Plans, goals and dreams

"Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal."

Every one of us should have in life a plan, blueprint, goal or dream without which life would lack lustre, enterprise, beauty and purpose. One would do well to emulate great thinkers, philosophers and spiritual persons who are driven, never take ‘no’ for an answer and reach for the pinnacle of success against all odds.

One should be inspired by people like Helen Keller, who was blind, deaf and dumb, yet went on to be educated and qualified, learnt five languages and never let being handicapped affect her morale and dreams. How true is the saying, “Dreams are like stars…you may never touch them, but if you follow them, they will lead you to your ultimate destiny.”

If one is motivated, charged up and ambitious, one will feel inspired to reach for the stars and if one does not get that, at least, one will have reached the trees. Dr A P J Abdul Kalam is an example of a person who came up the hard way, rose to the ranks of being an eminent scientist, also known as the `Missile Man of India’, with the icing on the cake being when he was appointed the President of India. He is one individual never to rest on his laurels, but always remain humble and grounded despite his success. He averred, “Dreams are not what you see in your sleep.

It is the thing which doesn’t let you sleep.” One should indeed have a focus and direction where one should lead a life almost like a race horse wearing blinkers which allows the horse to look only forward and not sidewards, as this could distract it from its striving to achieve its goal, i.e., winning the race. One should, likewise, have such a single-minded purpose in all that one undertakes, for if not, one would be like a cloud floating in the sky with no fixed direction or purpose, just blowing in which ever way the wind or breeze is blowing.

One should not just keep verbalising one’s plans and dreams, but one should have a practical blueprint in place. How can one do this? One can divide one’s goals into two categories, personal and professional. In personal goals, one can make a list of what goals one wants to achieve in the next 20 or more years. Listing personal goals has the disadvantage that many of the goals depend on a lot of intangibles, like one’s fate, destiny, feelings and emotions.

One would be prudent if one is practical, realistic and down-to-earth in this summation. One can do this by understanding one’s strong points and weak points, the practical reality and the prevailing circumstances and situation.

After one has made the blueprint of the list of plans and goals, one should necessarily give a time-frame or time-limit for each of them. Otherwise, if one just fills a page with a list of goals without practically thinking about a deadline, they may remain nebulous, unachievable fantasies. Also, by setting a time-limit, one would become enthusiastic and determined into achieving them. Once one has a list of the goals along with the time frames ready, one should keep this page in a place where one sees it constantly, like one’s prayer room, one’s study table or next to one’s bed, in order to eke one on. One can then pray a personal prayer to God every day regarding these goals, besides also practising other motivating methods, like autosuggestion and meditation. Prayer would make one strong-minded, determined and tenacious to achieve the goals despite obstacles.

Indeed, having goals is essential in this ruthless, cunning and cut-throat world where one has to keep running just to stay in the same place. If one does make goals in life, one is bound to slog for those who do.

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