Responsibility and Time Factor in Goal Setting

The "goal setting issue" is very often spotted throughout modern coaching, training and developing systems, no matter personal or business related. I'm pretty certain that if you read this, than you've already spotted the SMART concept (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, defined in Time) or variation of the same. The issue is massively exploited! No wonder, it touches a sensitive area of human living.

In order to understand the process of setting and achieving goals, it's essential to have in mind several basic points.

First of all, in the very basis of each goal one sets, there is a decision already made. First comes decision, than the goal specifics. The decision sets quality, and the goal specifics are just quantification of the same. First, we decide upon the necessity of bringing in some change in our life, then we explore the possibilities on what (particularly), when, and how we act in order to make the change happen.

Further, since we live a number of identities throughout our daily life (we are parents, children, workers, lawyers, CEOs, beggars, actors, you name it, at same time), it's normal to have goals for each area of our life, or each identity, if you prefer so.

However, not all these goals have same significance for a specific period of time. Here we include priorities. If we practice some system of self-improvement that requires so, we have consciously built a priority list. On the other hand, major part of the population has it operated automatically, without conscious involvement. Common for both groups, though, is that the priority list exists.

If we connect two elements of goal setting - the decisions and priorities, we can conclude that priorities are nothing more than giving different weighting points to decisions already made. The emphasize still goes on decisions.

The last thing that I'd like to point out here before I connect all three (actually for the first two - decisions and priorities, it's already done) is the following:

Since there are domains in our living that we can't control (i.e. we can't choose not to breathe, stop our heartbeat by desire, or change the time season, we can conclude that we don't have access to "all buttons" that are to be pressed in order to make our wish come true, or our goal fulfilled.

To provide minimum field to understand each other, I'll name the above (the uncontrollable realm) the 4th Dimension. I'm not quite happy with this term, but I feel so whenever I'm trying to word the Unutterable. It's the limitation that goes along with human's speech. The Ultimate Reality transcends the words. The last are only poor symbols.

Now, I'd like to emphasize here that in decisions, which, as explained before, are in the very basis of the goals, lies a "reasonable amount" of Responsibility. Now, Responsibility of my decision towards the Universe? What do the other beings have to do with my goal if it's "ecologically clean"? Well, keep in mind the elements of a goal explained above and read on.

First of all, the Universe is multidimensional. Ordinary men are able to experience three dimensions at one time. However, let the starting point of this theory be the assumption that there are more than three, because what we can't see, hear, taste, touch or feel doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. But in order to understand each other I'll use three-dimensional terms to explain what I want to communicate with you.

Let's imagine the Universe is a jar filled with marbles.

In this concept, everything that exists in the Universe, other people, plants, animals, mountains, rocks, is represented by a marble. (Please note, the "real" Universe is not definite. The combination of life forms existing in the Universe is also not definite. However, the jar is definite, and the number of marbles and color combination of the same in the jar is also definite.)

So I am also one of the marbles, living in the jar. Now, I look at the surrounding and find it unacceptable (In my "real life", I get dissatisfied with the current state, at least in one area of my life). So, I make a decision to reorganize the surrounding layout of the marbles and make it suitable to my current needs (I decide to make a change in my life and improve the area that I'm not happy with).

Now here comes the crucial moment. If I want to make those changes, the layout of ALL marbles in the jar is inevitably changed! If someone (the one existing in 4th dimension) observes the situation, he(she) notices that the whole layout of the marbles in the jar has been changed! Forever! No chance to take the move back!

The truth (let's get out of the jar) is - one can't change anything in one's Micro-Universe unless the whole Macro-Universe is changed. The responsibility is vast. But no matter what, the decisions should be made.

Actually, there is no way the process can be stopped, because that's how the Universe expands. By developing process of the Micro-Universes (through their decisions to change something), the Macro-Universe expands, develops, evolves……

Again, the decision should be made and, yes, the priorities should be occasionally rearranged. However, one should be ready to bear the Responsibility of the consequences that are going to come in, once a decision is made. And what are they going to look like is not always predictable.

To be brutally clear about what I mean, if one decides to get rich, a death of close relative and getting a big inheritance is not reflecting the prime idea, is it? A caution on what we are wishful for is highly recommended. Else, being ready for the consequences is not bad at all. The burden could be so big that one could repent……in vain, of course.

Now, let's get back to those Goal setting concepts and the Time factor. I've never spotted one that doesn't recommend making our goal time specific. However, the more I advance on my journey, the more I see myself time detached. My ultimate goal in this life time is: To die aware. Or, in other words, to be conscious, alert, aware……when the physical death takes place.

Now, following the recommendations of these concepts, there have been some goals of mine that I'd set in terms of time. The truth is, I've never achieved any goal in the time frame I'd set it so far.

Yes, the goals are being achieved, progress is being made, but the time button doesn't work. At least for me! Although being less and less dependable on time, I'm still functioning as an ordinary human being in this time-space, so I can't just neglect the time concept. However, the time specific goal seems somehow shallow and defected.

No matter how strong, valued, clean, honest and purposeful our goals are, the Universe, the big sea consisted of us as precious drops, operates through its own laws, executing the Big Plan.

There is no time in Eternity.

Copyright © 2003 Mitko Keramitchiev --- Skopje, Macedonia