It’s that time of year where we reflect and make goals. (Or eat and drink too much to avoid both.)
Everyone brought their 2015 goal cards to our year-end Buddhist meeting yesterday. We shared what we’d learned and accomplished (and not) and made determinations for 2016. Setting specific goals in Buddhist practice is important. Working toward a goal can often be more rewarding than its accomplishment. You build muscles. You develop wisdom. Did I really take action? What kind? If not, why? This is how we expand our capacity to create happiness. A happy person taking action and achieving goals can influence his or her community for the better and inspire people around the world.
The same principles apply whether or not you practice Buddhism.
How do you accomplish your dreams in 2016... and beyond?
First, you have to be willing to set specific goals. After that, there are two simple steps.
TWO SIMPLE STEPS
1. Take action.
2. Never give up.
Simple? Yes, when you think of the gymnastics you probably perform instead.
What lies between your dream and its actualization? There can be exterior obstacles like time, money and health. But the only true obstacle is the self. How much action are you willing to take? What actions do you avoid? Why do you quit? Why don't you begin? Even when you realize the why’s, you will still need to keep moving if you want to accomplish anything of substance.
People who are ultimately not defeated by obstacles (like age, status, money, health, or past failure) inspire us. They make the world a better place.
What if Toni Morrison had decided being a single mother made it impossible to write?
What if Gandhi had realized being hungry was horrible and ordered a sandwich?
What if Steve Jobs had chucked it after the first two failed launches and started a dairy?
Flannery O’Conner suffered from debilitating lupus. What if she'd never picked up a pen?
Cezanne didn’t achieve notoriety as a painter until his 60’s. What if he’d stopped painting at 50?
How are your obstacles any different?
What if you decided that your writing (your life) was just as important?
You would keep taking action.
You would never give up.