Setting Goals Is Not Enough

Post a Comment » Written on January 1st, 2008     
Filed under: News
By Don Meyer

CHICAGO, IL (January 1, 2008) – One New Year’s tradition involves setting new goals – promises if you will – while too often experiencing the agony of defeat when those goals are not achieved. Why is that so often the case?

Over the holidays, I became acquainted with an event called the Ironman competition while watching a video of the most recent competition in Hawaii. One of our family members has competed in several triathlons over the years – an impressive feat in itself considering one must swim just under a mile, then bike 24.8 miles and finish with a 6.2-mile run.

The Ironman competition takes the demands on the human body to unbelievable levels, requiring a 2.4-mile ocean swim, an incredible 112-mile bike ride through the lava desert of Hawaii, finishing with a grueling 26.2-mile run – and all within demanding time limits that require a participant to complete each segment within a defined time limit before being allowed to continue to the next segment.

There was an interesting array of participants. For some, it is serious business as evidenced by athletic bodies in top form. For others, it is a simple goal of surviving long enough to say they completed the grinding ordeal, regardless of the fact they may have finished dead last.

One man in particular caught my attention. His upper body was a mass of hardened muscle. His eyes reflected the focused determination so familiar in the faces of highly competitive athletes. The widening camera angle revealed something else more startling – this man is a double amputee.

How could this man even conceive of such a feat, let alone accomplish it? The media interview revealed something about the character of the man and how he looks at accomplishing what would seem impossible.

He did not allow the physical limitations to intimidate him; instead, he passionately engaged them, refusing to become distracted by the enormity of the challenge while keeping the end goal clearly in view to encourage him on.

The Apostle Paul used the metaphor of competitive racing in encouraging us to forget what has gone before, to patiently run the race set before us and to press on for the prize. In other words, embrace the challenges of the moment while keeping the end goal in focus at all times.

That’s good counsel as we consider what we would like to achieve in 2008.

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