"If you are clear about what you want, the world responds with clarity."

-- Loretta Staples
I've often said I've never met a lazy human being. I often meet folks who are stuck or frustrated, or who seem to go in directions that make no sense to me, but I've never met anyone who doesn't want more of some things and less of something else. As the Dalai Lama notes, humans are designed to move toward happiness and away from suffering. We're just built that way.

I have noticed with increasing frequency, however, that we often work really hard to accomplish very little. We are a stubborn lot! We try and try, and try again, even though our favorite strategy isn't working, and there is little evidence to suggest it will ever work. And yet, we keep on trying.

Most of the people who will read this actually live pretty comfortable lives. If you read this on the Internet, you probably have a computer and excellent literary skills. You may live in a wealthy country, probably have a job, and the basics of life -- food, clothing, shelter, even a savings plan -- are accounted for. So, it might make sense for TIP's readers to be quite content.

But that is not what I see or hear from clients, or in my email. I hear we are a very ambitious lot! We want more money, more time, more personal fulfillment, more satisfying work, and so forth. We are restless, and I love that!

And that raises the question: So, why aren't we getting the things we say we want?

We live in a golden age of opportunity and plenty. Over any 5-year period, you can have, see, do or become just about anything you desire. You can visit Antarctica (Mary and I did that last January). You can get an advanced degree, become wealthy, run a marathon, start a band, or move to Alaska. There are no limits!

So, why aren't we getting the things we say we want?

My answer is this: Many of us are using really stupid strategies. We have goals or desires or dreams, but we are pursuing them with strategies that have almost no chance of succeeding. We have been "trying" for years without success, and yet we keep on doing the same things in the same ways, year after year. That is really dumb!

If you are not reaching your goal, you have two basic choices: change your goal, or change your strategy. You either "get this" or you don't. What more can I say?

The reality is that you CAN be very happy in this life. You can make money, if that is your goal. You can raise happy, healthy kids if that is your dream. You can build a huge company or start a charitable foundation. You can write a book or teach high school or do whatever fills your life with joy.

But to have those things in your life, something must change. If your current strategy isn't working, tell the truth about that. If you've had a major goal for more than a year and it isn't happening, ask why not! Question your approach. Get better advice. Do something different!

And, above all, acknowledge the things that will have to change in order to make room for your goal to arrive. Who will you have to become? Who will you have to no longer be? Who or what will have to exit your life in order for new realities to be at home in your world?

Nothing will change until something changes. What steps or changes will move you forward this week? What must you read or learn? What must you do, or stop doing? What must you invest? Who should you call, or stop calling? If your dreams and goals are truly important to you, do one thing different this week. Take a step. Try a new way. Just do it!

By Philip E. Humbert, Ph.D., professional coach, author and popular speaker. For info and over 250 pages of tips, tools, humor and resources for your success, visit:
Copyright (c) 2002, all rights reserved.
As you enter Q4 of 2002, what a great time to take note of how
you are doing on the accomplishment of your goals. This week:

1. Look at your goals for 2002.

2. Do you really want these goals?

3. If yes, do one thing different this week -- ask for help, give a portion of the goal to someone else, learn something new about . . .

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October 11, 2002
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