What if your friend came up to you with a basketball under his arm and asked you if you wanted to play a game of 21?
You say okay.
You go outside to the court. But something isn’t quite right. The lot is paved. There is a fence around the square. You’ve got a basketball and two players.
You look at your friend as if he’s crazy.
“How in the universe are we going to know who wins if there aren’t any baskets to shoot at?”
You can’t win if you don’t have goals.
The basketball analogy makes it easy enough to see how important goals are. You can’t measure your performance without knowing how to score. Without a game plan, you drift through life like someone who shoots the ball randomly, hoping it will go where it should to win.
There are three reasons why we don’t set goals. We don’t set goals because we don’t know why we should, we don’t know how, and finally, we’re afraid.
The first reason we don’t set goals is because we don’t know why we should. We haven’t seen how life is like basketball. We think that successful people are just lucky. We don’t see the planning, dedication, and practice that caused that person’s “luck.” Then we get frustrated because luck hasn’t smiled on us when we haven’t practiced our own game.
The second reason we don’t set goals is that we don’t know how. What class in school included lessons about goal setting? I can’t think of one. Now it may have been disguised as something else like getting a homework assignment with written objectives for completion. But unless our teachers show us how that relates to success in life, we may not see the light.
The third reason we don’t set goals is because we don’t know what is required to achieve them. Perseverance is tough. If you’ve never made big plans or set a big goal, it’s nearly impossible to imagine how to get to the other side. Goals involve risk. What if you fail? Do you really want to do that in front of all your friends?
If these reasons for avoiding goal setting have marked your life, stay tuned. Next time we’ll talk about how to set those goals.
Then you can play to win.