Developing "Be" Goals

Never let the things that matter most be at the mercy of the things that matter least.

Today’s tip hits the very bull’s eye of work, life, and time management. And yet, how many times have you let the important things slide… like rest, relationships, and results… while you spent a few more minutes on the Internet, watched one more episode of American Idol, or straightened your desk instead of making that sales call?

If that sounds like you, if you sacrifice the best in life for the stuff that’s good-enough, there’s a key strategy you need to master. You need to…

=> 1. Develop “BE” goals as well as “GET” goals.

Of course, you’re wondering, “What does that mean?”

The trouble is… most people only focus on their “get” goals. They want to “get” that promotion, “get” a slimmer body, “get” a bigger paycheck, “get” a better relationship, or “get” whatever.

But you must also have some “be” goals — if you want a happy, satisfying, well-lived life. So the question is… do you also have “be” goals?

Do you know what you want to “be” in the future? Maybe you want to “be” more self-confident, “be” more skilled in selling your product, “be” more effective in managing your team, or “be” a bigger risk taker.

You see… you will “be-come” somewhat different in the future. Winners plan for it. Losers merely drift through life… hoping for the best.

To focus more on my “be” goals, I was helped by Dan Crawford, the man who replaced Dr. Livingston in Africa. Crawford spent twenty-eight years serving that area.

Along about his twenty-second year, Crawford thought about going home. He told a Bantu chief, “I have been here a long time. I think I will go home.”

The chief replied, “Where is home?”

“England,” Crawford answered.

Then he sat down and told his black Christian brother what England was like. He described the ships that sailed on the seas. He told him about the long trains with the locomotives that billowed out great puffs of smoke. He related the beauty of the huge bridges made of steel spanning the great rivers of his homeland.

Crawford continued, “The homes have a knob you turn and running water comes out of a pipe, right in the house. You can wash or take a bath. You can even go to a wall, push a button and light will come on in the room.”

As Crawford became lost in his memories, the old chief interrupted, “Is that all?” Crawford was silent. Finally the chief said, “But, to be better off is not to be better!”

The chief was right. When most people talk about goals, they’re talking about “get” goals or “getting” ahead. It usually has something to do with money or materialism.

And that’s not all bad… as long as that is not your primary focus. As I tell people, “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can sure buy a lot of therapy.”

So you’ve got to temper your “get” goals with “be” goals, which means you need to…

=> 2. Keep on gathering wisdom.

In and of themselves, “get” goals have never provided anyone with peace of mind or quality of life. They’re a half-truth focused on “things.”

By contrast, “be” goals have more to do with “wisdom.” And we don’t talk much about “wisdom” in today’s society. At best, our focus seems to be on an education or knowledge.

But even the famous Dr. W. J. Mayo railed against that emphasis back in 1933. He said, “One of the chief defects in our plan of education in this country is that we give too much attention to developing the memory and too little to developing the mind, we lay too much stress on acquiring knowledge and too little on the wise application of knowledge.”

More recently, Sandra Carey wrote, “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living, the other helps you make a life.”

So ask yourself, as you look at your own “be” goals… or lack of them, “Are you getting wiser, or are you just getting older?” It’s a lot easier, of course, to get older than it is to get wiser.

The same goes for time. It’s a lot easier to waste your time than invest your time. And “be” goals are also focused on “time.” After all, how you spend your days is, in effect, how you spend your life. As author Robert Fulghum put it, “Making a living and having a life are not the same thing.”

Have you ever confused the two? If so, who do you really, Really REALLY want to BE-come? I urge you to figure it out.

The research is abundantly clear. Those people who have a process for setting goals… achieve much more than others who simply wander through life. Goal setters are goal achievers. Period!

But the happiest, most successful people have also learned to balance their “get” goals with their “be” goals. As John Truslow Adams said, “There are two educations. One should teach us to make a living and the other how to live.”

Action:  List 5 “Be” goals you want to achieve. Write down what you are doing… or are going to do… to achieve those goals.