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by Dennis Roberts

When talking about goal setting there are two time perspectives that matter – where you are now (Current Reality) and where you want to get to (Future Vision). Goal setting has long been favoured as the means to focus your attention and efforts on realising that which you desire for the future.

In coaching circles the most favoured methodology for goal setting is the SMART methodology. Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely. The more specific you are in defining your desired outcome the more you can attune your focus and your efforts to the realisation of your ideal.

Goal Setting v Goal Getting

Setting well defined goals is only the first step in the process. If you listen to Anthony Robbins not only will you have set Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) but then the key is to take Massive Action. Clearly taking action is essential to realising what you desire. But is there another way?

Much of the “take massive action” movement is premised on the assumption that acts of will triumph over indecision and inaction. There is merit in that perspective. Indeed you can achieve your goals by clearly defining what you want, formulating strategies to make it happen and taking action to achieve your goals. It has been this way for decades. It works for some.

Yet, many people I have come across don’t set goals. They know they should but still they don’t or if they do they don’t take the necessary action. It’s not like they don’t know what to do. Is it due to laziness or a lack of conviction?

The Tao v Protestant work ethic

I wasn’t raised a protestant but somewhere in my catholic education I did learn about the protestant work ethic. Loosely translated it meant you had to work hard to make a living. Maybe Anthony Robbins was a protestant? Much to my relief I started exploring the Tao. You could imagine my joy when I discovered that the basic philosophy was one of ease and flow. It was completely the opposite of the protestant work ethic. Instead of striving, struggling, triumphing with acts of will, taking massive action, and hairy goals the Tao summised that there was an innate balance and harmony to all things and they key was simply to find your flow. Even Esther Hicks in her channellings through Abraham describes this as The Art of Allowing.

Remove the blocks

Back to goal setting and goal getting. It is important to define what you want. The key in shifting from an act of will to an affair of the heart is to let your heart guide your will. Acts of will have their place. What I am describing is the interplay between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind drives your motor functions. When programmed it doesn’t engage in debate of the relative merits of what you are pursuing, it just goes about the business of whatever it is instructed to do.

In the massive action model you program your subconscious mind through affirmations, visualisations and other mind over matter trickery. You engage neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques to alter the association and memories of past events. It is not unethical, nor is it immoral. Is it effective? Yes it can be. Is it in accord with the Tao? Probably not.

For people who seek a path with heart this is not the path. There is a model for goal setting and goal getting that has a heart. It is the way of the Tao or as Rumi said “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”

Here are three things to do today:

1.       Still your mind – the key to heart centred creating is not to alter the programming of your subconscious mind but to still your mind and enter your heart. The key is feeling not thinking. in this manner you tap into your intuition. Your intuition is your gateway to infinite intelligence.

2.       Dare to dream – the SMART acronym  is a little misleading. The “R” for realistic is not the best way for you to create an outcome that you have not created before. You need an element of imagination, ie not real. Be creative. Be imaginative.

3.       Feel your way – self-awareness especially with respect to what you feel is essential. Your physiology gives you constant clues. Tune into what you feel and honour yourself. And have some fun with it. Goal setting is best done when it is fun, creative, imaginative and free from day-to-day constraints.


by Dennis Roberts