Is there anything that man cannot achieve having set their mind to? Let me bring that closer to home and ask if there is anything you cannot do with your mindset on it? Having experienced life and its challenges you may prematurely say yes indeed there is a lot that one can fail to do even if they set their whole mind to it but what does it really mean to set your mind on something. Is it the casual think-about-it often and be excited about the possibility of it happening or is it something more? Could it be that the phrase ‘I put/set my mind to’ is sometimes loosely used causing us to be twisted about its real meaning?
Targets are an excellent way to get yourself focused on accomplishing your bigger goals but before putting them in place you have to eliminate room for failure. It is no use setting high targets at the nick of a moment of excitation when deep down inside you don’t believe in your ability to reach them. Setting your mind to make something happen is therefore putting yourself in that space where failure is not an option. When you are convinced beyond a doubt that you can take the task on, then consider the following guidelines around targets:
1. Don't set life targets, instead set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly ones so that you can begin to appreciate the value of time as well. This is not meant to discourage planning for years to come but to encourage immediate action because the problem with life goals is that they give the false impression that you have forever to work on them. We rarely imagine ourselves leaving this earth anytime soon therefore speaking of life targets tends to put us in a state of relaxation. The much useful urgency for time is lost.
2. Before setting a target have a strong why and if you don’t then take time to find it out. Tragedy is putting on your running shoes and setting off at high speed in a race only to ask yourself when you are worn out, tired, and panting why you are struggling and discover that you aren’t sure.
3. Targets must be reachable, well any target is achievable to the one who truly believes they can however to keep yourself motivated to soar to greater heights, set targets you imagine yourself reaching.
4. Have one outstanding target. Sometimes we fail because we spread ourselves too thin. It is great to have a to-do list but at every point have that one thing that you are bent to make happen if it is the only thing you do. You would rather excellently do a single thing on the list than realize at the end of the day that you touched on ten different ones but never got much done on any of them.
5. There is no rule against changing your targets as you practice and experience the difference between your plan in mind and actual execution but this can be avoided if you give more thought to the ins and outs of your target before finalizing on setting it. Take time to visualize exactly how you intend to do it so that you see some of the loopholes in your plan.
Expect pain when teaching yourself to focus. Like disciplining a child you love, you deny them something they want and they don’t like that but with time they learn patience and the fact that they can't always have their way. However, when you have raised a strong and balanced character in them you cannot help but be proud.
In this era of smartphones, tablets, and computer games distractions have increased in number and intensity. Very often we don’t realize how much time we spend on these gadgets, sometimes we think we are doing something of value like reading or researching yet fifty percent of that time is divided amongst different applications, newsfeeds, and general catching up with virtual friends. Maturity is the ability to turn your back on these disturbances in order to keep focused.
Some people are good at concentrating even in the midst of noise. They can study for an important exam while their roommate blasts loud music in the same space. I have met very few such people. The rest of us who aren’t wired that way need to separate ourselves from such distractions when we there is a need to get down with serious business. Creating an environment conducive for fruitful work goes a long way in making sure that work is done.
Focus is such an important virtue it separates the busy from the effective. There really is no point in looking busy but never producing tallying results. It is better to put in two hours a day of concentrated effort towards your dream than to work at it for ten hours full of interruptions.
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