By Harrison Barnes
Every year in January, I do all sorts of goal setting. I set goals for what I am going to do over the next year. I do this in a lot of ways, but sometimes I dig out old tapes and CD programs I have accumulated throughout the years and listen to them to get fired up. I have been setting goals since the first of January and it is unlikely I’ll be done before the end of January, and these goals are just covering the year 2009. I figure I am going to spend at least 10% of 2009 setting goals.
The thing about in-depth goal setting is that it really works. I hate to be mysterious, but there is a level of understanding about goals that transcends what we believe is possible. Time and again I have accomplished things that formerly seemed impossible to me. This happened because I wrote the goals down. I have set goals for numerous things and written them down and these things have then proceeded to happen. Sometimes they did not happen at the exact time I had hoped they would, but they eventually did.
Last night, I was listening to some tapes about a goal setting work shop Anthony Robbins held. In one of these workshops, one woman set a goal she would have $100,000 in less than eight weeks. At the time she was making something like $30,000 a year. Tony remembered thinking this was impossible, but let her try anyway. A few days before her eight week deadline expired she miraculously won the lottery and $100.000. The woman came back to one of Tony’s workshops and decided to set another goal of $150,000 this time. She gave herself six months to achieve this. A few days before the six months expired she won $150,000 in the lottery again!
Apparently, Tony traveled around the country telling this incredible story and he told the story in Detroit. A couple decided they might as well set a giant goal and so they decided to try and make a million dollars in a period of several months. They also did something that Tony recommended in order to achieve the goal: They started acting as if they already had the money in their possession. When they got back from the seminar they started telling people they had recently made $1,000,000. A few weeks before the deadline expired they actually won $1,000,000 in the lottery.
I have actually met Tony Robbins and if I had not spent time with him I would tell you that these stories sound untrue. But they did happen and they have something to do with the power of goal setting. There is an unseen force that comes to the aid of people who set goals and believe they can accomplish them. This story from Think and Grow Rich really makes this point:
This story proves the truth of that old saying. ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’. It was told to me by that beloved educator and clergyman, the late Frank W. Gunsaulus, who began his preaching career in the stockyards region of South Chicago.
While Dr. Gunsaulus was going through college, he observed many defects in our educational system, defects which he believed he could correct, if he were the head of a college. His deepest desire was to become the directing head of an educational institution in which young men and women would be taught to “learn by doing.”
He made up his mind to organize a new college in which he could carry out his ideas, without being handicapped by orthodox methods of education.
He needed a million dollars to put the project across! Where was he to lay his hands on so large a sum of money? That was the question that absorbed most of this ambitious young preacher’s thought.
But he couldn’t seem to make any progress. Every night he took that thought to bed with him. He got up with it in the morning. He took it with him everywhere he went. He turned it over and over in his mind until it became a consuming obsession with him. A million dollars is a lot of money. He recognized that fact, but he also recognized the truth that the only limitation is that which one sets up in one’s own mind.
Being a philosopher as well as a preacher, Dr. Gunsaulus recognized, as do all who succeed in life, that DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE is the starting point from which one must begin. He recognized, too, that definiteness of purpose takes on animation, life, and power when backed by a BURNING DESIRE to translate that purpose into its material equivalent.
He knew all these great truths, yet he did not know where, or how to lay his hands on a million dollars. The natural procedure would have been to give up and quit, by saying, “Ah well, my idea is a good one, but I cannot do anything with it, because I never can procure the necessary million dollars.” That is exactly what the majority of people would have said, but it is not what Dr. Gunsaulus said. What he said, and what he did are so important that I now introduce him, and let him speak for himself.
“One Saturday afternoon I sat in my room thinking of ways and means of raising the money to carry out my plans. For nearly two years, I had been thinking, but I had done nothing but think!
“The time had come for ACTION!”
“I made up my mind, then and there, that I would get the necessary million dollars within a week. How? I was not concerned about that. The main thing of importance was the decision to get the money within a specified time, and I want to tell you that the moment I reached a definite decision to get the money within a specified time, a strange feeling of assurance came over me, such as I had never before experienced. Something inside me seemed to say, ‘Why didn’t you reach that decision a long time ago? The money was waiting for you all the time!’
“Things began to happen in a hurry. I called the newspapers and announced I would preach a sermon the following morning, entitled, ‘What I would do if I had a Million Dollars.’
“I went to work on the sermon immediately, but I must tell you, frankly, the task was not difficult, because I had been preparing that sermon for almost two years. The spirit back of it was a part of me!
“Long before midnight I had finished writing the sermon. I went to bed and slept with a feeling of confidence, for I could see myself already in. possession of the million dollars.
“Next morning I arose early, went into the bathroom, read the sermon, then knelt on my knees and asked that my sermon might come to the attention of someone who would supply the needed money.
“While I was praying I again had that feeling of assurance that the money would be forthcoming. In my excitement, I walked out without my sermon, and did not discover the oversight until I was in my pulpit and about ready to begin delivering it.
“It was too late to go back for my notes, and what a blessing that I couldn’t go back! Instead, my own subconscious mind yielded the material I needed. When I arose to begin my sermon, I closed my eyes, and spoke with all my heart and soul of my dreams. I not only talked to my audience, but I fancy I talked also to God. I told what I would do with a million dollars if that amount were placed in my hands. I described the plan I had in mind for organizing a great educational institution, where young people would learn to do practical things, and at the same time develop their minds.
`When I had finished and sat down, a man slowly arose from his seat, about three rows from the rear, and made his way toward the pulpit. I wondered what he was going to do. He came into the pulpit, extended his hand, and said, ‘Reverend, I liked your sermon. I believe you can do everything you said you would, if you had a million dollars. To prove that I believe in you and your sermon, if you will come to my office tomorrow morning, I will give you the million dollars. My name is Phillip D. Armour.”‘
Young Gunsaulus went to Mr. Armour’s office and the million dollars was presented to him. With the money, he founded the Armour Institute of Technology.
That is more money than the majority of preachers ever see in an entire lifetime, yet the thought impulse to back the money was created in the young preacher’s mind in a fraction of a minute. The necessary million dollars came as a result of an idea. Behind the idea was a DESIRE which young Gunsaulus had been nursing in his mind for almost two years.
Observe this important fact… HE GOT THE MONEY WITHIN THIRTY-SIX HOURS AFTER HE REACHED A DEFINITE DECISION IN HIS OWN MIND TO GET IT, AND DECIDED UPON A DEFINITE PLAN FOR GETTING IT!
There was nothing new or unique about young Gunsaulus’ vague thinking about a million dollars, and weakly hoping for it. Others before him, and many since his time, have had similar thoughts. But there was something very unique and different about the decision he reached on that memorable Saturday, when he put vagueness into the background, and definitely said, “I WILL get that money within a week!”
God seems to throw Himself on the side of the man who knows exactly what he wants, if he is determined to get JUST THAT! Moreover, the principle through which Dr. Gunsaulus got his million dollars is still alive! It is available to you! This universal law is as workable today as it was when the young preacher made use of it so successfully. This book describes, step by step, the thirteen elements of this great law, and suggests how they may be put to use. Observe that Asa Candler and Dr. Frank Gunsaulus had one characteristic in common. Both knew the astounding truth that IDEAS CAN BE TRANSMUTED INTO CASH THROUGH THE POWER OF DEFINITE PURPOSE, PLUS DEFINITE PLANS.
If you are one of those who believe that hard work and honesty, alone, will bring riches, perish the thought! It is not true!
Riches, when they come in huge quantities, are never the result of HARD work! Riches come, if they come at all, in response to definite demands, based upon the application of definite principles, and not by chance or luck. Generally speaking, an idea is an impulse of thought that impels action, by an appeal to the imagination. All master salesmen know that ideas can be sold where merchandise cannot. Ordinary salesmen do not know this-that is why they are “ordinary”.
I have heard stories like this many times throughout the years about the power of people who set goals and who then proceed to follow through with them. The power of setting goals in this matter is remarkable. Once you tell yourself you can do something everything else in the world begins to fall into place for you. You need to know where you are going and set goals that assist you in getting there. Powerful forces come to the aid of people who set goals and start moving towards them. You need to set goals and believe you can attain them.
The above article,” Setting Goals is Their Attainment” was written by Harrison Barnes. The article was excerpted from www.hb.org.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”
VIEW OUR ENTIRE SELECTION OF MINISTRY RESOURCES FOR ISSUE 24-9