2.2 Goals

Having A Dream

Aspirations are important, how you would like it to be is important. Many of us had dreams as teenagers some of us still have them, some of us wish we still had them. Dreams are like prophetic visions which may never come true. Dreams are a basic ingredient to creation of most things that we value so they must be valued as a seed from which to grow something we want. So don't let your dreams go to waste, commit them to paper.

Exercise: Write down your dreams before you read on. Take at least a day to do this if possible and preferably a day spent in a favourite place that is quite and conducive to meditation and thought. If you have now lost many of your dreams then write down what you remember of your old dreams, before you gave them up. What would a day or indeed a year in your dream life contain? 

Levels Of Need

For any being there are certain needs common to all of that species or race. Food, water, shelter for example are some of the basic needs. The psychologist Abraham Maslow worked on it and came up with the following list of needs.
  • SURVIVAL: Satisfying the bodies functional needs.
  • SECURITY: Guaranteed survival over time.
  • BELONGING: Being part of a group or society, with friends etc.
  • RECOGNITION: Being recognised by yourself and others as performing some useful function.
  • FULFILMENT: Reaching your ideal state of living.
Much of the work we do is directed at satisfying these needs. Some things we do satisfy more then one need. In an ideal world we would like to spend time satisfying all of them at once.

NEEDS: Which of these basic needs do you satisfy in;-
  • the work that you do now,
  • the work in your vision,
  • the spare time you have now,
  • the spare time in your vision. Take a minute to think about it and write down a one line answer to each question in your note book.

The object of this text is to try and help you find ways to fulfil at least some of the dream, at the same time as satisfying the other basic needs also.

Finding Goals

The objective now is to separate out from the dream aspects which correspond to the different needs. To some extent we are going to take your dream apart now, which can be disturbing. Taking a dream apart is the first step to trying to build some of it in reality. We all fear that it may not be possible to build our dream and this is a genuine fear and I think this puts us off. But I think we can only make dreams real if we understand reality sufficiently. 

In looking at your dream it should be a cohesive whole, a picture of your dream life. Now we need to look at the aspects of your dream life. For example if your dream life involved having a family then finding the person you will have it with may be a goal. I have divided the goals according to Maslow's levels of need because often people forget that eating or having a home may be just as important to them as being spiritually in touch or some other more abstract goal. It is easy to lose focus on survival while reaching straight for fulfilment.

So the goals are divided into three categories;-
  • Environmental: Roughly corresponding to Survival and Security.
  • Social: Roughly corresponding to Belonging and Recognition.
  • Self: Roughly corresponding to Fulfilment.
But before we go onto the goals I would like to say a little more about goals in general.

Impossible and Improbable Goals 

Some of the goals that you would like to achieve may be impossible even though you have an armoury of techniques for goal attainment. But don't dismiss things to soon.

Recognise the difference between the impossible and the improbable.

In reality any goal will either be reached or not, the coin will come up heads or tails. Probability is about not knowing whether a coin will turn up heads or tails. Knowledge is the adversary of chance and though with coins we may not be able to get for-knowledge of how they will turn out, with much else we can.
If the goal that you seek seems highly improbable or it might be because you are bogged down by unknowns that should be knowns. Seek out more information so as to find out whether your goal is really impossible or not. If you walk through a wood with your eyes closed you will be vary unlikely to reach the other side, but find the path and all becomes simple.
The section ‘Origination' is about finding paths to goals, about creating them.

Goal Direction 

If you have a number of possible goal directions, be careful!  It is easy to let yourself be held back by having many possible directions to go in. Of course its worth thinking about which direction to take, but if this doesn’t help then don’t stay where you are and feel sorry for yourself. Remember that unlike a path, where if you go the wrong way you have to go back, with goals you can often tread many paths at once. Treading many paths at once or pursuing many goals at once is probably the best way for you to find out which goal really suits you.

Simply, don't fall into the into the idea that you have to pursue a single goal before you are ready to. Pursue all your goal directions with intensity. Organise your projects so as to keep track of them. When you need a change then work on one of your other goal directions. But before you change direction make a note of where you are with the particular project so it is easy to pick it up again.
You don't have to be like everyone else, develop any talent you want to and find ways to use your combined talents to offer the world something extra. Only then will the world offer you something back.

Managing to work on more then one project at a time is dealt with in more detail under ‘Time Management'. Find new and innovative mixtures, learn to apply those mixtures to be rich in mind and pocket.
Be careful not to focus on certain of Maslow’s levels of need while ignoring others. If you are wealthy it is likely that you will ignore issues of survival. If you are poor it is likely that you will ignore issues of fulfilment. Even in a difficult situation you still have limited choices open to you and you must exploit these to the full. If you do not consider the issue of fulfilment you have even less chance of ever reaching it. Choose to work for and support those institutions that consider you. Make things difficult for those institutions that use you. 

The Time Horizon 

The goals that you are able to set for yourself will depend on your time horizon, namely how much time you are prepared to give a goal and how far into the future you are prepared to commit yourself. So many fail to get what they want because they say ‘well what can I do?' when they should be saying ‘What can I do with a week, a year, ten years or a lifetime?' The answers are so much greater.

Goal Tokens 

Remember your goals. On your long journey into the future, especially when the going gets tough, its easy to forget just where you were in fact going. Having a goal token may help. Write down your various goals and frame them on the wall. Make a picture out of it, after all it is what your life is about. Or at least keep your writing in a book but have something that represents where you are going.

ENVIRONMENTAL GOALS: This is about the environment in which you live, your house, the area you wish to live in. Before filling in the handout try to make a list of the factors about a house or area which would strongly influence the way you thought about them. Try to get about twenty factors at least. There are other general elements to our environment such as what goods or services are available to us, how accessible transport is etc.

PERSONAL GOALS: What would an improved you, be like? That is your self-development goal. What do you want in terms of friends, lovers, family etc.

Looking at the goals you have written down so far I now want to start to look at two routes to reach them. Let‘s just remind ourselves of the broad categories of goal;

Environmental Goals:
  •     Housing
  •     Location
  •     General
Personal Goals:
  •     Self Development
  •     Relationships


Very important is what you intend to contribute to society, in other words the work you will do for others, and what you intend to receive in appreciation of that. These aspects are dealt with by the Social Goals handout.
With the environmental goals, you can reach them in two ways. One, wrestle with nature; and two, obtain them through the society you are a part of. Society trades usually using a this idea called money, where by certificates that represent a debt owed to you, are traded for anything you fancy, well pretty much. Obtaining these certificates, then, is a good idea.

SOCIAL GOALS: In particular think about which of the environmental goals will be reached with the help of society, and what you want to give to society in return. If you aren‘t to sure about what you want to give or how to give it, or you haven‘t been successful at giving it so far, fear not. This text directs itself to exactly that problem.

In considering what the particular society you are in needs from you look again at Maslow’s Levels of Need and ask yourself what proportion of the population have reached each of the levels. This gives you a good idea as to what may be required.

We should not go against our inner feelings which are basically to contribute as we wish and to survive by that contribution, to sell what we have to give, for survival, and to be appreciated for it. In this respect we are all alike. But the truth is we are not always interested in appreciating the next guy for the reasons they want to be appreciated. Thus the choice is to change what we have to offer or to change the people we are offering it to!

You have an obligation and perhaps a duty to find a path to your happiness and the happiness of others.

© Tom de Havas 2000. The information under this section is my own work it may be reproduced without modification but must include this notice.