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Why People Don’t Set Goals
They Think Goals Aren’t Important First, most people don’t realize the importance of goals. If you grow up in a home where no one has goals or you socialize with a group where goals are neither discussed nor valued, you can very easily reach adulthood without knowing that your ability to set and achieve goals will have more of an effect on your life than any other skill.
They Don’t Know How
The second reason that people don’t have goals is because they don’t know how to set them in the first place. Even worse, many people think that they already have goals. Alas! What they really have is a series of wishes or dreams, like “Be happy” or “Make a lot of money” or “Have a nice family life.” But these are not goals at all. They are merely fantasies that are common to everyone. A goal, however, is something distinctly different from a wish. It is clear, written, and specific. It can be quickly and easily described to another person. You can measure it, and you know when you have achieved it or not.
They Have a Fear of Failure
The third reason that people don’t set goals is because of the fear of failure. Failure hurts. It is emotionally and often financially painful and distressing. All of us have experienced failure from time to time.
They Have a Fear of Rejection
The fourth reason that people don’t set goals is because of the fear of rejection. People are afraid that if they set a goal and are not successful, others will criticize or ridicule them. This is one of the reasons why you should keep your goals confidential when you begin to set goals. Don’t tell anyone.
Your Worst Enemies
The greatest enemies of success and happiness are negative emotions of all kinds. Negative emotions hold you down, tire you out, and take away all your joy in life. Negative emotions, from the beginning of time, have done more harm to individuals and societies than all the plagues of history. One of your most important goals, if you want to be truly happy and successful, is to free yourself from negative emotions. Fortunately, you can do this if you learn how.
The first of the four root causes of negative emotions is justification.
You can be negative only as long as you can justify to yourself and others that you are entitled to be angry or upset for some reason. This is why angry people are continually explaining and elaborating on the reasons for their negative feelings. However, if you cannot justify your negativity, you cannot be angry.
For example, a person is laid off from a job due to a change in the economy and declining sales in the company. This happens all the time and to almost everyone, sooner or later. However, the individual becomes angry with his boss for this decision and justifies his anger by describing all the reasons why his being laid off is unfair. He can even get himself so incensed that he decides to sue or get even in some way. As long as he continues to justify his negative feelings toward his boss and the company, his negative emotions control him and occupy much of his life and thinking.
Refuse to Rationalize and Make Excuses
The second cause of negative emotions is rationalization. When you rationalize, you attempt to give a “socially acceptable explanation for an otherwise socially unacceptable act.” You rationalize to explain away or put a favorable light on something that you have done that you feel bad or unhappy about. You excuse your actions by creating an explanation that sounds good, even though you know that you were probably an active agent in whatever occurred. You often create complex ways of putting yourself in the right by explaining that your behavior was really quite acceptable, all things considered.
This rationalizing keeps your negative emotions alive.
Rationalization and justification always require that you make someone or something else the source or cause of your problem. You cast yourself in the role of the victim, and you make the other person or organization into the oppressor or the “bad guy.” Rise Above the Opinions of Others.