The Dangers of Goal-Setting

By Paul Bauer

(Why Goal Setting can be hazardous to your health)

People ask me often, "Paul, is goal setting the best way to get what I want in life"?

There are many methods that you can use to create a happy and fulfilling life. Over the years, "experts" have popped up that have been extolling the virtues of "go for your goals!" Well... there's a small problem that has popped up for many people...

The Addiction To Goal Setting

People have become addicted to "getting more" because the "go for your goals" hype has gotten them dis-connected from who they really are.

Well intentioned business owners have set their goals to grow their business and forgotten their own families.

Aspiring writers have set their goals to become "best sellers" and forgotten the passion of why they wanted to write in the first place.

Politicians have set goals to become famous and powerful... and forgotten the very people who voted them into office.

There's an old Hopi Indian phrase called Koyaanisqatsi. Koyaanisqatsi means life out of balance. When we get to attached to "wanting" something, (like most goal setting programs teach), the aspiring goal setter ends up fixating on "wanting more" to cure the pain of "not having" that all humans eventually feel.

Why does Goal setting cause so many problems for so many people?

Goal setting can be easily mis-understood and if not used correctly, can cause stress, burn-out and SDD (Spiritual Deficit Disorder). Spiritual Deficit Disorder occurs when a person gets so caught up "chasing" what they want that they forget the very things that are most important to them - their health, their family, their Dreams.

Am I saying that you shouldn't set goals? No.

What I'm saying is to not over-rely on goals for their own sake.

The Myth of Goal Setting

Dozens of motivational speakers over the years needed a strategy that "sold" their lectures, books and tapes. Instead of helping people with just "feel good" fluff (decidedly a non-"male" energy), they decided to focus-in on man's insatiable need of "wanting more - getting more".

In came goal setting...

The Problems Goal Setting Causes...

Because goals come from the left brain (analytical, linear), many people begin their quest for happiness with only half of their real power. Instead of asking from their Heart, most people create their personal goals from their left brain - which causes more problems than it solves. Your Dreams (your Life's Dreams) on the other hand come from your Heart.

When people first learn about goal setting, they see it as a mechanism to help them get more of what they want. In time, the more goals they set, many people begin to unconsciously experience a "plateau" and so they try harderto rech these goals. The more they push, the more they struggle.

Many well intentioned goal-achievers end up avoiding the pain of moving through their day to day (emotional) issues. Now - just so you don't think I'm bashing setting goals of any kind, hear me out. Goals are fine, but most people set goals to avoid pain.

Yes, you read right, most people set goals to avoid pain.

And remember the age old wisdom - whatever you resist, persists.

The solution? Learn to tune-in to (and trust) your intuition - your Heart (which is far more powerful and wise than the brain - (for more info see Dr. Paul Pearsall's "The Heart's Code" book and Susan Castle's Heart Essence information).

We're now at a crucial crossroads in our civilization. Do we continue at the frenetic pace we've created? (sprawling cities, toxic waste, government and corporate corruption, abuse of our children (think Columbine and other school tragedies) or do we stop and say "ENOUGH!".

Enough of over-striving for the "brass-ring" and the "American Dream". It's time to take deep breath and  s - l - o - w  down. Time to re-connect with your passions, your purpose and your Life's Dreams.

Goal Setting Issues

Goal setting can cause an imbalance in your life energy. Most goal setting programs cause a person to try too hard in getting the goal - instead of enjoying the process.

In my own life, after I first learned goal setting, I achieved several of my "big goals". I got a new car, I bought new house and my income rose over $20,000. So I thought, "gee this goal setting stuff works, how 'bout we double my goals!"

What I was unknowingly doing at that point was buying into the "get more feel better trap" that so many people fall into. Yes, I doubled my goals and reached them, but then I forgot why I had even set them in the first place. More money - Why? Better house - Why?

Then the "wheels fell off"... after 2-3 years of hitting my goals, I forgot to listen to my inner voice and do what brought me joy and passion (quitting my job and starting my own company to inspire and add value to people's lives). Because I became "comfortable" making money from job I had, I was caught in a values clash - money or freedom? (and all the goal setting in the world wouldn't have solved the issue).

So I learned the hard way... and it took me over 3 years to struggle and finally let go of having the "big money". When I decided to let go of my goals and follow my Dreams, my energy aligned in ways I could not have imagined. My company, Dreams Alive took off like a rocket and has been growing ever since.

Note: I ddn't set any goals - I just followed my passions and took time each day to listen to my intuituion - it guided me to take the right steps. All I did was listen and trust it.

How To Reach Your Personal Goals

Your Personal Goals have power to help clarify your life purpose and provide meaning in your life. One word of caution -make sure you tune into your Heart and ask "Does this goal support me and my own personal growth? or will it cause me to lose touch with my purpose and who I really am?"

Alternatives to Goal Setting - Better ways of setting Goals

Here are some alternatives to goal setting (and relying too much on the analytical left brain). Each of these activities help inspire your Heart, reduce stress and create a feeling of well being. Extensive research shows that any of these activities increase the levels of Endorphins (positive chemicals in your brain and body) while decreasing stress related toxic chemicals such as cortisol (killer of brain cells), insulin, and adrenaline.

  • Meditation
  • Dream Scaping
  • Connecting with your Spirit
  • Sitting in Nature and letting Nature inspire you
  • Using tools such as Dream-Minder, and Creating Abundance

You now understand that setting goals isn't the answer...

The key to being truly happy and fulfilled in your life is to stay connected with your Spirit, nourish your Dreams and contribute your Life Purpose to the world.

To Your Dreams And To Your Abundance,

Paul Bauer

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