I will give you ten seconds to draw anything you like. After the tenth second, please stop. Go!
Now I will give you another ten seconds to draw: two human stick figures, two mountains, a rainbow between the two mountains, clouds, birds and a house. Read it again before you go, and please stop after the tenth second. Go!
Chances are, you just drew random scribbles on the first one, and drew a better picture on the second. The difference is that you had a better idea on what to draw, and you came better prepared.
Same with life. We can achieve better if we have objectives. If we have goals, our hearts and minds prepare ourselves for the challenges. Say, if I give you a bat and a ball, what are gonna do? Chances are you’re gonna wonder what to do with it. But if I tell you to play cricket and give you instructions, then you can actually play cricket.
I am reminded of a friend who sought me for advice. She was looking for a boyfriend, and I asked her preferences. “Anyone will do” she said. So I introduced her to the next male who walked past us, a guy who’s probably in his 60s. And she annoyingly scolded me “not that!” Oh, and I thought she said “anyone will do!”
We can never reach our goals if we don’t have a goal in the first place.
Let’s remember what the Cheshire Cat said to Alice, in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”:
`Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
`I don’t much care where–‘ said Alice.
`Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
It pays to have goals because it gives you directions. And the more you follow your chosen direction, economics kick in too: you learn to optimize, you learn faster, you become better.
Now try to draw this again under ten seconds: two human stick figures, two mountains, a rainbow between the two mountains, clouds, birds and a house. Do it several times. You’ll notice that the drawings get better and faster with practice. You may even get yourself to the Guiness Records for best drawing under 10s 🙂