Yet, this is what goal setting is all about. You image what you want and set a goal to have it happen. And you keep imaging it, desiring your goal until you see it manifest.
For years I followed this system, thinking I was using creativity wisely. Wiser now, I am oriented in a very different direction.
What I have noticed is that I experienced different degrees of anxiety each time I expected any specific outcome. Some things turned out well, while at other times there was sadness and disappointment when the goal was not reached.
As Pierre Teilhard discovered in his scientific, groundbreaking work on evolution, people stop going down a dead end street only when they fully recognize it is a dead end!
But how many trips does it take us to realize and admit the road we have been on doesn’t lead to fulfillment and joy?
When we finally stop trying to figure out why it didn’t work out the way we hoped for, and how we can do it differently next time, we begin to look for a different path to walk.
But before that happens we probably blame ourselves for doing something wrong, or our stars for not being aligned right. Perhaps we become depressed.
Gandhi taught a much more rewarding path to joy and happiness:
- Do the next right thing
- Notice the results
- Give the outcome to God.
I can tell myself I’m giving the situation to God, but then I find myself thinking about it in a rather worrisome way.
The truth is that if I am concerned and worried, I really haven’t given the results to God.
And so, once again I remind myself that this is a trustworthy universe.
Our world has been evolving for billions of years and has always found a way for more complexity and connectedness to manifest.
We all share the same planet and must learn to live together. Either we learn to love or we perish.
We choose the direction our life goes with every thought and action. This is intention. We intend to go in a certain direction.
Intentionality is vital. We intend to do the next right thing as it appears to us. And we follow it up with action. Hopefully we notice the results by carefully paying attention and asking, “And what else?”
As time goes on we learn to let go of the outcome by trusting the universe!
Universal energy uses everything for the purpose of evolving—including all pain and suffering! Not a tear is wasted.
The Universe knows how to become. Whereas I seem to muddle around, often in circles. Yet as I keep paying attention to the results I find that something eventually moves me forward, even if my first steps are backwards.
My experience is that I do better by observing life, rather than trying to push it around. As I carefully pay attention to my thoughts, emotions and body sensations, I discover what is going on in my mind.
I begin to question into my true motivation.
What is my intention?
Intentions are stronger than conditioning. Intentions are stronger than habitual thoughts and attitudes. But we need to discover what our real intentions are. Are we seeking certain results in any situation? If so, we have an agenda.
I suffer when I yearn for specific outcomes. My freedom is in intentionally choosing to trust the outcome to God (by whatever name we call Universal Creative Energy.)
By trusting Universal Energy to direct me I become more peaceful as I ride the waves of change.
Fear always accompanies hope for a specific outcome. When we hope for a certain outcome there is fear underlying this hope. What if it doesn’t happen? Underneath our conscious intentions we worry that it won’t happen the way we want. Worry is connected to our desire for this outcome and not that. I refer you to INTRINSIC HOPE by Kate Davies for more information on this topic.
Fear and hope for a specific outcome go together and cannot be separated. Thus placing our hope in any certain outcome leads to unhappiness.
So, we choose. And herein lies our liberation.
Will we cultivate trust in that which is beyond and deeper than anything in the physical world? This is certainly a big order. I believe it is just the challenge we were born for.
By intentionally choosing to trust Universal Energy moment by moment we are creating the path to joy and serenity.
The Universe has complete faith in us. It has birthed us to evolve. And it won’t give up on us.
May you do the next right thing in your life, notice the results, and give the outcome to God.