By Marc Murray, Life Coach –
Have you heard about the man that had his funeral at age 75 but died at age 45? That’s right! The man died at 45 but was buried at 75. You see, he stopped living at 45 because he gave up on his dreams. He figured that since his dreams did not materialize by his determined deadline, they were probably not going to happen. He became so consumed with meeting the deadline that he forgot that what he was after was his dream and not a death sentence.
Let me be clear on this however, setting deadlines and goals are great as long as they do not cause your dreams to die. Just remember the dream is your fuel. I personally set one, five and ten-year goals on a spreadsheet that I read every Monday. There are three categories in each term that include personal, family and professional goals. When I scan my goal sheet, there are moments of great joy as I check off certain goals that have been achieved in the designated time. Yet, there are many instances when I miss a deadline. Ugh! So what should we do when we miss deadlines that impact our personal goals?
Here are two steps I take and strongly suggest you give it a sincere effort. This will prevent you from appearing before that judge that is running around in your mind that wants to put your dreams away for life because of a missed deadline.
The first step I take is to Remember WHY I want to achieve this goal. This allows me to reinforce my purpose in life. The two questions I ask are simply, “ why is this goal important to me? And “who may positively be impacted once I accomplish my goal?” Warning!!! Do not ponder too long on how your goals will happen.
“ If you know why, if you really, really know it … the how will come”(Mitch Matthews, The Big Dream Gathering Creator).
Secondly, I spend time alone for what I call a Discover and Clarify session to solidify a greater commitment to my goal. My question, “How long has this dream been in my heart?” Then I seek to discover some of the things I may have to give up in the short run or (long run) to pursue this goal. If you are willing to give up something of great significance, this will galvanize your purpose and those around you for many years to come.
My best example comes from when I began teaching my son how to play tennis. I had dreamed of becoming a motivational speaker and getting out in the community to make some strategic contacts. My son Gaston was only eight years old when we began to get serious about his development in the sport. I was not a tennis coach, but I was willing to learn. Recognizing that this was something we could do together for years to come and the fact that he fell in love with the sport after seeing Andy Roddick on TV at the US Open, became my WHY? Needless to say, tennis and my son became the factor that disrupted personal deadlines for my goals. However, I recognized this was important to him. Therefore, I studied the sport and learned from the top professionals in my area. As Gaston became older having some success, playing college tennis in the future became a very serious consideration. This helped me reinforce my WHY even more. In addition, there were many occasions that I got alone to have Discover and Clarify sessions constantly challenging myself to put personal career aspirations on hold, to train him and travel to an endless amount of tournaments on the weekends. My willingness to prolong my dreams prevented me from meeting many driven personal goal deadlines. Or, so I thought!
Now as I reflect, I realize that all of the effort of tennis training and finding new ways to motivate my son helped me become more effective in my passion to motivate others. My interpersonal skills also improved as I met many people from other countries and various backgrounds. The missed deadlines were not a death sentence for my dreams. Currently, Gaston is a freshman in college playing tennis on scholarship, which falls under the category of my family goals; something that has always been very important to me. However, there were many times when I wondered if I was going to get the opportunity to pursue my personal dreams.
The deadlines I missed because of tennis became a disruptive solution for long-term success for both Gaston and me. If you can grasp this dynamic, your dreams will not be sentenced to death but strengthened and that judge in your mind can stay in the chamber.
Marc Murray – Life Coach