I absolutely love my GPS system. I was not in favor of this purchase at first, but I have come to really depend on it. It has helped me whenever I go travel to new places or when I needed to reroute myself because of traffic and I use it all of the time.
I got to thinking today that about how using a GPS is a lot like setting goals for ourselves. I have learned a few things from our GPS system and I would like to share them with you.
How is a GPS like goals that we set in life?
When we have a vision or goal for ourselves we need both focus and clarity.
1. The GPS asks you for 2 coordinates, where you are and where you are going. That’s it. All other information doesn’t matter to your GPS. By satellite signal it knows where you are. It is both obvious and frustrating but the truth is that you can only begin where you are as you implement your goals. You may wish that you were someplace else further down the road or closer to your goal, but you are where you are.
2. You can’t just tell the GPS to take you north somewhere. You have to know specifically where you are going. You need a particular address. Your goals also have to be very specific. You have to have something definite, specific and measurable to focus on. When I hear someone set some goals for themselves and they say that they would just like to make more money next year I tell them that goal will not serve them well. It has to be more exact such as, “I would like to increase my income be 25%.”
3. What happens when you get off course and hopelessly lost? The GPS never asks you how long you have been lost. It doesn’t pass judgment or sound disappointed that you have been turned around for a long time and that you are still trying to get there. I think that this is a great way to approach end goals when we get off course. You can’t forget where you are heading. Just reorient yourself and get back on track.
4. When you have arrived the GPS says, “arriving at your destination”. It then signs off and is available for your next trip. Once you reach a goal, enjoy the destination, enjoy the achievement and know that there will always be a new goal soon and then another and then another.
5. Different GPS takes you on different routes. We have the same starting point and the same end point programmed into the different systems, but the route is different. Sometimes it is slightly different, other times there are major deviations in the recommended route. They both get you there. There are many ways to get you to your goal.
6. The GPS is persistent. It doesn’t seem to care that the trip has taken twice as long as usual because of traffic. It just keeps on course. It doesn’t matter that you have taken the wrong turn again. It just reprograms and gets you back on course. Persistence reaching our goals is the most important part of goal achievement. Persistence will get you through all of the setbacks and disappointments that you experience along the way.
So go ahead and program your destination and enjoy your trip.
Full Speed ahead.