Unfortunately, many modern teachings on setting and attaining goals are ego-driven. For those on a more spiritual path, the idea of goal-setting can be off-putting. But, it doesn’t have to be. Realizing, embodying, and expressing our deep purpose is um…well, the purpose of this life.
The teachings of “Awakened Goal Setting” are short, practical, and personal.
So let’s move on to part two. If you prefer to listen, click here.
When I first moved to San Diego, I had a hard time finding the ocean. Here’s why: I’d lived on the East Coast my entire life and had this deeply embedded sense of direction that the ocean was east. So, whenever I wanted to drive to the beach, I’d pull onto Highway 8, heading east, press down on the accelerator, and zoom off…toward the desert.
Even though my end goal was to arrive at the beach, I kept choosing to go the wrong direction, so I never arrived at my destination.
The same thing can happen to us when we’re setting goals.
Without mindfulness and awakened presence, the goals we choose may be taking us in the wrong direction. They may be based more on conditioning or inherited values than on what’s calling us to awaken and live our true lives, or dharma.
When we are ready to set goals, whether personal or professional, it’s important that we head in the right direction. We may set reasonable, well-designed goals that are measurable and specific. But if we are basing our end result on intentions that are not in sync with our present desires and circumstances, we may end up in a very different place than we wanted to be.
This often happens when we aren’t clear on why we want a specific goal. For example, we might set a goal to be “successful” but not define what that means for us and what’s driving our desire to achieve success.
So we may hit our numbers, finish the project, and do what we set out to do, but we end up with an empty feeling in our hearts because we headed in the wrong direction.
How do we know if we are going in the wrong direction? When we are disconnected from our values and life purpose, we will end up feeling empty and unsatisfied.
This often happens when we embrace values that were imposed upon us when we are children. Because we are dependent and heavily influenced by our authority figures, we can unconsciously adopt their values, even if they conflict with our own. If we continue to set goals in accordance with these values, we may perform well, but we will be living without passion and purpose and will soon find ourselves discouraged and lost.
When our goals are aligned with our sacred values, we’ll not only be more energized and engaged, we’ll have more peace knowing we’re moving with the current of authenticity and integrity.
To set goals that follow the current of power and bliss, we have to reconnect with our sacred values. Below are the steps to help you map out your course:
1. Review your sacred values.
Go back to your notes in the “Reflection and Embodiment” page at the end of part one where you named your sacred values.
2. Set your context.
Consider the context for this goal-setting session. Are you focused on work? A relationship? Your health? Be specific as possible. By setting the context for goal-setting, you provide a container within which your sacred values can come to life.
My context for goal setting is…
3. Embody your values.
Next, define what it means for you to embody and express your sacred values in the specific context you chose. Remember, your values can vary depending on the context. For example, the full and authentic expression of the sacred value, “love”, will likely be different at home than at work.
Note: You’re not setting goals yet. You’re still discovering what it means to live your sacred values in specific contexts, so write from your heart.
Complete the following sentences:
My sacred value is:
The embodied expression of this value is:
To live this value and expression fully and authentically in my chosen context means I will:
Now it’s time to set our goals…
Remember, aligning our goals with our sacred values doesn’t eliminate the inevitable challenges and changes that will surface in our lives. Life can be a bumpy road. But the bumps are part of the process—the inevitable ups and downs we’ll encounter on our path of awakening.
However, when we’re connected to the inner current of power and bliss, we won’t get knocked off course by these occasional bumps, and we won’t lose our way when facing challenges. We can learn from them instead, using them to deepen our connection to our sacred values…and follow the current all the way to the ocean.
Keep your eyes on the road ahead: part three will be coming soon.
Love & Shanti
Author: Eric Klein
Image: Author’s image
Editor: Brooke Breazeale
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton