Setting and Achieving Goals

By Donnie McKinney   c 2005
Find your real talents real you goals self esteem self image conditioning abuse depressed positive attitude visualization change life teen help teenager confused why am I here

"To dream anything that you want to dream, that is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do, that is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself, to test your limits, that is the courage to succeed."   Bernard Edmonds


“Whatever you ask, believing, it is yours.”  God (Mark 11:24)

Setting humongous goals for your life is where the rubber meets the road.  This is where knowledge changes into action.  This is where you decide who you want to be, what you want to do and what you want to have in your life and then turn your wishes into a plan.  Goal-setting is where your understanding of conditioning and self-image allows you to believe that you deserve great things in your life.  This is when the tool of visualization is utilized to turn your goals into reality.  This is where you take your natural, God-given talents and abilities and put them to work, and become happy, successful and fulfilled in life.  This is where you become focused on your mission in life.  Goal-setting brings all those principles together and puts them to work in your life.

Heather Renee French, a fellow Kentuckian from Maysville, recently showed us how to reach a goal.  Heather said she dreamed of becoming Miss America since she was nine years old.  She pursued it doggedly, entering the Miss Ohio pageant once, and competing in the Miss Kentucky pageant three more times.  On her fourth try, she became Miss Kentucky and qualified for a shot at Miss America.  Heather was the first Kentuckian to ever become Miss America!  She didn't just wake up one morning and say, “Hey, I’m Miss America!” Heather French set a goal, worked her plan and never gave up. She didn't live her life by accident

Decisions, Decisions

By Donnie McKinney c 2000, 2005


I just went to visit my cousin, Brett, an intelligent, good-looking twenty-four year old guy.  He looked pretty good, considering he was dead.  Shooting himself was the last of a series of decisions he had made in his life.  It may not have been one of the best ones he had made.


One of Brett's first bad decisions was to smoke some harmless marijuana.  I got the impression that he was rebelling because of some parental problems, but one never knows what goes on in another person's head.  Instead of deciding where he wanted to go in life, he spent his time reacting to where he was.  A lot of teens do that.  We can't help where we start out in life, but we are in total charge of where we end up.  It's a hard lesson to learn.


Brett reminded me of another young guy.  Robert Downey, Jr. was just arrested again on drug possession charges.  It isn't his fault that his father gave him his first joint when he was six years old, but his struggle with addiction began a lot earlier than my cousin Brett's did.  I hope it doesn't end the same way.  Downey told the judge, "It's like I've got a shotgun in my mouth, with my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal."  He was speaking figuratively.  Brett wasn't.


Unless we know exactly where we're going in our lives, we have no basis for making those little decisions that determine our lives.  From the time you wake up in the morning, until the time you go to sleep at night, your whole life is determined by the little decisions you make all day long.  You can either make those tiny, life-determining decisions with a goal in mind or you can make them haphazardly.  Your choice will determine where you end up in life.


I wish I could ask Brett about the little decisions he made in his life.  I wish I was able to go back and tell him that his life was under his own control, no matter what was going on around him.  I wish I could go back and help him understand how a little harmless pot makes people 104 times as likely to end up on cocaine.  I wish I could go back and help him use his natural, God-given talents to live a happy, successful and fulfilled life.  I wish I could  do a lot of things.  I can't.


As I read news stories about how he had shot and killed a 22-year-old college student in an argument over a drug deal, I pictured the troubled, but enthusiastic, charming and handsome young guy I had known earlier.  I thought about him being holed up in his apartment, with the SWAT team outside, thinking about how in the world he got there.  I thought about how sad it was that he found his options limited to either getting killed before he got out of the apartment, facing the death penalty or killing himself.  He chose the last option.


      You become what you think about most of the time.  Why not become who you want to be in life by setting goals, instead of leaving your life to chance?


Brett's charisma, good looks, intelligence and enthusiasm would have taken him anywhere he wanted to go in life.  It's all in those little decisions he made.  It's all about direction.  Your future is all those little decisions you make every day - just like Brett's was.  Do you have a goal that guides you to the right decisions in your life?  Or, are you going to simply drift wherever those little decisions you will make today takes you?  It's your choice.

Seeing how other people like you have done extraordinary things in their lives can give you the encouragement to do the same thing in your own life.  You also have all the God-given talents, abilities, gifts and wisdom you need to achieve anything you want in your life.  All you need to do is use this simple tool to put those qualities to work.


There are six easy steps to converting your dreams into goals. Each step is equally important to the process of putting your goal into a workable plan. Don’t shortchange yourself in any part of this process. It’s your life you’re designing. Design it the way you want it, and the way God intended for you to live it.

Little White House


Several years ago, a young man at Heath High School was called to the stage during what was called Senior Class Night.   Everyone was given some kind of humorous award that depicted the way fellow students saw them.  His classmates gave Julian a miniature White House, a symbol of his decision that he was going to be Governor of Kentucky. 

Julian had attended Boy's State as a junior, and got so excited about the political process that he decided he wanted to be the "real" Governor.  He wasn't from a prominent family.  As a matter of fact, he was from a rural family with eleven children.  That didn't stop Julian.  He had a picture in his mind of himself in the Governor's mansion.  No one could discourage him.

Julian did exactly what you can to learn to do.  He set his goal.  Then, he identified the hurdles he had to get around to get to his goal.  He devised strategies to get around those hurdles.  He went to work.  You can do the same thing.  Decide whatever it is you want in your life, then set a goal and do it.  Make this basic principle of life a part of your belief system.


       What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.


Julian said that the only money he had when he drove off to the University of Kentucky was a $100 bill his father-in-law gave him.  He had to work his way through college bussing tables in the cafeteria.  He didn't complain.  He didn't get depressed because his life was tougher than other kids' lives.  He had a mission.  It didn't matter what he had to do to get there.

It didn't discourage Julian that only one person out of two million can be elected Governor.  Knowing that Governors normally are from wealthy, politically connected families didn't phase him.  He had a mission.  After getting his law degree, he started working on his plan by becoming active in the Young Democrats organization.  He ran for State Representative and won.  He then ran for Lt. Governor and won.

It was a big deal for my young wife and me when we were invited to his sister Jane's wedding in the Old Governor's Mansion.  As we listened to the three-piece string band and saw champagne flowing from a fountain, I was standing there in awe.  I was seeing, first-hand, that anybody can achieve their goals, if they can only believe.

In 1973, Julian Carroll became the Governor of Kentucky – exactly as he visualized nearly twenty years before.  Even though we were living 700 miles away and couldn't attend the inauguration, or hear another Heath boy, Charlie Quarles, sing the National Anthem, I kept that invitation as a symbol to remind me that I can do whatever I want in my life, too.

Don't you think that if a poor boy from Heath High School can become Governor of the State of Kentucky, you can do anything in life you set your mind to?  I know you can.  The tool you can use is simply setting goals.  It's your choice.


Step 1 - Brainstorming

This is the first step to getting what you want in life. Brainstorming is a little magical, because it removes the self-imposed limits you've set for yourself, while at the same time exposing the secret desires you have kept tucked away.  Don't skip over it.  Most people spend more time working on their Christmas card lists than they do on deciding what they want in their lives.  Don't be like “most people.”  You may think you know what you want, but don't take a chance on limiting yourself.  You'll be surprised. 

The basic purpose of brainstorming is to sneak by the "judge" and become limitless for a few minutes.  Sit down at your computer and jot down every thought that comes to you about what you want in your life.  There's a worksheet at the end of this article to use as a tool. When you do the brainstorming portion of the worksheet, don’t think about whether you can do these things or whether you can have them - just punch them out as fast as you can.  Don't even let the word "realistic" pop into your head.  Each idea that comes to you will bring out other things - remember how the subconscious mind works?  The magic of association will astound you if you just let it go. Jot every thought down even if it sounds silly or outlandish.  Type them all into your list.  The silliest one may lead to the most important one.  This exercise should take twenty minutes or more.  Don't stop until you have exhausted your imagination.  Just let the thoughts flow and jot them down without qualification.

You should have hundreds of thoughts on your list.  This will be the most important step you have ever taken to become the person you want to be in life.  This is the point in your life that you can exercise your greatest power, the power of choice, to choose whether you want to live your life by accident, going through life on autopilot, or make it what you want it to be.  You'll have thoughts about what you want to look like, how much money you want to make, what kind of mate you want to find and what your career will be.  You'll think about what kind of family you want to have, what "things' you want to have, where you want to live and what kind of house you want.  The sky is the limit.  Don't eliminate anything that comes out of your subconscious mind.


       What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.


If you want to change your life, open a document file when you start on the worksheet.  Type this question across the top:  What do I want to have, be and do in my life?  If this isn't a good time to set aside an hour to work on the most important thing you've ever done in your life, then save the file and pick a time when you can do it.  Reading this article will not change your life.  Doing this exercise and actually setting goals for you life will.  So, just do it!


Step 2 - Picking your primary objectives.


Once you have spent enough time to think of every single thing you want in your life, you'll be ready for the next step.  There's one problem here, your mind can only work on one major idea at a time, and you've listed hundreds.  You can solve this problem by working on one primary objective for each of five major areas of your life without a conflict.  So, first, you must separate your list of "wishes" - and that's all they are at this point - into the categories of mental, spiritual, physical, family and financial.  This is where "cut and paste" works so well.

When you've finished categorizing your "wishes", you're ready to narrow down your brainstorming list to start the process of turning them into your most important goals.  You can pick just one primary goal for each of these major areas of your life.  You will soon notice that there are a LOT of things you want to accomplish.  There's plenty of time.  You can't spend your time any more wisely than to be working on the most important thing in your life at any given time.  Then, when make that change in your life, start to work on the new "most important thing" in your life.  Soon, you will have worked through an impressive list of changes to completely change your life.  Remember, you can't change anything that has happened in the past. You are where you are in your life. All you can do is start wherever we are at any given moment and move forward.

The prioritizing process is pretty simple.  Just start with the first two "wishes" on your list and decide which is more important and move it to the top. Then, compare that top "wish" with the next one on the list and keep going until you've picked out the most important "wish" on your list for each part of your "new" life.  "Drag and drop" is helpful, here.  If you continue this process down the line, you will have a list of your "wishes" in order of priority for every area of your life - the life YOU want to live. Don't settle for living life on autopilot based on what you've absorbed from other people.

You have one more task before moving on to the next step.  Look back at all the "wishes" you've put in order of priority on each of your five lists, and identify them as short-range (within the next year), medium-range (within one to five years) and long-range (maybe a lifetime) goals.  If your goal, like Julian Carroll's, is to be Governor of Kentucky, you probably realize you aren't going to achieve that goal before Christmas.  That's a long-range goal.  If you want to quit biting your nails, that would qualify as a short-range goal.  Your short and medium-range goals are usually steps in the process of achieving your long-range goals.  Your long-range goals should be so big you don't see at this point how you could possibly achieve them.


Step 3 - Write it down.

If you've completed the first steps properly, you now have all the data you need to turn your "wishes" into goals, and then turn your goals into reality.  Simply write it down. State your goal in the present tense, as if it has already been achieved.  Make sure it is concrete, measurable and has a time limit. 

                                                            Write it down

The first week in September, when the new freshmen came into my Sunday school class, the new students were getting my orientation speech outlining what they were going to learn over the next four years.  I don't remember exactly what we talked about, but we probably discussed the Yale class of '53.

A poll was taken in the 1953 graduating class at Yale University to see how many of the students had set goals for their lives.  About two thirds of the students had not set any goals, and didn't know where they were headed in their lives.  Another 30% said they had goals but had not written them down.  Only 3% of the students had written down their goals.

Twenty years later they were all contacted again.  Researchers found that the 3% who had written down their goals in college had amassed more wealth than the other 97% all combined.  Amassing wealth is not the most important thing in life, and not even very important in the overall scheme of things, but in this case it was an excellent measuring device to illustrate the importance of simply writing down your goals. I've learned recently that this study probably never even happened, but it did illustrate a valid prinicple.

As I did every year, I asked each of the students to write down a small goal.  The idea was to get them to begin understanding how easy it is to set a goal and achieve it.  I asked if any of the older ones had an example of a goal they had achieved that they could share, David spoke up.


David said that after he learned about setting goals, he wrote down his goal to be valedictorian of his class. He said that he had not been a straight-A student up until that time, but with his goal clearly identified, he was able to make the right decisions throughout high school to reach his objective.  Whenever he had to choose between playing or studying for a test, for instance, David knew which choice to make to take him toward his goal.


When David graduated that spring, he had maintained a perfect 4.0 average during his entire high school career and was, in fact, valedictorian of his class just as he had envisioned.  He also was awarded a full scholarship to Tulane University, worth about $20,000 per year.  By that time, he knew exactly how to decide what he wanted, set a goal and achieve it.  David had learned one of the secrets to having, being and doing whatever you want in your life.


       A goal is just a wish until it is written in present-tense terms, is concrete, measurable and has a time limit.


Less than 5% of people have their goals written down.  Only 5% of people are truly successful in life.  Is there a correlation?  When Alice asked the Cheshire Cat which road to take, he asked, "Where do you want to go?"  Alice said, "I don't rightly know," to which he astutely answered, "If you don't know where you want to go, then either road will get you there." 


Do you know which road you need to take?  Goal-setting is a tool you can use to figure out where you want to go, and how you are going to get there.  Do you want to be in the 5%? Or the 95%?  It's your choice.

Don't forget the Yale class of '53.  The 3% of the graduates who had written down their goals had amassed more wealth than all of the other 97% combined.  Write it down!

If you want a red Chevy pickup, as one of the boys in my youth group did, write down your goal as, "I own a new red Chevrolet S-10 pickup.  I own my truck before the end of this school year."  By the way, he was driving that red pickup before the year was up!  If you are overweight and want to lose twenty pounds, don't write, "I want to lose 20 pounds."  Instead, write, "I weigh 'x' pounds before January 1, 2006." 


        A goal is just a wish until it is put into writing.


It is extremely important to act as if you already have whatever it is you want.  There is a specific scientific principle at work here that we'll talk about in a minute.  As you complete this step in the process of designing your life, you should have reorganized the brainstorming list by creating categories for the five major areas of your life - physical, mental, spiritual, family and financial.  Under each of these areas you can have short-, medium- and long-term goals.  That was the fun part!  Now, the work begins.


Step 3 - Identify the hurdles


The next step to achieving your goals in life is to identify the hurdles or obstacles between you and your goals.  This is where each person's individual situation comes into play.  You may have decided you want a career that takes a college education, but you realize you've been a pretty crummy student thus far in your life.  Do you scratch that one off your list?  No, that simply means you have more hurdles to get around than the person who is already a good student.  Some of you might complain that you came from a poor family that can't afford to send you to college while others don't have that hurdle.  Some of you might realize that you haven't been the person you want to be up to this time in your life.  Remember the Basic Premise:


        There is nothing you can do to change anything that has happened in the past.  All you can do is learn what you can from it, then start right where you are this instant, and move forward in your life.


Carl Sandburg said in his poem, Prairie,  "The past is a bucket of ashes."  All any of us can do is start from wherever we are and move toward where we want to be.  Life's not always fair.  I don't know all the reasons why.  But, I do know that none of that matters - you can be whoever you want to be.  This is where that all-important self-image comes into play.  Your goal system will help you create your new goal image.

Your particular hurdles are whatever barriers you need to get past in order to get from wherever you are right now, this instant, to wherever it is you want to be in your life.  If you've been a poor math student and math knowledge is one of the things you need to reach your goal, then learning math is one of your hurdles.  Write that down.  If you need to save money to get something you want just write it down. Don't worry about how just yet.  These hurdles will become short-range goals to get you to your big goals. 

The Past is a Bucket of Ashes


Pandemonium broke out as the Heath Lady Pirates won the regional high school basketball tournament, and were headed to the Kentucky state tournament for the first time in fifty years.  But, the real story began a few days earlier in the girls' locker room.


I was in the stands eating my popcorn when someone came to get me to "say something" to the team.  I had never done that before.  The girls were up against the Marshall County team that was favored to beat them by fifteen points.  No Heath team had won the regional tournament in fifty years.  I was in shock, and couldn’t even appreciate my first time in a girls’ locker room!

I told the girls a story about a young football player releasing potential that no one had seen before.  These girls were similar to that him. They already had the skills needed to be champions, but up until that time they had not played up to their real potential, except for about one quarter in any game.  That wouldn't cut it at the regional level.  It was only logical that, if they could play great basketball for one quarter, then they had the ability to play great basketball for the whole game.  It was all in their minds.  All they needed to do was relax do what they already knew how to do.

The Heath girls beat Marshall County by fifteen points!  The next day, the Marshall coach was quoted in the paper saying, "When the Heath girls came out of that locker room, they looked like nobody could beat them."  I don't believe anyone could have.  What had changed? Nothing, but their attitudes.


The big test awaited them in the final game when they faced the defending champs, Calloway County.  Calloway was undefeated, tough and heading back to the state tournament.  During the semi-final game, one of our players had thrown the ball away five times.  She couldn't stop thinking about messing up, and just kept repeating the same mistake.  We've all been in that rut!  Most of my locker room talk the second night was for her.

Carl Sandburg said in his poem, Prairie, "The past is a bucket of ashes."  I told the girls, mostly for Sharon's benefit, to forget about mistakes they had made in the past, and instead, to visualize what they wanted to do in the future.  Then, just relax and do it.  It was a pretty short chat.

The girls played inspired basketball.  They shot 100% from the free-throw line!  With only five seconds to go, the center fouled the best player in the region and fouled out. Heath was in trouble if the game went into overtime. The score was tied after the free-throws, and the girls had to bring the ball down the entire length of the court.  Sharon got just across the center line and waited for the ball.  She had two opponents all over her, but she snatched the ball out of the air, spun around and threw it over the two girls’ heads.  The buzzer went off while the ball was in the air. It came down and ripped the net. 


Sharon told me that during the time out she had closed her eyes and visualized herself getting across the center line, getting the ball and hitting the final basket!  That’s a million-dollar idea for you.  The past is a bucket of ashes. Visualize what you want, rather than what you don't want.  That’s the key to releasing your real potential in life.  It's your choice.


Step 5 - Devise strategies to get around the hurdles.


Go back to the last step and study the hurdles you listed.  Do you need knowledge in a certain area?  Then, here's where you identify where and how you'll get that knowledge.  Do you need money for college?  Here's where you figure out how you're going to get that money.  Do you have a habit that holds you back?  Decide how you're going to substitute a new positive habit for the old non-productive one.


Look at each hurdle you've identified for your major goals.  How do you get past it?  Think of the specific steps you need to take and write them down.  This part takes some thinking.


Step 6 - Visualize the reward.


Now, here's the secret I promised you.  If you've been nodding off, wake up.  If you don't remember anything else I've told you, understand this principle clearly.  This final step in achieving goals puts the most important concept you'll ever learn to work in your life.  The final step in setting the goals that will determine everything you achieve in life is simply to VISUALIZE your goal and its rewards “as if” it is already a fact in your life.

I want you to get a crystal-clear image of your goal in your mind that you can visualize over and over and over until it is a fact in your life.  Gather pictures that identify your goal and keep them where you see them every day.  Keep your written goal where you can read it every day.  Visualize your end result as vividly as possible using all five senses to see the result - see, taste, feel, smell & hear things in the picture in your mind.  The more vivid the mental image is, the more easily the goal is reached. A complete section on visualization follows this one. Read it before doing the visualization exercise.

Here's what I mean by crystal clear.  I read some time ago about a young boy who had a pet turtle that he loved dearly.  He came in from school one day and found his pet turtle on its back in the aquarium - dead.  He was sobbing when his father came in and asked what the problem was.  His dad, trying to get his mind off of the dead pet, suggested that he get his friends to come over and they would have a funeral and bury the turtle in the back yard.  Then they would all jump in the station wagon and go to the Dairy Queen to get ice cream. 

The young boy's eyes lit up as he was visualizing ice cream with his friends.  As they were planning the funeral and Dairy Queen trip, the turtle flopped over and they realized he wasn't dead after all.  After a couple of seconds of thoughtful silence, the boy leaned over to his father and whispered, "Let's kill him!"  He had a crystal-clear image of the reward.  That's how crystal-clear I want you to make your goal image.

Here's the big secret that will change your life -


        You become what you think about most of the time.


All the great thinkers in history have said the same thing. Marcus Aureleus said, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”  Earl Nightingale, summing up 50 years of studying human potential,, said, “You become what you think about most of the time.”  The Psalmist said, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  James Allen said, “You will become as small as your controlling desire, as great as your dominant aspiration.”  God said in Mathew 21:22, "And all things, whatever you ask, believing, it is yours."  When God speaks, listen.


If God says, "Whatever you ask, believing, it is yours," why don't we have whatever we want?  Because some things we simply CAN'T believe.  Remember, you cannot believe anything that is inconsistent with your own self-image. The only things you CAN believe are those things within the limits set by all that defective data you have stored on your hard drive.  Do you remember where all that data came from?  Do you want to be limited by what you've absorbed by accident into your subconscious mind from other people?  I don't think so.  The way to sneak by that "judge" that limits our abilities is by using VISUALIZATION. 


So, there you have it.  After you've done the hard part - deciding what you want in life and writing down your goals and figuring out what you have to do to get to them - simply visualize that goal image in your mind as vividly as you can - "as if" it has already happened .  Do it as often as you can.  Right before going to sleep and just after waking are good times to put that image into your subconscious memory banks.  Remember what Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, told me:


        "Tell your young people to use the 'as if' principle.  Tell them to decide who they want to become and what they want to be and then act 'as if' they are already that person.  Slowly and imperceptibly, they will become that person." 


Get a crystal clear picture of the "you" that you want to become and act "as-if" you are already that person.  You're almost there!  You can either live your life by accident based on what “other people” have sneaked into your subconscious mind, or you can design your own life around your own unique, God-given talents and abilities.  It really is your choice.

Download or copy and paste the following worksheet into a Word document and set aside some quality time to plan your life. This may be the most important thing you will ever do. Most people spend more time working on their Christmas card list than they spend deciding what they want in their lives.

Download Goals Worksheet

Goals Worksheet 

ã Donnie McKinney 2006


I.            Steps to goal-setting.

A.  Brainstorming.

Jot down every thought you have about what you want or need.  Don’t think about whether you can do them or have them, just write them down as fast as you can. Each item will make you think about other things.  Write them all down. Answer this question without culling anything that pops into your mind.
hat do I want to have, be and do in my life? 

BPick your primary objective.

Your mind cannot work on but one major idea at a time.  Narrow down your brainstorming list to your most important goals.  You can pick one primary goal for each of the major areas of your life: mental, spiritual, physical, family, financial. Refer back to "Step 2 - Picking your primary objective" for detailed instructions for this exercise.

C.  Write your goal in present-tense terms - concrete, measurable, & with time limit.

A goal must be stated in present-tense terms before it can be evident that we believe it.  The secret to achieving goals is to get a crystal clear image in our subconscious minds.  God said in innumerable ways throughout the new testament, "Whatever you ask, believing, it is yours."  Our problem is that we can't believe some things because of past conditioning.  The secret is to bypass the conscious part of our minds and record the thing we want to accomplish as a subconscious "memory" that we can believe.  This is done by visualization; i.e., picturing the end result in our subconscious minds.

Identify hurdles or obstacles to achieving your goal.

We could probably skip to the last step.  However, the old saying that, "God helps those who help themselves" may fit here.  This is simply the first step in breaking the goal down into smaller pieces that will lead us to the larger result we want to achieve.  Simply brainstorm for a few minutes and list things that could get in the way and hinder our efforts.  Don't try to think about solutions, just list problems.  Do it now.


E.  Devise strategies for getting around obstacles or over hurdles.
This step is simply to make each strategy into a short-term or interim goal to help achieve the main goal.  A huge goal is not so formidable when broken into smaller, more easily achievable steps.  Set time limits on each smaller goal that easily lead to achieving the main goal within it's time limit.

Visualize the reward; i.e., create a vivid image of the goal already achieved and thank God for bringing it to fruition.  The next section of this study explains how to use visualization to change your life.

Once you have restated the goal into present-tense form, the next step is to create an image of the goal already achieved.  I believe that our subconscious minds are our direct link with God.  There is no way to use the limited vocabulary we have to communicate adequately with God.  While it is true that He already knows what we are thinking, unless we have clarified our prayer we may not be thinking clearly enough.  So, the next task is to relax and create a vision of the goal as already achieved in as vivid a mental image as possible.  In this visualization, incorporate all five senses; i.e., see the results of the goal in your mind's eye, hear what people are saying and the sounds around you, smell the odors in the air, feel objects in the vision and taste something that reminds you of the situation you are visualizing.

Now, here is the secret to achieving any goal and the answer to your prayers.  Your subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a real event and one that is vividly imagined.  That simple fact has enormous implications.  So, this step in making your goal a reality is simply to vividly imagine the goal as if it has already happened enough times that your subconscious mind accepts that image as a fact.

Studies have shown that it takes about twenty-one days for a new thought or habit to become a part of our being.  So, set aside a few minutes each day, preferably just upon waking or just before going to sleep, and simply visualize the picture you have formed.  At this time you are not trying to believe the picture.  You are not trying to understand how it will occur.  You are not thinking about how hard it will be.  You are simply visualizing the image you have created.  Leave the rest up to God.  Resources you could never dream of will unfold before your eyes.

As your subconscious mind accepts the image as a fact or a "memory", you can simply thank God for bringing it to fruition.  I Thes. 5:18, "In all things give thanks . . ."  has far deeper implications than you might first think.  As part of your prayer, you can thank God for all the events that have led you to where you are at this moment, even if you didn't understand at the time why they happened, as well as for the result you already know he is bringing to fruition.  Rom. 8:28 tells us that, "all things work toward good for those who are working toward God's will."   Even your past failures or problems had a purpose. You just didn't always know what that purpose was at the time.

Entering prayer in a thankful frame of mind for the events of the past and for the events that are going to happen in the future has a tremendous effect on prayer.  If you pray because you "want" something, you are acknowledging "want", or "lack" of that for which you are praying.  That doesn't sound much like you "believe" does it?  Instead, your prayers should be prayers of thanksgiving.  Thank God for providing that for which you pray because you know that He has already granted your prayer.  This is the most powerful form of prayer.

If you accomplish all the steps outlined above, there is nothing that can prevent you from accomplishing every one of the goals we set. Just make sure your goals are in tune with God's plan for your life.  If you have properly begun "detecting" your natural, unique God-given talents and abilities, and set your goals around those natural talents, then you can feel confident that you are on the right track.


II.          Use your will power and your belief power.

How do you reach your goals?  By the application of the twin principles: "will power" and "belief power."  "Will power" is the process by which you bring out of yourself all the enthusiasm, vitality and drive you can muster.  Believing is the process by which you bring out of yourself the power of God.  So, to will means to bring out your personal power; to believe means to bring out God’s power.

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