William James wrote, “Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked. We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources.”
Motivation is the key to achievement. But most people are like cattle that must be prodded; they have little or no self-motivation. Somewhere along the road of life, it’s wise and profitable to learn self-motivation, and rise above the level of mediocrity.
How may we incite self-motivation? The first priority is goal setting. If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never get there. Goal setting gives a sense of purpose and provides a gauge by which progress may be measured.
Let’s say that you are a sales person. What are some of your goals? Here are some possibilities:
Increase sales by 50%.
Buy a new house for my family.
Save money for the kids’ college education.
There are many others, but these are enough to illustrate my point. Obviously, it’s improbable to reach these goals at once, but you can make progress by taking one step at a time. As sales increase, money can be set aside for college and that new house.
You can go to Google and discover a great deal of information about goal setting. Some of my favorite authors through the years have been Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, Dan Sullivan, Jim Rohm and Earl Nightingale. All of these educators and motivational speakers emphasize the importance of goal setting to achieve maximum potential in our lives.
Goal setting helps us deal with problems because you become proactive in your thinking. More than likely you will find the answer in the realm of one or more of your goals. At least, you will know where you are going, and the problem will only give a minor distraction.
The next step is a plan of action to reach those goals. What would happen if you approached your decision this way? “Well, I’d really like to increase my sales, but I’m still young and have lots of time. I’ll wait till next month, or maybe next spring.”
Good intentions will never get the job done. Without a conscious decision to start a project and stay with it, those dreams will crash on the rocks of procrastination. Always have the next goal in the back of your mind, since the most satisfaction comes form pursuing a goal, not simply from achieving it.
In about two weeks a new year is upon us, and the 2020 calendar offers 365 days of challenges and opportunities. What do you want to do with your life? What are your goals?
The Christmas Holidays is a busy time; however, we can find a few hours to plan for the new year. Self-motivation, planning, and determination are essential for making significant achievements.
We need wisdom to make the right decisions and set the proper goals. Here is the best source for wisdom: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Godly wisdom gives purpose and strength for living.
Jerry Burnaman is pastor of Grays Prairie Missionary Baptist Church.