Jan 29, 2018
One of my favorite classes to teach to my military students was Land Navigation. The learned to use a map, compass, and protractor. In order to get to the designated point on the map, students needed to first know where they were and move on from there. Next, they would plot out a course. If they needed to travel a great distance they would break it down to shorter “legs”. Periodically they would need to sit down and assess the situation and be sure that they were still on course.
Personal goal setting is very similar to land navigation. Step one is to know where you are on the map. This goes back to our previous discussion of honest self-assessment. Where are you on you life journey? Short term goals: this year. Mid-range goals: the next 5 years. Long term goals: 10 years.
♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫
Welcome to Morning Mindset. A daily dose of practical wit and wisdom with a professional educator & trainer, Amazon best selling author, United States Marine, Television and Radio host, Paul G. Markel. Each episode will focus on positive and productive ways to strengthen your mindset, and help you improve your relationships, career goals, and overall well-being. Please welcome your host; Paul G. Markel.
Alright it’s that time again. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, or if you’re driving don’t pour yourself a cup of coffee. You both hands on the wheel and pay attention to the road in front of you, or maybe you’re on a treadmill. Either way, it’s time for Morning Mindset. Way back when, maybe 10 years ago or so, I went to work as a military contractor. A small arms and tactics instructor for the United States military during the Global War on Terror, and as you probably saw in my Bio, many-many moons ago in 1987 I became a United States Marine, so I have a little bit of experience with that whole Military thing.
Now as an Instructor, one of my favorite matches to teach to my military students, was Land Navigation. Now many of you, if you were boy scouts or girl scouts, you may have heard of Land Navigation or you may have heard it referred to as “Orientering”. It’s basically using a Map and a Compass and a Protractor and a Pencil, and finding your way in the woods, in the field, wherever you happen to be. But a lot of you guys out there are like “Paul, it’s 20--, I’ve got Google Maps and I’ve got my GPS and I’ve got my smartphone. I don’t need an actual paper map and a compass and so forth, I just punch in where I want to go and it takes me there.
M’kay, what you do in the Military though, is something a little different. Yes, the Military does have GPS units, but it is also very important for them to teach very basic fundamental land navigation. Because all these new, shiny things we have with technology are always subject to error. The batteries might die, the satellite could be off, have you ever trusted Google Maps or any of the other online maps service and only to find out, you weren’t where you’re supposed to go, and it didn’t take you where you needed to be? They’re no infallible, and depending on where you are on planet Earth, the maps may not be quite up to date.
So what we would do is, we would have an initial classroom session with the kids, and when I say kids I mean 18, 19, 20 year old, young military students. We would go over how to read a map, how to use a map, how to use a compass and a protractor, so on and so forth. We do that in the classroom, then we get out actually into the woods. Out into the field, and we would give them maps, they would have maps and compasses and protractors, and we would divide them into small teams and they would have to find their way. Now the first thing they had to know, in order to navigate using a map, you have to know where you are.
Yeah, you can’t just open a map and say “Alright, let’s go”, you have to be able to look at the map and say “Okay this is exactly where I am on this map.” You’ve gotta have a starting point, that’s the first thing you have to have. If you don’t have a starting point, if you don’t know where you are on the map, it doesn’t matter how good at reading a compass you are. So the first thing they had to figure out was “Where am I on this map? Where is my starting point?” Then the next thing they would have to do is they would have to plot out a course. They would have to get a reading on the compass or on the protractor. They’d have to aline their maps so they were lined up facing north.
Then they figured out approximately how far they needed to go. Now if it was a great distance, if it was a long distance, rather than try and go all at once, they would divide the journey up into what they called “Legs”, Shorter Legs. Periodically, especially if it was a long leg, they’d have to sit down assess their situation, and say “Okay, are we still going in the right direction? Are we on track?” and when it comes to Goal Setting, Goal Setting is very, very similar when it comes to working with a map and a compass and Land Navigation. Think about it, you’re going to set goals for yourself. Whether they’re relationship goals, career goals, educational goals, whatever these goals happen to be.
Now it’s good to set goals, but going all the way back to the beginning of Morning Mindset, you need to do that Honest Self Assessment, you’ve gotta do that gut-check, you have to determine “Where am I right now? Where am I right now on my journey? What kind of education do I have, what kind of experience do I have, am I heading in the right direction?” I don’t know, step #1 where are you right now? And it doesn’t really matter where you are, everyone’s gotta start somewhere, but you’ve gotta start with some Honest Self Assessment. Okay, somebody who just graduated High School yesterday, their goal could be “I wanna be the CEO of Google.” Okay, that’s a nice goal, but you’re not gonna walk through the front doors of Google tomorrow with a resume and say “Here ya go, I wanna be your CEO, I wanna be your President.”
That’s impractical, right? Well alright, let’s say that was your goal. How do you get there? Just like with Navigation, when you set your course, it may be a long journey. It’ll be easy to think “Man this is gonna take so long…” but if you break it up into shorter legs, shorter segments, it doesn’t seem so long, and then as you go through those shorter legs and shorter segments, you can sit down and do some honest self assessment. Say “Alright, am I still on track? Are all my compass readings good? Let’s take a look at the map and see if we’re where we are supposed to be. Look around and figure it out.”
So when it comes to setting goals, #1 where are you? Where are you in your life at this moment in time? What can you achieve in the short term? Now generally when I’ve been taught, many, many years ago when I was taught about goals, from my life coaches and so forth, they said Short Term, Medium, and Long Term, as in what am I gonna do in this next year? This is easy to do at the beginning of the year and it’s what most people do. Most people in January, or around the first of the year, they do some self assessment and you know, they take stock of their lives and say “Alright this year I’m going to Blank.” Fill in the cliche; quit smoking, lose weight, exercise more, save money, whatever it is right?
But the problem is, is they just say that, but they don’t have a map. They don’t have a compass, they don’t have a protractor, they have no way of getting there they just say these things. What I want you to do is I want you to write it down. What is your goal for this year? That is a short term goal, “This year I’m going to Blank.” Now it may only be one thing, say this year you want to get a promotion at work, or you wanna quit smoking or you wanna get stronger or you wanna lose weight, whatever it happens to be. Alright great, write that down. That’s a One Year goal. Now if you’re a young person, especially of college age, you’re gonna wanna write down not just a one year goal, but you’re gonna wanna write down Five Year goals, forcast out five years.
Within five years, what do I want to have accomplished? Maybe it’s “I wanna have a degree.” okay. Maybe it’s “I want to get married”, maybe my goal is to purchase a house. Whatever it happens to be. So one year, five year, then we want to start projecting for long term goals. Like I said you just got out of high School, maybe you just got out of college, you don’t walk through the front door of Google or IBM with your brand new resume and degree and say “I’m applying for the job of CEO or of President.” what have you. That’s not how it happens. So if you want to do that, let’s say I do want to be the CEO of a company someday, I wanna be the President of a company someday, that’s a 10 Year goal.
So for one year goals, write it down, and when I say write it down, I’m not kidding. I mean find a pen, find a pencil, find a notepad and write it down. You say “Paul I’ve got an app on my phone, I just take notes on my laptop or I take notes on my phone.” Five years from now do you think you’re going to have the same phone now and the same amount of apps in it? How many pictures do you have on your phone that you looked at once and haven’t seen for years? How many of you out there have phones in desk drawers that you won’t throw out or trade in because they’re full of old pictures that someday, you think you’re gonna look at again?
Like I said, in my personal experience, when I was a young Marine I was stationed aboard a ship called the U.S.S. Forrestal and a friend of mine, we were talking about goals and he said “Paul, you need to write your goals down.” He was a real goal oriented guy, so he said “Write them down” and I said “Okay I will.” So I say down and I wrote them all down, I wrote down a one year goal, short term, five and a ten. Many years later, after I’d been married, after I’d already had children, I went through some of my stuff from when I was in the Marine Corps and I opened up that book and I found, ya know what? With one exception, I had fulfilled all of those goals.
So I want you to do that. I want you to get a notebook, I want you to write down your one year goals, your five years goals and your ten year goals. Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining me here today, and I’ll talk to you again, real soon.
♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫
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