It is 6.30AM on 12th November 2015 as I write this article. Yesterday was Diwali and as expected, it was fun and frolic for the last two days. The next 2 days are also going to be exciting because offices are closed, weekend is approaching and festivities are still alive. It is truly the best period of the year in India when people are together with their families and loved ones and the whole atmosphere is filled up with lights, sweets and joy.
Yesterday night my wife, Anu and me went for a walk to take a short tour of our society. The idea was to meet people and wish them Happy Diwali and also have a look at the lights that people have put on their houses. It is such a wonderful feeling to see such variety of lights and chandeliers and candles and diyas that fully lit up homes as well as the skies. As we were walking and taking a look all the houses on both sides of the road, Anu pointed to a home that was not well lit and perhaps not to bright as well. This house belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Kumar who lived with their son and daughter-in-law. As inquisitive as Anu is, she casually asked me why that house was not so bright. We knew that nothing unfortunate had happened to their family, which is generally the reason people don’t lit up their homes on Diwali. Then, why was Diwali not so bright for them.
Mr Kumar’s son - Prashant used to study with me in the school, we were together in the same class. Prashant was never a bright child and he was always amongst the bottom five or ten students in the class. He was my very good friend but over a period of last 15-20 years we were casually meeting whenever we crossed each other while driving or taking evening walk. His mother also used to be a good friend of my mother but her interaction had also weaned away over a period of time.
Prashant never took himself seriously either in studies or in life. He barely managed to pass class XIIth and thereafter also he never worked on his skills. He was always doing petty jobs, he got married quite late and his overall life was in a mess. Nearly 4-5 weeks ago, his mother had come to our place and told my mother that Prashant had lost his job and was jobless for few months. Now, this was a torture for the family because he did not have a job, his mother and wife are housewives and his father too was not doing too well. Obviously, for a house that has so many worries stored in it, how can it be lit brightly?
While we were walking back to our home, I was wondering why did this family land up in this kind of a situation? And I think the reason was the fact that Prashant and his family had always thought about their current situation and never about the situation they aspired or wanted to achieve. Though, I don’t have any material fact to substantiate my thoughts, but knowing the family for the last 35 years, I am sure they are a typical kind of family, who would fill up their subconscious minds only with thoughts that are all, but positive.
When I got up today morning at 5AM (http://nimishgoel.com/why-i-joined-the-5am-club/), I watched a video on goal setting by one of the famous motivational speakers Mr. Jim Rohn. And in that video he mentioned something very, very interesting and important:
“If you don’t plan for your future, you will fall in someone else’s plan. And guess what others have planned for you – Nothing Much”
And this is the fact of life. Without drawing up a plan for your life, how can you think of achieving your dreams and aspirations? If you don’t know what’s your plan in life, you would obviously rely on someone else and that is surely a recipe for disaster. I wouldn’t like someone else to list my dreams and aspirations, I wont like someone else to tell me what should I do in life, I wont like someone else to tell me how much money should I earn or where should I go for my vacations or which company should I work for etc, etc.
But then if you don’t know yourself what to do and what to achieve, you will surely rely on other’s judgment and that means you walk on the path that is tread not by you, but by others. And that is exactly I believe happened to Prashant.
The importance of goal setting and the power of visualizing your goals coming into reality cannot be undermined. In order to avoid getting into a situation as Prashant it is important that we set our goals and the goals should be divided into two parts:
1. Long Range Goals
These are your dreams, your true aspirations; things that you would love to do in your life. These are generally 2 years or 5 years or 10 years or your lifetime goals, rather your true dreams.Things that you would want to achieve before you die. These can be things like buying your dream house, or doing paradiving from an airplane or acting in a Bollywood movie or starting a successful startup or meeting your superstar etc, etc.
2. Short Range Goals
These are your immediate goals that are 6 months or 12 months or 18 months and when you achieve them, the feeling of achievement would give you the kick or push towards achieving your long-range goals. Remember, unless you start achieving the short-range goals, it will not be possible to reach the situation of meeting your long-range goals. Obviously, no one can successfully run a marathon unless he/she has practiced 5kms and then 10 kms and so one.
Short-range goals are easy to achieve and once you start to tick your goals (as achieved), you commence your journey towards success. Each item identified as a goal when achieved gives you immense pleasure and confidence and that is
3. List down the goals in your Journal
I have been a very strong believer of keeping a Journal or a diary of your life that should capture your entire life http://nimishgoel.com/write-journal-or-diary-daily-why-how/. The Journal should contain the list of your long-range goals and your short-range goals. Ideally, the goals should be categorized into the following:
a. Economic Goals – Related to money
b. Personal Goals – Things that you want to do for yourself
c. Social Goals – Things you want to achieve for society
d. Professional Goals – Your professional desires
You can increase the list as per your own wish. But it is important to have a list of goals in front of you and you should keep looking at the list at least once a day.
4. Power of Visualization
The best way to make your goals come into reality is through the power of visualization. After writing your goals in the journal, make it a habit to have a look at them everyday in the morning and preferably every night before sleeping. And when you are reading your goals and dreams, start to visualize as if you have already achieved them and feel the joy of that achievement. This does sound a little stupid, but believe me, it works.
If I were to advice Prashant on how to improve his life, I would recommend him the above and stop thinking about the negatives of his life. Because, the more you think negatively about yourself, the more negativity you would attract and that’s not good for your life.
Its only one life we have got and we should make it worthwhile. God did not send us to lead an average or å mediocre life. We are all born to be genius in our life and if we don’t achieve what we are destined to achieve, am sure even the God wouldn’t be happy. :)
Stay blessed ...
Authored by Nimish Goel (www.nimishgoel.com), a qualified chartered accountant who’s passion is to coach young chartered accountants and aspiring students achieve the best in their life. Nimish used to work with EY and PwC in India and has also worked with KPMG in Europe. He now runs his own consulting company and runs a blog www.nimishgoel.com. He can be reached for any queries and issues on his blog.