Letting It Settle – A New Approach to Goal Setting

Ian Paul Marshall —  January 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

a new approach to goal setting

A young man nervously approached the Buddha…

He had been coming to hear the Master speak for weeks now. Seeking solace and an answer to what had been plaguing him.

After waiting patiently he finally had his chance to ask the Buddha a question, “Wise one, my mind is in a knot, my sleep is restless and my emotions are a sea of chaos. What should I do?”

The Buddha reached for a glass of water that rested on a table beside him. He bent forward from his chair and gathered into his hand a palmful of dust and dropped it into the glass.

He motioned the man forward and said, “Look into this cup and tell me what you see.”

The man answered him, “The water has become cloudy.”

“Your mind is the same young man. But watch and see what happens when I place this glass on this table for a moment.”

After a short while he asked the man to look inside the glass, “Tell me what you see now young man?”

“The water has become clear and the dust has settled to the bottom of the glass.”

And the Buddha looked deeply into the mans eyes and said, “So to is it the way with the mind. If we become quiet for but a moment everything becomes clear.”

Letting the dust settle…

Each year, more than 100 million people make New Year’s Resolutions in the U.S…

…and each year, more than 88 million people FAIL at accomplishing what they set out to achieve at the start of the year.

That’s why I don’t make resolutions anymore.

What do I do instead? I wait for the dust to settle.

December is just too busy. There’s too much going on.

Parties, presents, people, pudding. Late nights and early mornings.

By the time January rolls around I’m usually happy but exhausted (running around with 5 kids really tuckers you out).

So what I do now is I wait. I wait for the dust to settle. I wait for my mind to become clear. I watch and see what bubbles up into my awareness in the first few weeks of the year.

I prod my mind a little bit. I plant seeds – asking questions of myself like,

“What do I want to accomplish this year?”

“What do I want to experience?”

“Where do I want to visit?”

and most importantly, “Who do I want to become?”

And then I wait.

After a couple weeks I can feel something stirring. Calling me forth. Telling me the time is right. That now is the moment to strike.

And I seize the moment. Setting goals. Drafting up plans. Crafting a magnificent obsession for the year ahead.

Every time I approach the new year this way I knock it out of the park.

I don’t stress about resolutions. Instead I honor the moment – cherish it. When the clock strikes midnight on new years eve I’m in a deep place of gratitude. And that feeling is the fertile ground where I plant the seeds of my dreams.

I wait for the dust to settle and when it does everything becomes clear.


P.S What do you do at this time of year? Please share below so we all can learn from you.

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