Establishing goals gives life purpose

At some juncture in life every person should ask this question: “What do I really want out of life?”  It’s best to ask the question when you are young.  

Some have secret desires but they are afraid to pursue them because of fear of failure.  However, failure is not terminal.  The successful person is always willing to risk failure.  When you are knocked down, just get up, and keep on going to reach your desired goals.

A young man approached the philosopher, Socrates, and asked, “Socrates, will you teach me what you know?”

The great teacher looked at the young man and replied, “Do you really want to know all that I know?”  

“Oh, yes, teacher, I do.”

“Walk with me for a time,” Socrates said.  So, they walked for a while in silence.  Then the philosopher led him off the path and into the shallow waters of a lake.

The young man thought that was a strange way for the philosopher to teach him what he knew, but after all he was Socrates, so the student decided to go along with what was happening.

They continued to walk into the water; it rose to their ankles, then knees and hips, until finally they were standing in water to their shoulders.  Suddenly Socrates took him by the shoulders and pulled him underneath the water.

The student grabbed a breath before he went under, and for the first 15 or 20 seconds he wasn’t bothered, but after about 30 seconds he wondered when Socrates was going to let him up.

The young man signaled to indicate that he had been under long enough and wanted to get out.  Another few seconds and he began to fight with all his might.  He kicked and clawed and scratched, but the hold was strong and he lost his strength.  At that moment, Socrates pulled him out of the water, dragged him to the shore, and revived him.

When he caught his breath, angry and confused, the student looked into the face of one of the greatest philosophers of all times and said, “What was that all about?”

Socrates looked into his eyes and replied, “When you want to know what I know as much as you just wanted to live, then you will know.”

A burning desire spurs us on to achieve what at first may appear out of reach.  Define clearly and specifically what you want out of live, then pursue those goals with all your might.

However, make sure those goals are honorable.  “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17).  Here is strength for living that gives purpose to life.

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