A dentist bought stickers with pictures of princesses and cars to give them to the little patients. The idea was to make them relax before and during the appointment.
When the dentist implied, “Come on, let me see this little tooth of yours! There will be a present…” the kid screamed with joy, “Yeah! A tablet?”
Much has been said and written about the material world in which we live today. There is this paradox that the more stuff we get hoping to feel better, it actually never comes to transpire – this elusive feeling of happiness.
Is there anything wrong to want those things that are the “stage set” of our dream life? Does it make any sense to have such aspirations? Isn’t it wiser to aim at personal development instead?
In this article we’ll have an answer for you how to get something more and extra, not just the immediate return on reaching a material goal.
Our observations of those who just started implementing our system show a clear trend.
Usually, their first choices are related to some sort of property. Among the most popular are the purchase of a new house or a car. In general, these are belongings that are associated with value.
We wondered why people who in many ways have succeeded in their lives aren’t moving beyond the base levels of Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs. We’ve concluded the following:
Symbols of success
Unless you are a hermit living somewhere in the woods, you will hardly stay unaffected by social norm, including the usual manifestation of what constitutes when someone “made it”.
Education is considered a prerequisite for a lucrative career. And that’s great but what’s really going on afterward?
Rather continuing unfolding their educational and professional potential, which are in effect some of the avenues of personal growth, people invariably start pursuing the material. They way too often fall into the trap of consumerism. It’s not just about a house, car and a vacation home but also about many other items of symbolic significance which are purely and only emblematic of success.
Let’s say you want the latest iPhone. Sure, you buy it – you are already one happy owner of the prized gadget. Your joy is indescribable. But it lasts only for a week or so.
That’s exactly the catch here: the longer you work on a something like this, the shorter the satisfaction.
The material goals – for good or for bad?
Please, don’t blame us if we don’t feel like giving a definitive answer. We all have gone through periods in our lives when we have such priorities. So, no passing judgment here – we’d better show you how you can have a good use of and make those “consumer ambitions” healthier for your own well-being.
We can’t be proponents of the material goals for their own sake. Setting objectives exclusively for them isn’t the smartest thing to do.
What is the best strategy then?
Imagine that you are about to cross a river. Your future is on the other side – everything that you aspire to and the idea of yourself the way you always dreamed to be.
There is a metaphor for you – those specific real things you need in your everyday life are like the stones you hop from one to another so that you can get to the opposite bank. They provide you something to step on and get across and thus they can’t be something for its own sake. Unless you simply like the sport of “hopping from one stone to another”.
You need some guiding light to help you see exactly where on the other side of the river you are going to end up.
Vision and goals
No one can or should stop you from crossing a finish line where there is a real cup waiting for you to raise above your head. But always keep in mind what this leg of the race represents – a part of your long-term vision that focuses on your individual growth.
Grander objectives are part of the vision while the shorter ones are achieved with the 90-day goals.
This gives you clarity and direction: taking care of your own improvement, traveling along the way you will inevitably accumulate some material possessions. With one or more three-month periods, you will find out if they are what you really want.
Can you answer this: “Why do I want it?”
The magic word “Why?”
Ask yourself why you want a given short-term intent. But don’t stop with the very first “why”. Go further!
You want a SUV. Why?
So that you go on a road trip with your family? Why?
Because that’s how you will spend more time with your loved ones, have fun, and experience some wonderful moments together.
It turns out that there is something else under the surface of the idea of a car. One after the other, the layers are peeled away till you get to it – the core reason is always of high value for you. Or in this case your very own vision for family.
Is there another way to “materialize” a vision?
The answer is an emphatically “Yes”. There are other, more subtle, means to become the best possible version of yourself.
But we don’t want you to mindlessly focus on these alternative ways. We are just aiming at having you well-informed about them.
You must be already quite curious, right? The following ideas are related to your own improvement.
Personal development goals
So far, we have said that acquiring possessions is often not what you really want. Character development is while they are just a pleasant side effect.
We wholeheartedly recommend you steer clear of what’s superficial and passing.
It’s a different order of magnitude when the vision is about the human being. When you invest in yourself the material will inevitably catch up with the spiritual.
Use the objectives to build habits for individual progress. When this becomes your second nature, i.e. getting up early, studying for an hour each day, training 3 times a week, only then you are moving in the right direction. Namely, towards the person you want to be.
And then, in the course of it, the other things are just happening as if without an effort on your part at all. Here we’ll share something from our professional life.
Mistakes are easy to make
You can have education, experience, talent, great ideas. With all of these, you can invent an incredible thing that has the potential to take over the market and put you on top of the world. But if you lack the skills to present it to the public then it is doomed to fail. This is exactly what transpired with Ivan.
This disappointing experience has taught him that, in order to cross the finish line, he must consciously invest in the progress of himself as a person. And in his case, it was to purposefully acquire marketing knowledge which is nowadays of invaluable help in all his new projects.
The material as a consequence of the spiritual
Realizing that it is simply wiser to emphasize on his own betterment, Ivan has a list of top 10 characteristics he wants to excel in. Interestingly, working on them, he also gained financial independence without looking for it specifically.
One such thing was to master his presentation and communication skills. This helps him to create more effective trainings in aula.bg, which appeals to the users and reaches even more people. By fulfilling the desire of self-development, this drive of his realizes his other mission – to create value for people. This, in turn and indirectly, brings in more income through ever growing number of paying subscribers. Thus, chasing the material becomes unnecessary – it just occurs as a by-product of self-betterment.
The change is in you
The valuable lesson for all of us is that your true drive should be to work on yourself – character, knowledge, and expertise.
Most people strive for success all their lives but they do it fighting the external forces only, aka the people around them, instead of first changing themselves.
The truth is that you can only positively affect but not change your environment, your family or your business partner. Try to build the ability to manage your thoughts and fully use your brain to get in the mode of self-reinforcing growth.
A good result comes with work but the great one happens with a change within yourself as well.
How can “GoalBuddy” help you?
You do not need to understand the psychology underlying the principles of our system. You may not be interested in this. The good news is that you can just follow the rules and enjoy their effectiveness.
Create your long-term vision – unfold your imagination what kind of a man or a woman you want to be and how you want to live.
Set targets for your own development and the rest will come by itself. If you still want material objectives, formulate them for 90 days or for several such periods. But be aware that they are of the moment only, quite transient and, therefore, you should always look ahead letting your vision guide you.
And most importantly, revel in the action, not the outcome. Control what you do and focus on your progress and the value you create!
One last thing to do
Do the exercise from above right now: write down some of your material needs first. Then ask yourself why they are “such and such”. And finally, perhaps you will get to the crux of it – the intangible thing that really excites you.
Think about how you can do this in other ways, focusing on the real thing – you and your growth.
We will be happy to hear back from you with comments and suggestions. What do you think you want? And what is it? What do you have to change in yourself to make it take place?
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