by Judi Singleton
Judi Singleton is the webmistress of and,
and the owner of Jassmine's Journal . She was a counselor for 20 years.
You can receive her inspirational newsletter, Jassmine's Journal,
by sending an email today to ==========================================================================================

You have the ability to attain whatever you seek; within you is every potential you can imagine. Always aim higher than you believe you can reach. So often, you'll discover that when your talents are set free by your imagination, you can achieve any goal. If people offer their help or wisdom as you go through life, accept it gratefully. You can learn much from those who have gone before you. But never be afraid or hesitant to step off the accepted path and head off in your own direction if your heart tells you that it's the right way for you. Always believe that you will ultimately succeed at whatever you do, and never forget the value of persistence, discipline, and determination. You are meant to be whatever you dream of becoming.
-- Edmund O'Neill --

When one starts out drawing the map of the journey of their life their are some rules to mapping this journey. "Thank Goodness for at this point I feel so overwhelmed that I don't know where to start," you say.

Ok let's begin the journey of a lifetime starts with the first step. Sometimes these steps are staggering and undecisive but they get stronger with each step one takes. Success is a choice. You must decide what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it. No one else can, will, or should do that for you. So last week in Dream the Impossible Dream we had already begun to take steps toward mapping this journey. Staying focused is a close relative to being decisive, but your ability to sustain your focus from beginning to end determines the timing and condition of your outcomes. Again a lot depends on your belief in yourself to be able to keep on trudging when the going gets rough for we all have those times when we falter in our belief that this impossible dream can come true. This is the time to stay focused for if we scatter our power to the wind then we cannot achieve this impossible dream. When we try and do to many things at once and push ahead when we are too tired to go any further, we lose touch with ourselves. We no longer have long talks with ourselves and see where we are in this journey. Pushing ahead does not work and then we get discouraged so now at this time we need to stay decisive and focused like the little girl who knows that under that Christmas tree is the doll she dreamed of or the little boy who feels the wind in his hair as he rides that new bike. No one could tell them that the bike or the doll was not there.

Accepting failure along the way is an important part of any map. The fundamental question is not whether you should accept failure. You have no choice but to expect it as a temporary condition on the path way of progress. Rather, the question is how to anticipate failure and redirect resources to grow from the experience. Faliure gives one the incentive to go back to the drawing board and see where your map failed you, for you did not fail just part of the plan was not built on solid rock foundation. So learn from your experience and go on.

The game of life is won in the hours spent with oneself dreaming the Impossible dream. When you are open to a new path one will present itself. You must dig within your own unique prespective of life to find this dream and manifest it for it is yours and yours alone no other person can dream this particular dream. Friends can advise, relatives can guide you with their experiences but it is your dream that is manifesting on this journey, not theirs. Remember that Your Future deserves consideration. It will someday be your present reality. It's worth considering seriously.

Some pitfalls that keep us from obtaining our goals is setting our goals to high or too low. One of the most frequent reasons why others find so much frustration with their goals is because they set them too high. Creating goals that are unattainable not only makes it impossible to succeed, but it also creates a negative attitude towards oneself. "I knew I couldn't do it." Well, setting a goal to be a ballerina when you are 65 is probably not very realistic. When you set goals too high and constantly fall short you may just give up.

The reverse of setting unattainable goals is when goals are set too low, there is no motivation to work hard. When you feel like you don't have to work that hard to reach your goals, you don't think about them nor do you really care if you reach it.

In order for people to feel compelled to work hard towards something, they must feel challenged. Setting goals too low decreases motivation and energy. So we go back to seeing in your minds eye the Christmas doll under the tree. You want her don't you? You get excited when you think about brushing her hair, riding her around in a buggy. So reach for the stars! You have within the potential to move moutains. Set your goals so each step brings you closer to them but they are not quite in reach. This keeps one excited about the journey. When you set your goals make sure they are both challenging and attainable. This way you will be motivated to work hard and feel the rush of success when you accomplish your goals! Anticipation is sometimes as exciting as rewards. So go on, make your map one step at a time.

...and remember it is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters, in the end........