While it is important to have our thinking, our efforts and our actions organized into a definite pattern, still this means nothing unless they are directed toward specific goals. Yes, to have any meaning at all, life must lead to predetermined goals. Otherwise our entire existence is no more stable than a chip tossed about on angry waves.
I’m sure that most of us remember the story in mythology of the horse no one could ride. Finally one man conquered him and successfully performed the feat. When asked the secret, he related he had noticed how fearful the horse was of his own shadow. As long as he rode him toward the s he was successful.
We might well remember that as long as we look toward the sun, we see no shadows. Perhaps a more precise way of expressing our principle is this:
“Obstacles are those things we see only when we take our eyes from our goals.”
The first real sign of maturity in a youngster appears when he begins to pursue a pre-determined goal. It is only when this happens that life begins to take shape and his ambitions begin to focus. At this point in his life, he needs the influence of a father or older brother. We have heard it said many times that a boy doesn’t have to be shown a mark on the wall to measure up to when a man about the size he’d like to live up to is around.
If you have no specific goal in life, start immediately to fix one firmly in your mind. Don’t select a general one — make it specific. If you desire a larger income, don’t just say that you will increase your income. Resolve that you will organize your efforts to have an income of X dollars by a predetermined period of time. If you concentrate on this specific amount and the specific date and bend your efforts toward accomplishing your goal, you will be frightened almost immediately to find a powerful force within you drawing you toward this goal. If your goal is to spend more time with your family, don’t just resolve that you will do this. Instead, make a pact with yourself that you will spend, for instance, from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. each night with them, that at least once a week the entire family will go bowling or to a ball game or movie. Unless specific times are selected and guarded zealously, no choice has actually been made — no goal has, in reality, been set.
Howard Hill, at one time the world’s greatest hunter with the bow and arrow, made this classic statement:
“Unless you know your game’s feeding, sleeping and daily habits, unless you plan your hunt in great detail and follow your plans with exact precision, you are not hunting at all. You are merely walking in the woods.”
How many of us in our “catch-as-catch-can” approach to life without any specific goals are merely “walking in the woods.”
Again I caution you that mere mental concentration on your desire is not enough. You also must concentrate your efforts and constantly bring them to a focal point. Remember that thought is power only when put into action.