Live an Authentic Life to reach Your Goals

I love reading motivational speeches by people who have overcome difficulties in order to become who they WANT to be.  Success stories always inspire me.  While doing some research on the Internet recently I came across a copy of the Stanford University commencement speech given by Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple Computer.   His speech was all about loving what you do.  With all of his amazing accomplishments to date, for him to talk about enjoying his vocation was not surprising to me.  What was interesting was that he said he looks in the mirror every morning and says this affirmation to himself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do?”

Have you ever asked yourself this?  Would you be doing something different if you asked this of yourself this morning?  Is what you are about to do, or is what you are doing right now getting you to where you WANT to be?

Steve Jobs also said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart, and intuition.”  What a powerful message!   

Are you living an authentic life?  Do you find your life meaningful and satisfying?

I find my family life meaningful and satisfying.  My husband, my daughters, my brother and his family provide me with the opportunity to give and receive love, support and encouragement.  Looking after my health is also of utmost importance.   Being of service to others, giving back to the community is a top priority too.  By satisfying these three of my top personal values, health, family happiness and service to others, I am on my way to living an authentic life.   Achievement is something I also value highly.  What about the satisfaction and meaning I gain from achieving my personal and professional goals?  Having a goal to work towards gives my life great meaning.   What about you?

I sometimes find keeping on track a little challenging as daily life, others’ priorities and needs can take over and then I detour from achieving my goal within the timeframe I set myself.  Here’s what I do to keep myself on track and perhaps it will be helpful to you too:

Define What You Want

Be specific about what you want and when you want it by.  Do your research, get the facts, and be realistic with your expectations.

Why Do You Want It?

What are the benefits of achieving your goal?  Focus on the benefits, not just the goal itself.

Make Your Goal Visible

When you have identified what you want and you know that with effort it is achievable, tell everyone about it!  Write it down, draw a picture of the successful outcome.  Put this visual or this success statement where you will see it every day.  This will keep you focused and help prevent you from giving up when things get a little tough.

Organise and Plan

Don’t sit back and hope it will happen.  Think about HOW you are going to achieve your goal.  What will you have to do?  What are the sacrifices that may need to be made?  You may not like it but if you can see the benefits it will be easier to take.

Record Your Progress

Make a list of your milestones and tick them off when you reach each one.  Celebrate the success of each step.  Tell everyone! 

DO It!

At the end of each day ask yourself, “What did I do today to get me closer to my goal?”

Celebrate!

When you have reached your goal, tell those who support you and celebrate!  How did you do it?  What was easy?  What was difficult?  What could have been even more effective?  Pat yourself on the back and then … set your next goal!

With your goal in mind, and reflecting back to the affirmation Steve Jobs asks himself, look yourself in the mirror in the morning and ask, “Do I want to do what I am about to do today?”  Make everything you do meaningful for an authentic … and satisfying … life.

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