldn't keep driving. As soon as you would come across the FIRST indication that you were traveling in the wrong direction, you'd brake the car to a halt and do a u-turn right there on the highway. You'd bump across the dirt median between the two highways and you wouldn't even care if a sign stood right there telling you that this median was reserved for "official use only".

"This IS official use!" you'd grumble to yourself as you swing across and merge with the oncoming traffic. "I've been going in the wrong direction for an HOUR, for heaven's sake!"

Why is it that in REAL life you'd have no compunction about immediately changing your direction...but when it comes to changing direction on the VISION you have in place, you keep driving in the wrong direction, even while you know it's the wrong place to go?

The key is that you take note of the "street signs" and indicators that are trying to alert you to the fact that you're going in the wrong direction. You know what those nudges are—they happen every day, these "inner knowers" that are working to keep you on track and on purpose. When you are not on track to your goal, when you are not moving on your vision, you're going to feel bad about yourself and what you're doing.

This is a clear indication that you're not on purpose. Your intuitive mind is screaming at you—intuition is that marvelous mental muscle that is telling us the direction we should be going. It's part and parcel of the orderly universe we exist in; it's here for a very definite reason.

There's a difference between bumping up against dead-end brick walls...this is where your intuition kicks in...and meeting up with resistance as you pursue your vision. When resistance comes up, that old, crotchety paradigm might perk up to assure you that you're on the wrong path, that it wouldn't be this difficult if you were on the right path. Those old "quitter" programs in your head are not at all connected to your intuitive source, and as you get to know your "inner knower", you'll begin to recognize the feeling you get that distinctly separates intuition from a bad-talking paradigm.

Resistance is not bad, it is not negative. The good that you are seeking is here—in fact, everything you're seeking is seeking you. Your action causes a reaction, and that reaction represents resistance. Remember that airplanes would not only not fly, but they would never get off the ground without resistance. When you are on purpose, your goal guides you toward the good you desire. And through the Law of Vibration and Attraction, the good you desire is moving in your direction. Keep going through the resistance and, as Henry David Thoreau said, you will "meet with success unexpected in common hours".

When You're Not Doing What You Should Be Doing

There's one last point I'd like to make about recognizing your purpose.

More often than not, people have difficulty getting focused on what it is they're put on this planet to do because they're already doing something day in and day out that exhausts their time and, in the end, feel they are on the right track because they are covering most of their bills. Just because you have a 9-to-5 obligation and your bills are getting paid doesn't mean that you've figured out your true purpose. This fact, however, can often block or impede your progress toward that better and higher use of your time and talents.

Now, some people get stuck and are afraid or reluctant to make a move because they just can't see how their purpose will pay the bills. Furthermore, they have been programmed from infancy to believe it is better to be safe than sorry.

In this context, it's NOT better to be safe than sorry. When you picture yourself reaching the end of the road, do you think you'll be happy because you had a safe trip? But you never did the things that you dreamed about and, rather than reliving the exciting growth-oriented experiences that you had, you end up wondering what would have happened if you had stepped out and molded your own future.

On the other hand, there are people who land on their purpose and, throwing all caution to the wind, stop everything they're doing, including their paying jobs, to seek out this higher end for their lives.

While I have some admiration for this attitude and believe that people who take this action are eventually going to land on their feet, drastic action such as waking up and quitting your job tomorrow morning is not something I'd recommend. You see, you can't pursue your purpose if your basic needs of life are not met. Over the years, I've seen a number of people quit their full-time jobs because they want to devote more time and energy to building up this master plan, this dream in their mind. Within weeks, when they begin to see that their needs are not taken care of, they immediately begin to worry about "making ends meet" and they blow it.

When your needs are taken care of, you're free to move; you're free to take action. Freedom is simply the clear expression of spiritual power to and through you. When you're enjoying freedom, you're free of constricting worry. You don't lie awake at night planning your escape from your less-than-satisfactory life...because you're already free.

It is absolutely essential then that, before you take any drastic action, you first sit down and decide what your true needs are. What do you need to survive—to pay rent, to buy food, to keep the lights on and the water running? What do you NEED—not WANT—what do you NEED in order to ensure that freedom in your mind and in your reality. Come up with a figure.

When you have that figure, give yourself a mental break for just a few hours, then come back to that figure and whittle it still further. What can you cut from the first figure you came up with? What can you honestly live without for a period of time? I have found that when people take a first run at what they need, it's usually more than what they need. We're talking only absolute essentials here so that you're free from worry.

Find a way to get that financial need met. Can you go to a part-time basis with your existing company? Can you switch to another position within your company that allows that part-time base? Can you find a new job completely that still gives you the freedom and flexibility to work a few hours, each and every day, on what your true purpose is?

Just How Ambitious Are You?

And what are you willing to sacrifice or endure in order to get yourself moved onto this right track?

The fact is, no matter how easily your purpose comes to you, you'll be asked to make sacrifices in order to fully bring it into your life. In order to have ANY good come into your life, you must create a space for it first. That's the law.

When I mention "sacrifice", there are people who envision some kind of Old Testament ritual that involves really unhappy goats...I'm not talking about that kind of sacrifice.

There's a common misconception out there that a "sacrifice" means you're losing something. You're not losing here. When you're sacrificing something in order to operate at your higher level—your purpose and mission on this planet—you're just giving up something of a lower nature to bring in something of a higher nature.

You can't get to the top of the ladder unless you leave the bottom.

This is true in every facet of life. Think of the people who are looking for a new relationship, but they still haven't let go of the old one. Look at the people starting diet programs who just can't give up their morning bagel with cream cheese. And in today's economy, there are all kinds of people who have been downsized and are out looking for a new position—but they've still got the old position—with its negative emotional baggage—fixed in their mind.

What would you sacrifice in order to move into a new life...in order to obtain your dream...in order to do every day what you love to do?

As a guideline, I tell my coaching students and seminar attendees to consider sacrificing—first—what is not vital to your survival and—second—what is not required to achieve your purpose.

You're not going to endanger your life or the lives of those around you. You're not going to give up your health. But you might give up something you enjoy as a pastime or hobby in order to devote more time to creating this dream of yours. You might be willing to endure a temporary cash crunch in order to get a brilliant idea up and running. You might be willing to give up one or two nights a week in order to receive the education, training or certification you need to get you one step closer to your goal.

How ambitious are you in reaching this stated desire? Ambition is the expression of your desire—it's the thing that drives you. Remember, I pointed out earlier in this session that ambition is the talent agent that puts you in the spotlight on the stage of life. It's the fuel that pushes you forward. It gives you confidence. I've often stated that confidence is strength with style. Arnold Palmer says that confidence is a mix of concentration and pure hunger.

There's an enormous difference between hunger and greed. Hunger is understanding that you have an infinite source of supply and that you're here to do God's work—after all, God is the creator and God's work is creation. It's why we all possess this hunger to express this power in a greater way every day.

Greed, on the other hand, indicates there is a limited supply and we may not get our share so we will take it from anyone and everyone. We don't care what happens to the next person—it's every man for himself.

When you're in harmony with the law, greed thinking does NOT exist.

So, let's review what we've covered:

  • We establish our purpose.
  • We build our vision.
  • We set our goals.

It's absolutely essential that the goal is something you want. There's no playing it safe by simply going after what you THINK you can do. You've got to want it. And you want it because it's moving you in the direction of your vision. It's not just getting a nicer car or earning an extra dollar—your goal is something you dearly want, it's your heart's desire. It's helping you move in the direction of your vision.

Your vision was established with a long-term view of doing the thing you love doing, day in and day out on purpose, because your purpose is doing what you truly love to do.

Now you've got all three elements. There need be no excuses. Regardless of what's happened up to this moment, it's part of the past. Forgive it. Release it from your mind. Abandon it. Rejoice. Wrap your arms around yourself and recognize what you truly love to do.

I've given you the compass—now stay on course.

© 2003, Bob Proctor

An internationally acclaimed educator, business consultant, lyricist, convention speaker, author and highly successful entrepreneur, Bob Proctor has taken his dynamic personal message to opposite sides of the globe. He has caused hundreds of thousands of men, women and children to discover how to set and achieve goals considered far beyond their perceived capability. His works include "Mission in Commission", "New Paradigms", "I Am Now At My Perfect Weight", "The Success Album" with Michelle, his best-selling hardcover book "You Were Born Rich" and a training program designed for the modern era, "The Science Of Getting Rich".

 

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