So the thing that makes us unique is this pre-planning, foresight, anticipating it, meditating on the evils you might say, and the downsides in advance. Many people come to me at the BreakthroughExperience program or Master Planning or just one-on-one consulting and say, ‘You know, I’ve set many goals, and not all of my goals have come true.’ And I’ve seen that for many, many years. Not everybody achieves every goal that they set.
So the question is, is that goal really, really important to them? Are they really willing to do whatever it takes to get that goal? Or are they setting up a fantasy? You know I ask people how many of you want to be financially independent? And most people put their hands up, but a tiny percentage of people actually obtain financial independence because they’re setting a goal that’s not really aligned and congruent with what they value most, which is partly a self-defeating objective. So I’d like to talk about the difference between a fantasy and a goal and setting goals that are objectives that will happen or increase the probability of them happening at least.
Dealing With Axiology
So to develop that, I want to start from my basics, dealing with axiology and values. First, let me say that every individual has priorities, a set of values that they live their life by. Some things are most important to the least important in their life. Now, whatever that set of priorities is, whatever’s highest on the value list, in this priority list, is something that they will spontaneously do. They’re inspired, spontaneously to go and fulfill it. As you go down the list of values, you have a higher probability of needing motivation, incentives, reminding, and push to get you to do it. I always say that motivation external motivation is a symptom of an uninspired goal.
There’s an intrinsic drive, which I call spontaneous activity. And there’s the extrinsic drive, where you have to have motivation from the outside. I don’t need the motivation to go and research and teaching. I would probably need the motivation to cook and drive and maybe work out or something extensively. Whatever’s highest on your value is the thing that you’re going to do spontaneously. And if you set a goal aligned to that, you have the highest probability of achieving that goal. But if you set a lower goal on your value list, way lower, you decrease the probability of achieving it. Your ratio achievement disproportionate to how high up on the value list, the goal happens to match the values. So let me explain that again. When we are doing something extremely high in our values, which are most important to us, the blood glucose and oxygen go into the forebrain, and our forebrain has foresight.
It also has inner vision, strategic planning, the desire to execute the plans, and assonance, the ability to monitor our emotional distractions, the impulses for pleasurable things that can distract us, and the instincts from the pain distract us. So, whenever we’re setting a congruent goal and aligned with what we value most, we have the highest probability of achievement. And we also have the highest probability of setting an objective goal. An objective goal is different from thana subjective fantasy. So an objective goal is something that has objectivity, which means even-mindedness, which means that we’re pursuing something that’s balanced in its orientation. Let me give you an example. A young boy who loves videogames loves to pursue the game, conquer the game, and the second he conquers the game, he goes and pursues a greater game, a more sophisticated game, a more challenging game. He’s not shrinking from the challenge. He’s pursuing challenges.
That means he’s willing to embrace the pains and the pleasures in the pursuit of the purpose, of mastering the game. So whenever you’re getting a truly aligned goal with what you value most, you’ll embrace pleasure and pain equally in the pursuit. But whenever you’re setting a lower goal on your value list, you have a higher probability of doing it if it’s easy and not doing it if it’s difficult. In other words, you can take the boy, and he can sit down and do his video games, and the second he conquers his video game, he’s going to tackle that new one, and he’s going to conquer it. He’s going to stay there hours until he masters it. But if you asked him to do his chores or his homework, clean his room, he’ll procrastinate, he’ll hesitate, he’ll frustrate, he won’t get around to doing it. And it’s like, I don’t want to bother with it is what he feels. And so will want to avoid the challenge and only do it if it’s straightforward.
So this is important, whenever your living according to your highest values, you embrace pleasure and pain equally in the pursuit of a goal. Whenever you’re living in lower values as a result of setting goals that may be are injected values because of other people you’re admiring, things that you fantasize about temporarily you think you want to do, but you don’t really, really have a high value on it, what you’ll do is you’ll do it if it is easy. Still, you won’t do it if it’s not. Your fulfillment level will be in proportion to how high up on that value list that goal is. There’s an old proverb, but when the why is big enoughhow’s take care of themselves. When you have a big enough reason for doing it, you will find the solutions to solve things when it’s high enough on your values. You won’t stop, even if it’s challenging, you’ll go around it, underneath it, through it, whatever way, you’ll come out on the other side of it.