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greymatter

USA
24 Posts

Posted - Mar 05 2016 :  3:49:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hello AYP practitioners,

Like many people, I regularly read and watch media about the topic of personal growth and development. Much of what I've read assumes that by copying the characteristics of successful men and women of the past, modern people can achieve success in their own endeavors. As a result, the content of personal growth media is largely about characteristics of influential people as they are portrayed in biography. I've read a lot in particular about Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Booker T Washington, Helen Keller among others.

To me, successful results are those which are effective at bringing self confidence, esteem and good livelihood. They come from a distribution of effort. When I focus on attaining several outcomes at once, my attention is divided and the growth of each outcome suffers. When I focus on attaining one outcome only, many of its problems are overcome quickly and it flourishes. I can learn to do anything, it just so happens the rarest and most valuable talents are possessed by the most passionate and committed individuals because these people have high standards and can focus all their time and energy on one thing.

According to my understanding, the most important characteristic of successful people has to be persistence, which is the consistent application of a method to bring about whatever it is one desires. There is a catch which is that in order to consistently apply a method toward a result, I have to consistently want the result throughout the process of applying the method.

There are a lot of ways this can go wrong. If at some point throughout the application of the method I decide its not worth it to continue, I will not get the result. This might occur if I decide I want something else and am willing to give up the first thing. I could also occur if I don't like what I'm doing and can't find an alternative way of getting the result. It could also happen if I have a life crisis such as an illness or death in the family that changes my concept of what I'm doing, leading me to give up.

Furthermore the world I live in is connected and changing all the time. The old model of success isn't going to apply to every desired result in the 21st century because there is such a wide range of lifestyle choices available and people are constantly reevaluating the society and its belief systems. Today I may want something that seems irrelevant in the near future.

Lack of persistence results largely from being susceptible to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. The key mechanism for preventing loss of motivation toward my desires is to set goals AND repeatedly write out my goals daily so that they become anchored in my mind and it becomes difficult for outrageous fortune to disrupt my focus. Goal setting is really a way of acting which results in determination, which results in persistence, which is the key ingredient to success.

My purpose in starting this thread is to criticize goal setting. I don't think that writing out the results I hope to attain over and over will lead to the results I actually want which is more inner peace. My main tactic for attaining inner peace is to meditate, not have a lot of expectations in life, not prefer one thing over another, and not to make elaborate plans. Not writing goals, and having no goals is more consistent with my inner feelings about aspirations which is that they just cause unnecessary stress. I think it is better to be open to all possibilities than to rigidly discipline myself to concentrate on one thing.

Furthermore, openness enables me to stay synchronized with the needs of my body. My body has its own desires. Goal setting can sometimes inflate my ego and cause me to neglect my body. When I'm open, my body can communicate its desires and I can make choices which appeal to my lower energies.

This method has problems too. Part of developing the characteristics that mark a superior individual involve commitment and dedication. It is difficult to achieve superior results without persistence, and although persistence is a possibility without goal setting, it is difficult to stay determined and distractions come from everywhere.

How do you approach success? Do you make plans? Go with the flow? Or maybe a little of both?

Dogboy

USA
1655 Posts

Posted - Mar 05 2016 :  9:10:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
A lot of times I break down projects into five minute increments. How much can I do in five minutes? If I can finish in under five I do it right now. If it is a more involved endeavor, say reclaiming an end table, the first five minutes maybe plotting the project, the materials and time needed for each step, maybe log it on my calendar.

A lot can happen in five minutes; persistence is simply putting one foot in front of the other. And if you are on a roll and have the time, before you know it your five minute commitment becomes ten or twenty without a thought. A simple five minute commitment takes the chore out of chores.
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Charliedog

1582 Posts

Posted - Mar 06 2016 :  03:05:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit Charliedog's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Intention is a good one for me, samyama style, let go in silence. At this moment my intentions are the ones to follow, step by step. To change habits is not easy, but a 40 days challenge works for me. For instance sometimes I feel I could use more energy. Then I do 40 days in row 6 or 12 sun salutations in the morning. Every day the same amount. If I forget one day, then I have to start with day one again. I do this several years, at the end of winter and feel energy rising. 40 days is the time we need to make a real change. We can do this also with meditation and adding a new practice. After 40 days we know how it works in us. Or turn it around, with bad food habits for instance, 40 days no coffee, alcohol, sugar, candy, smoking etc.

We increase our willpower this way.

Furthermore I am very good in delaying administration work.....there is always an excuse not to do it.
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sunyata

USA
1411 Posts

Posted - Mar 06 2016 :  10:15:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello greymatter,

You have some great questions. Disclaimer-I'm not successful.. But these are the things that I do. Each day I make a list of things that needs to be done. I cross them out as it is accomplished. Everything that is due that day is completed. This is for work.

Household and kids- We have a flow with the morning routine and evening routine.
There is a designated area for everything. Things get picked up and cleaned up as we see it and not wait for tomorrow.

If the above does not get done because kids sick, parents sick, some other emergencies-it's completely fine. The knowing that all is happening with the divine's will and everything is divine. There is peace and acceptance even when uncomfortable emotions arise. I don't know when this body will be dropped so I make sure I live each day as my last with my family and friends. Some days are good, some days are bad and that's how it is and there is a beauty to it.






Edited by - sunyata on Mar 06 2016 10:17:07 AM
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Bodhi Tree

2972 Posts

Posted - Mar 06 2016 :  1:45:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Vision + Desire + Action = Achievement (with persistence and consistency being the underlying qualities on the left side of the equation)

Nice allusion to Hamlet, by the way ("slings and arrows of outrageous fortune"). I memorized that siloloquy in grade school. A classic.

Incidentally, to have no goal is a goal in itself, ironically. Similarly, to arrive at place beyond desire requires desire to get there, paradoxically.

To get to a state of peace, beyond the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, requires active surrender, which writing can help. If I wasn't writing on a daily basis, I'd be in bad shape. For me, it's just as necessary as Deep Meditation. Vital, really.

I like your inquiry on goals. Thank you.
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greymatter

USA
24 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2016 :  8:21:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for responding.

quote:
A lot can happen in five minutes; persistence is simply putting one foot in front of the other. And if you are on a roll and have the time, before you know it your five minute commitment becomes ten or twenty without a thought. A simple five minute commitment takes the chore out of chores.


Yes I agree. What you describe resembles my experience with creative work with no deadlines such as building, cleaning and maintenance. Its difficult to initiate a large project with just the end in mind. It may be true that in situations where a deadline is involved, I have an even greater tendency to orient my actions in a way that serves the final outcome.

quote:
Intention is a good one for me, samyama style, let go in silence. At this moment my intentions are the ones to follow, step by step. To change habits is not easy, but a 40 days challenge works for me. For instance sometimes I feel I could use more energy. Then I do 40 days in row 6 or 12 sun salutations in the morning. Every day the same amount. If I forget one day, then I have to start with day one again. I do this several years, at the end of winter and feel energy rising. 40 days is the time we need to make a real change. We can do this also with meditation and adding a new practice. After 40 days we know how it works in us. Or turn it around, with bad food habits for instance, 40 days no coffee, alcohol, sugar, candy, smoking etc.


This approach for me has to do with habit-force. Repeating beneficial behaviors until they become habit can have incredible results. Sometimes its difficult for me to integrate a good behavior into my life because my other activities partially or totally increase my own resistance to the behavior. I think some behaviors come as a set. The eight limbs of yoga are a good example. In some ways my regular activities are clearly dependent on each other if they are to be perpetuated. If I want to change a part of my life, then it may be necessary to change my whole life first, or maybe changing a part of my life changes the rest of it. To me it all has to do with the way my actions support my other actions.

quote:
The knowing that all is happening with the divine's will and everything is divine. There is peace and acceptance even when uncomfortable emotions arise. I don't know when this body will be dropped so I make sure I live each day as my last with my family and friends. Some days are good, some days are bad and that's how it is and there is a beauty to it.


I love this

quote:
To get to a state of peace, beyond the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, requires active surrender, which writing can help. If I wasn't writing on a daily basis, I'd be in bad shape. For me, it's just as necessary as Deep Meditation. Vital, really.


I started journaling a few years ago. Reading my old journal entries especially about really big problems has been really enriching. Just reading the words without all of the emotion that comes with it does a lot to release subconscious pain. I can read a years worth of entries in an afternoon and get the big picture. It helps me reinterpret what happens to me often in a way that makes chaotic times seem very simple in retrospect.






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