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One of my clients went through my course and set 5 year goals that were very clear and he was convinced they were goals he wanted from his heart. However, a few months into creating these goals he found that some minor goals had taken over and he fell completely in love with those pursuits over the ones he had thought were more important to him. He realized that he was pursuing the more major goals only for reasons of getting validation from others.

Trombone Ensemble - Photo Credit Al Kay

Trombone Ensemble – Photo Credit Al Kay

This happens frequently. We spend our time doing things we “think” are valid to us but once we really clarify our passions from our hearts, there is a good chance that the things we have been doing may fall away from our interests. This can be scary, especially if you were convinced that these goals were your main interest. Knowing why you are doing anything is critical in assessing what you really want in your pursuits and from your commitments. Too often we do things that other people say are important or we get validation that we are “good” at something so we “should” pursue a career in it. If I had followed that advice I would now be a nurse because my grandmother was convinced I would be wonderful nurse based on how well I was able to make hospital corners on a bed.

Doing anything for the love of it and from your clarity in your heart and head is true goal setting. My client was concerned that following his heart instead of the path he had been on was somehow going against goal setting. I realized from his comments that perhaps many people avoid clear goal setting because they 1) think they are being locked into following something they don’t love and 2) that they may find out that what they have been doing is not valid for them anymore. Doing anything for other people’s validation, praise or confirmation of your value in the world means that you will delay finding your true centre of doing things you love. A large percentage of the musicians I have coached have told me they want to be musicians for one of two reasons 1) for the respect and 2) for the security. What about for the love of playing music?

Many musicians continue to practice and audition and even play professionally because they want the validation of doing something worthy or getting compliments from the conductor, a review or winning a “job”. But those same musicians become bitter and angry at the music profession because the profession will not sustain this type of validation (praise, money, respect, etc.). If you get a good review you are happy, if you get a bad one the critic is an idiot. My teacher always told me “if you believe the good things people say about your playing then you must also believe the bad things they say. It is best not to rely on their opinions at all, but only on your own standards and awareness of improving.” Wise words.

For me, the importance of going through a clarification process of your goals gives you an insurance that you are following your heart and your passions and will always be in line with what you specifically are on the planet to do, be and give. Goals are continually being assessed so that the path to where you say you want to be is fun, easy and full of love. The sooner you clarify your goals, the better off you will be.