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Never, never, never give in

December 2002
Never, never, never give in

'It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was the spring of hope; it was the winter of despair' -Charles Dickens,

A Tale of Two Cities

Historically, times have always been dialectical, throwing up their own contradictory challenges, but this has not prevented ordinary individuals from achieving extraordinary success for themselves and for society. Today the US media and people keep reiterating that recession is gripping the economy and talk of the emerging clouds of war. There is nothing unusual about such fears dictating a major portion of our thought processes and behavior. Mark Twain once said, ?Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.? What can we do about this ?weather of recession and war-clouds??

I am reminded of an incident about Sir Winston Churchill, the former prime minister of England, who provided an excellent example of determination. He was invited to speak in his later years at the British prep school he attended. The headmaster told the students, ?This is a historic moment. Churchill is the greatest speaker in the English language. Write down everything he says. He will make an unforgettable speech!? When Churchill walked up to give his speech, he peered into the audience and said, ?Never give in. Never, never, never give in!? And with those words, he sat down. The students were stunned?and disappointed. These words, however, are the only words those students needed, and they are the only words we need to face today?s challenges.

Despite technological innovations, scientific advances and the knowledge explosion, we have failed to find answers to the fears and phobias that every now and then take over our minds and behavior thus depriving us of the pleasures of human happiness that could be ours as a result of contemporary environmental breakthroughs. To overcome these barriers all our efforts need to be directed to exploring and utilizing the Universe Within, to look inwards and develop the potential that lies there. The key to entering and excelling in this Universe lies in a self-directed Goal Setting Process, which helps you to take charge of your life. This Process works at five levels and can be practiced by everybody. This is how it can be developed:

Level One ? The average individual has a number of positive qualities ? aptitudes, skills, ideas, intelligence and effort. But these often seem to be jumbled up and pulling in different directions. Such individuals go round in circles or keep seesawing back and forth without getting anywhere. Their confused direction does not allow them to move towards achieving any meaningful or desired results, even though they may possess extraordinary potential in any one or more of these qualities. The conflicting directions hamper their ability to fully utilize their competencies. The lack of effective results increasingly starts affecting their self-esteem, which in turn progressively weakens their capacity to face the challenges around them. How can a person without direction change? Everyone can crystallize his thinking and change, by deciding on a Goal!

Level Two - You may have often heard people say ? ?Plan your work and work your plan?. ?You can?t get where you are going unless you know where you are going.? But though you may have heard this advice many times over, it is mostly in isolated situations: at seminars or conventions, from parents or at school, but not repeated frequently enough to become a part of your thinking or attitude. So what action is required to motivate a person to the fullest potential? Now that you have crystallized where you are going and are clearer of your direction and Goal, you start making a Plan to move towards that Goal by finding solutions to various possible obstacles you are likely to face on this journey. You define target dates to the planned steps to track its progression. You begin to accept the fact that success demands a price ? that your Goal can only be reached on purpose and not by accident, and that it can only be reached with well-tuned and realistic plans!

Level Three ? As your goal, which was a bit vague earlier gets clearer with specific action steps in your plan, your journey starts becoming crystal clear now. You can see it! It?s like looking through a bunch of drainage pipes lying every which way along the road. You can?t see too clearly at first, but as you straighten them and line them up, you can clearly see the pattern. Everything starts falling in place. It starts to fire up your enthusiasm. And you begin to have Desire .?desire that burns!

Level Four ? When you have chosen your Goal, and you can see it, taste it, visualize it, you realize that life suddenly becomes richer. The burning desire that builds along with each stage of clarity comes as a remarkable revelation. No matter where you go, you realize that not one out of 20 know where they want to go! You ask someone how much he wants to make and he says ?More?. You ask another what he wants to achieve, and he says, ?I dunno?. As you begin to compare yourself with the responses of others, you begin to realize ?I?ve got a laser sharp focus and know my goals and plans much better than others? and you are easily filled with Supreme Confidence.

Level Five - And that confidence, connected to desire, held together by a plan, propels you to that goal. Now who among you, with this kind of accomplishment ? seeing your goal, having a plan, wanting it with all your heart and passion plus a supreme confidence in yourself, would sit down and quit? The chances are, nobody will! So what do you have now? Determination!

That, in short, is the Goal Setting Process. At this stage many of you may still wonder ?Can I use this Process in my life?? Yes! Every individual can! r

[Mohan Kapur of the SPARC Group is a leading expert in improving measurable performance of organizations and professionals. Contact: 678 357 0055; email: mohan_kapur@hotmail.com

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