Unfavorable Outcomes Can Arise From Good Intentions
The description in the above title can be avoided with this important process, “Clarify Your Goals”. You will be shown the significance of this process, its steps as well as the rationale behind some steps in this article.
Clarify Your Goals
Clarity in your goals allows you to uncover the underlying reason(s) behind why you set out to achieve something in the first place. This uncovers any need to adjust your actions plan, thus, maintain alignment within yourself, which aids in goals achievement as well as ensure happiness from achieving the goals.
Truth is, it is impossible for anyone to be totally clear with one's goals and the underlying reasons behind why one sets out to achieve something in the first place. After all, the average person is only approximately 2% conscious. In other words, most of us have 2% of our thoughts (logical/emotional/etc) surface enough for us to easily be aware of their existence. The other 98% requires us to dig deeper into imploring ourselves in order to bring them to awareness. This process of self imploring allows us to gain clarity in our goals.
2% conscious, 98% unconscious
Lack of clarity in your goals can lead to a misalignment within yourself, which can lead to either a lack of progress towards your goals achievement or a lack of happiness from achieving the goals. For example, the surface level goal of starting a business and wanting the business to take off may stem from a deeper goal of wanting to have more than a full-time income without full-time commitment to a job. If the deeper goal is not uncovered, the action plan might lead one towards getting the business to take off such that one has more than a full-time commitment without consideration of automation and scaling. This leads to a misalignment within oneself, which can lead to either a lack of business take off or a lack of happiness from having a business take off. Should the business take off under such circumstances, one will find himself in a position where he feels tempted to sabotage himself since his unconscious is not satisfied with his external reality.
In another example, the surface level goal of wanting to progress well in physical training may stem from a deeper goal of wanting a mobile and fit body that stands the test of passage of time. If this deeper goal is not uncovered, the action plan might lead one towards overemphasis on typical stationary two-dimensional exercises (ie, bench press, rows, squats, deadlifts, etc) and neglecting mobility improving three-dimensional exercises and structural alignment maintaining rehabilitation works. This can lead to either a loss of motivation at some point, or one feeling like something is missing with his fitness routine.
In yet another example, the surface level goal of wanting to address body-related pain issues may stem from a deeper goal of wanting to address deeper underlying issues that are not so obvious, contributing to the surface body pain issues through stress response, impaired breathing, and compensations in the body. If this deeper goal is not uncovered, the action plan might lead one towards tunnel focusing on the surface level solutions (lifestyle adjustments, breath works, as well as posture and movement improvement, etc) and neglecting the deeper solutions (digging deeper into psychologically stressful childhood experiences, finding closure in those body pain contributing experiences, etc). This can lead to one feeling a lack of meaning and significance in his ongoing efforts to address body pain, or feeling sick and tired of carrying out the same routine.
All of the above examples are applicable to me personally. There are probably even much deeper goals and underlying reasons behind those goals that I managed to bring to my awareness at the point of writing this article. After all, the recorded historical discoveries over the years show one undeniable trend, which is, people progressively know more as time passes. By extrapolating this trend, the people in the near future will know more than the people now, while those in the far future will know more than those in the near future. In other words, people will never know everything. This applies to our awareness of our deeper unconscious goals, and the underlying reasons behind our conscious goals.
Even though a lack of clarity in your goals can hinder you from adopting the right strategies and stop you from moving towards the right direction, it does not mean that you should avoid taking action totally. After all, since the average person is only 2% conscious, most of somebody's underlying motives and deeper goals would be far beyond his or her own awareness. This means that the process of clarifying your goals is an iterative process, to progressively bring more of your deeper goals to your awareness as you adjust your course of action to set yourself closer to your right path.
To clarify your goals, start off by listing down your goals that are within your awareness. At this point, do not worry about the goals that are beyond your awareness. Since going through this goals’ clarification process is meant to bring more of your goals, that are not yet within your awareness, to light.
From the list of goals, try to consolidate it as much as possible by combining two or more on the list into one. Then, choose one of the goals based on what comes up strongly to you when you look at your list. For your chosen goal, ask yourself questions that implore you to go deeper into yourself. These questions can include “Why is this important for me?", "What happens if I achieve it?", "What happens if I do not achieve it?", etc.
After uncovering your deeper goals from self imploration, add on to your original list of goals and try to consolidate it as much as possible by combining two or more on the updated list into one. Take note of any needed adjustments to your actions plan or your current course of actions according to your updated list of goals.
From here, set an intention for yourself to be able to achieve your most updated goals by mentally aligning the things that are necessary. These things that require alignment include your updated list of goals, your updated actions plan, the timeline you give yourself to achieve certain levels of mastery, etc.
After setting the intention to reach your goals, is the part that most people, coaches included, miss out. This is a very crucial part that allows future further clarifications of your goals to happen with ease through iterations of this process to continue the search for deeper meanings. If this part was not in place to begin with, the implication would be possibly more resistance against immersing yourself in this goals’ clarification process. This part is to be non-attached to the updated list of goals as well as the actions plan that you just set intentions to achieve.
At this point, in case you start feeling that you are contradicting yourself by setting an intention to reach your goals and being non-attached to them, you need to recognize that there is a fine line between holding on to a stand/notion/idea/etc and being overly attached to the stand/notion/idea/etc. Using the analogy of holding on to a handgun to defend oneself and one's loved ones against potential external threats, if this person is overly attached to his handgun to the extreme of having to hold on to it with the muzzle pointed such that he is ready to reposition his hand to open fire, not just his daily routines with both himself and his loved ones get hindered, he is likely to send contradicting messages to his loved ones whenever he reaches out a helping hand with a handgun pointed at them. By being non-attached to his need to hold on to his handgun ready to open fire at any moment, he can more rationally assess the situations in the appropriateness of holding on to his handgun while possessing it.
The analogy in the previous section can be used to understand why unfavourable outcomes can arise from good intentions. That is very common in any relationship involving narcissistic abuse. Often times, the aggressor's way(s) of showing love gets twisted by some notions/thoughts/beliefs/past experiences/etc that he stays overly attached to despite those notions/thoughts/beliefs/past experiences/etc being no longer serving him or others with either the passage of time and/or a change in circumstances. This results in the aggressor making the victim adopt ways/opinions/styles/etc that are irrelevant to or incongruent with the victim. An aggressor at present might have been a victim in the past while a victim at present can be an aggressor in future. Oftentimes, the aggressor and the victim share a relationship such that they are parent and child, teacher and student, trainer and trainee, superior and subordinate, mentor and mentee, etc. Just as holding on to something in a non-attached manner allows yourself and your loved ones to be free from being held back by whatever you hold on to, holding on to your resolve and intention towards achieving your goals, as well as following through your actions plan, in a non-attached manner allows you to quickly pivot and move on to other deeper or more refined goals brought to your awareness.
This concludes one cycle of the goals clarification process. The cycle can then be repeated for as many times as needed in one shot or throughout multiple sessions spread over a period, by either recycling the updated list of goals from the previous cycle or going through the process of listing out your goals again, to the point of satisfaction or a point of your goals no longer being updated when going through this process. Generally, going through another cycle within one sitting would lead you to recycling the updated list of goals from the previous cycle you just underwent. Going through a first cycle from a subsequent session can start off with you either referring to the updated list of goals at the end of your previous session, or going through the process of listing out your goals again. Should you choose the latter, it does not mean that your previous efforts put into your goals’ clarification process are wasted. Instead, the experience from your previous session would probably allow you to rephrase your goals in ways that better serve you.
To summarize, the iterative goals’ clarification process consists of the following steps:
1. List down your goals that you are aware of
2. Consolidate your goals list
3. Narrow down on one of the goals on the list
4. Implore deeply into yourself to bring some of your goals beyond your awareness to light
5. Add those goals brought to awareness to your list
6. Consolidate your goals list
7. Take note of necessary adjustments to your actions plan
8. Set intention to achieve your goals with relevant alignments
9. Be non-attached to the updated list of goals with the latest actions plan
10. Repeat from step 1 or 3
This goals’ clarification process is part of The OmniBest Method.
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