I’ve found that most people are good at setting goals, but usually fail at accomplishing them. Goal-setting is a lot like dreaming. Writing down your goals always starts off with a lot of excitement and unlimited possibilities. Accomplishing them, however, is often a different story.
Have you ever experienced the positive feeling of setting an amazing, life-changing goal, then felt like the events in your life sucked the wind right out of your sails?
I have. I experienced a five-year period of time, that was filled with some of the toughest challenges I have ever faced.
I was shook to the core of my foundation and nearly tossed in the towel on my goals. I had just finalized a divorce from my first marriage of eight years. I went from seeing my sons every night to every other weekend. Soon after, I was laid off from my job and started to accrue back child-support – with interest.
I did, however, meet Gina during this time. She was a unique, amazing woman with a real zest for life. We dated for three years then married on a beautiful Halloween day in 1998. Ten months later, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer; Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She was quickly admitted to a hospital and would be starting her chemotherapy treatments. Everything was spinning out of control.
Just before she received her first chemotherapy treatment, Gina’s oncologist pulled me aside and encouraged me to keep her spirits high. If you’re thinking that it was tough to keep her spirits high during this time, you are absolutely correct! We were newlyweds, lived in a small apartment, and did not have a dime in savings.
I tried everything to keep her positive. A little bit of humor seemed to help, but I often ran out of jokes. Visits from family members worked too, but sometimes she did not feel like having any guests. We needed something more than a temporary fix. The chemotherapy made her violently ill and she slept most of the time. One day, as I sat at the edge of our bed, I discovered the solution; a permanent solution to keeping her positive.
We started to talk about buying a home. Gina lit up. Her crystal-blue eyes sparkled again. I had not seen that in weeks. Well, I was definitely onto something. We set the goal of buying a home, right there on our bed. She was bald and weak, but her spirits were high.
We talked about what the house would look like, how we were going to decorate the rooms, and what types of flowers would be planted in the backyard. We set other goals too. We wanted to build a nest egg, eliminate debt, and travel the world. We wanted to enjoy life. But setting our goals would only provide Gina with a temporary feeling of satisfaction. I needed her to experience the permanent sensation of accomplishing them. Failure was not an option.
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