If one wants to actualize his/her dreams in life the importance of setting goals and making concrete steps towards achieving them is absolutely paramount.
I remember several years ago when a book called ‘The Secret’ came out creating quite a stir. As someone who is interested in human development & Psychology/Sociology (my two majors in University) I went & checked it out. Although these types of self-development books are hardly academic worthy journals (some might even refer to them as pop/pseudo Psychology) I was – at the time – quite interested in reading this particular genre.
The one message that I found really profound within ‘The Secret’ had to do with the concept of what you think about you become. The thoughts you have are the catalyst towards achieving your dreams or -on the other hand – creating a life or misery & perpetual disappointment. In other words, you often receive in life what you think you deserve and what you think about expands. I found myself feeling somewhat skeptical at the time but as I continued to pursue these concepts I became more of a believer; however, the one VERY important distinction I completely disagreed upon immediately within the book was the idea that it was enough to just want something to happen and that it would manifest itself naturally over time. I totally dismiss this notion. I feel strongly that in order to achieve goals in your life you have to have a strong will, desire & confidence as the rock hard foundation but without a roadmap, compass & a MASSIVE action plan it’s not nearly enough to just have ‘positive’ thoughts circulating within your head.
It’s one thing to want something and it’s another to want something so badly that you’re willing to wrangle for it, make necessary adjustments when things are not working out & continue to pursue it even when the odds seem to be stacked against you – when you’ve reached your weakest hour or tipping point and truly want to pack it in. It’s the burning desire that’s the key ingredient. It’s one thing to grab the bull by the horns but unless you’re willing to ride it into a concrete wall it’s not the kind of effort that will separate you apart from anybody else on this planet.
With this in mind I’m thinking about creating a series of articles related to achieving goals – travel & otherwise. I’ve at times, in the past -with my old family and friends journal – shied away from writing about my own personal life and what I hope to achieve; however, with the creation of my new travel blog that launched on July 1st, it’s time for me to open up a bit more because a portion of my life is already circulating on the Interwebs freely for anyone to view as it is.
My next post is going to be about the short-term and long-term goals I have for my blog & youtube channel. I will delve into other areas & hopefully write more tips/guides on how I was able to achieve certain things in my life; however, for my next post I will focus entirely on what I hope to achieve with my website.
This post is just the introduction to this series and I want to leave you with these final thoughts for today:
“What is it that you could be doing right now to improve upon or to take one step closer towards achieving something you really want to pursue in your life? Whether it be travel, career, fitness, relationship or health related it doesn’t matter. What’s one thing you could do right this moment to steer things a little closer towards the ideal path? Whatever it is – that one thing you’ve been putting off until tomorrow – get up and do it right now!”
I really enjoyed this post. I read “The Secret” a few years ago, and had a similar reaction you did. The idea that my thoughts control so much of my circumstances really resonated with me, and I started trying to live more consciously and positively. However, I completely agree that it’s not enough to think about or visualize what you want. A plan of action, taking steps toward those goals, these are essential.
Something that I have found useful, and others reading this blog might as well, is mindfulness. It’s so easy to get caught up in anxieties or things we have little control over and mindfulness helps me return to the present and stay focused on the moment at hand. For fellow travelers out there, there is a wonderful place in northern Thailand that teaches mindfulness in a beautiful, supportive community. It’s called the New Life Foundation (http://www.newlifethaifoundation.com/) and serves residents who have suffered from addiction, depression, stress and burn out, but also people who are simply wishing to make changes in their lives, become more focused and self-aware.
I spent some time volunteering here and it’s an amazing place. From day one, I learned so much about myself, about meditation and mindfulness and was inspired by the openness and warmth of the residents. This is a low-cost facility, so definitely do-able on a trip to Thailand. You get a private room with a private bathroom, can work one-on-one with a life coach, and participate in yoga, meditation, sports and art therapy. And the surrounding area is stunning, a perfect place to rest and rejuvenate, and figure out what’s next for you.
I highly encourage anyone to check it out!
I completely agree and this post comes at a critical point in my life, when I’m gearing up to start my own weekend experiential tours company. It has been a wonderful experience going from vision…and soon, to implementation. A very deep and philosophical post!
Charu, your plans are very exciting! I’m sure you’ll do well with it. I can’t think of anything more pleasing than having a dream and manifesting it into reality.
i agree with everything you have written here, in addition,most people miss aligning small goals towards the bigger goals to make the process less time consuming and more effective…
Flip, I agree with you. I think when setting goals you also have to be very patient. I know I get anxious at times when things aren’t going my way. I need to get better at that.
First post I’ve read here and I’m so glad I stumbled upon it. I love how your blog is not just about travel but also about motivating people to achieve their dreams. The Sole Sisters are still working on our 30 before 30 list (http://www.wearesolesisters.com/p/30-before-30.html) and we are running out of time. But I agree, goals are really important. It’s the first step in achieving them. Great site Samuel!
Lois, I ought to be working on that list myself!!! I’ve only got three months left before I turn the big three zero 😛 I will come that out.
I actually wrote a post about my life goals just the other day – if I see them in print, I know I can and have to achieve them. It won’t be easy, as you say, but with determination and clear goals etc; anything is possible right?! Lovely post!
Toni, I enjoyed reading your post. Best wishes with you goals 🙂
I totally agree Samuel! I loved The Secret, but I found the emphasis was too much on the manifesting part of it. You cannot get to what you want without taking action, and massive amounts of it. The dreaming and the believing is crucial as well, but don’t think sitting around mediating on a mountain top is going to get you what you want. If only it were that easy.
Hey Caz, your blog is good example of talent & massive amounts of effort = success. I’d love if one could just climb a mountain and start manifesting. In fact, if it was possible, I’d go and do it right now 😛
I`ve also read the book and watched the video several times. In general I think positive thoughts are better than negative thoughts, no matter what ! Most people would probably like to believe that such a philosophy as ‘The Secret’ were feasible…..but it also requires you to transmit that energy to draw the things you want closer to you and that can prove difficult allowing that we are surrounded by a lot of bad news on a daily basis which has the effect of losing our hope in good things happening. It`s necessary to shut that out and focus on positive outcomes.
I think that you are at a crossroads now…..where important words like ‘resolve-determination-belief and stick-to-it-iveness are paramount. From the little I know of you and forgive me if I`m butting into your life….but returning home after such a stimulating experience as travelling for almost 2 years and being the observer of different cultures and lifestyles can`t have any other effect than a vague sense of isolation and detachment from your old life in Canada.
I would say to stick to your guns and more than anything …give yourself time to reflect on your past 2 years and you`ll see it will all come together if you just hang-in !
The universe has unlimited potential and I believe we can access that by sending out our deepest desires but at the same time letting go of the outcome, not trying to control the outcome step by step…the how and the wherewithall are not important….yes be open to the signs and be ready and prepared but practice the Law of Detachment as Deepak Chopra outlines in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.
I think we all need to be reminded to deal with things in the NOW…we all have a tendency for entrophy…so your advice is excellent for you and for all of us.
Remember….Success is a journey….not a destination…and you are quite clearly on the right road.
Wishing you all the luck Sam….: )
Thanks Jacinta, your comment is really detailed and wisely put together. It’s not easy to be traveling for nearly two years and then for it to suddenly end. You change so much as an individual and then to suddenly be at home again you feel somewhat isolated from your former self and the place you had once called home. I think I often go through a bit of a post-travel depression after a long trip has ended and it takes me a bit of time to get out of the rut. My plans are to continue teaching overseas once again and that’s exciting in a sense but it’s more of a comfortable and routine lifestyle and I no longer consider this as ‘actual’ travel anymore. The exciting thing is that with this blog and with my future plans I will get to go on another big journey once again in a year or two from now and when I focus on that it makes things seem a lot more positive. I agree with your point about being more present minded. I know you’re making a transition yourself. How are you finding that so far?
I too read the that book a few years ago and I would agree with most of the things in the book though some of it just seems to be simple. I guess most people overlook the simple things in life like setting goals. For too many people the goals they set seem to them have to be “realistic” I guess to me what is realistic. Some people stop themselves before they even start or just set goals that are really low for some reason. I guess they are afraid they may not accomplish them. Nice post for me to improve getting closer to my goals I would need to continue shutting out those who disbelieve in what I am capable of achieving.
Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I think you bring up a great point that a lot of people are afraid to succeed or – even worse – of failure. Self-sabotage and learned thinking patterns from the past often inhibit growth I feel. Sometimes the doubts in your mind I think just have to be ignored. Not every thought you have is necessarily true and to ignore more of those negative thoughts would be beneficial I would imagine. I need to remember these things more often myself!
I wrote a post at my personal blog (micamyx.com) on how I changed from years ago, on how my priorities in my life changed. I used to be very competitive at the corporate world, but now i prefer to live a simple yet good life.
I am trying my best not to go back to the corporate world as it will deprive me from traveling more. Although it’s quite funny because i don’t really go out of town every week. I just want to be in control of my own time. It is the reason why i am working hard on updating my blogs and monetizing it. I also want to pursue film making and honestly, i am a procrastinator haha. I am busy with a film festival now since a relative of mine is in the competition. I am supporting him and i’ve seen a huge audience in the venue. Hoping that i get the groove back to go and work on that screenplay – my backpacker story 😀
Thanks for such thoughtful comments. A screenplay based on your life as a backpacker – how exciting! I still struggle with procrastination at times but I realize it’s something I will have to tackle if I want to enjoy my life more. The recent issue for me has been a serious back injury since I got back home from my nearly two year journey across South America & Asia. To confound my situation even further a job I had thought I had secured and lined up nearly 4 months ago appears to be slipping between the cracks. Sometimes challenges pop up as an ugly four headed monster all at once 😛 I think though that without challenges life would be quite boring and you’d never learn or grow as a person. My back is slowly recovering and I know I’ll find another job. It’s hardly the end of the world for me right now. Just hoping to overcome these challenges quickly.
Actually, I’ll be needing some inputs from fellow bloggers about this since I am not yet a hardcore backpacker -yet 😛 I do have some road stories to tell though. Procrastination sucks but we must beat it… tomorrow haha kiddin 😛
So where are you now? Are you planning to pursue corporate or are you moving in another place? I’m glad that even if you’re in a middle of confusion about the next move, you’re still positive about it 😀 Without challenges, life will be less exciting and entertaining. Hope you’ll be alright Samuel 😀 You will be okay 😀
Btw, love your videos! Been watching the whole day and can’t help but dance with the music LOL
Procrastination is a tough beast to slay 😛 I’m still trying to master that art myself. My plans as of now are to go back to Korea and teach for a solid two years and hopefully monetize my blog within that period of time. I would then like to complete two dream journeys overland – London to Singapore and Alaska to Patagonia. How about you? Do you have any dream trips you’d like to complete? Thanks for checking out my videos!!!