Dictionary definitions:

Target: “a goal to be achieved” Aim: “to intend or direct for a particular effect or purpose”

As you read this Fulcrum, billions of human beings from all walks of life are actively engaging in targeted processes with clearly defined outcomes in mind. This grouping can be divided into two – those that have no freedom of choice, and those that do – across a gradient of requirements, ranging from the menial to the highly skilled. All, however, are working to fulfil that target within a set and mostly short-term timeframe; thereby generating a collective high-intensity buzz resonating throughout the energetic spheres of the 21st century.

Short-term timeframes, especially when imposed on little to no choice scenarios, create unnatural pressure systems and stress factors, that in turn lead to the steadily increasing burnout cases that you are likely witnessing happening around you.

Before continuing it is important to state that there is absolutely nothing wrong with setting up a target and working to fulfil it, in a multitude of contexts. As we shall see, this is a question of balance.

The human task

Is there a fundamentally unifying task that we all share simply by being alive, by having been gifted the opportunity of living? The thought that readily comes to mind is that each one of us is tasked to discover what it means to be human, each in their unique way and style. Because it makes no sense if we side-step this, to then engage in all manner of processes, projects, intentions, ideas, and visions that have little to nothing to do with the premise of what it means to be a constructive, developing human being.

The evolutionary pressure-system and timeframe

If you happen to be a truth-searcher – many of us are – you are likely aware of the two kinds of conflicting frequencies and processes that we need to handle in ourselves: Those that go with being a 21st century citizen, and those that go with the domains of human development. The 21st century is beset by a toxic mixture of ‘get it done by yesterday’ mania; the realms of human development are connected to intangible timeless dimensions, where the concept of time is profoundly different than how time is related to by the world around us.

The ‘target’ concept is foreign to the realms of human development, because human life is an unfinished, evolutionary building site. Thank God, we are still evolving – consider the evolution of human awareness in the last 100 years, and now project it forward by a million years… Whatever we experience in our lifetime is but a tiny fragment of this miraculous process.

The human is created to develop and evolve inside of a bigger picture of incredible possibilities that originate in the realms of no beginning and no end, where ‘growth’, ‘development’, and ‘possibility’ are not quantifiable because most of what has not yet happened exists in the unknown. It is then the task of whoever choses to dip one’s mind into the question of “What next, what would today bring to the plate of plenty?” To come to terms with new forms of self-awareness, little discoveries, and self-realisations materialising in the still evolving self of the human.

The aims mindset

So, where would you want your centre of gravity to be: In a target’s mindset or an aims mindset?

Here are some examples of the language that belongs with an aim’s mindset and centre of gravity:

“Developing qualities, such as the quality of patience, without the pressure of a set target because patience cannot be measured in a linear way. It grows and deepens in its way, and when the essence of patience comes to live in a seeking person, it brings with it its unique form of intelligence”.

 “I seek to improve the range of my perception, knowing full well that it has no limits”.

 “I am training myself to be an impartial observer, not influenced by the persuasions of world media”.

 “Personal development cannot happen when under pressure. It can only happen when we create in ourselves the ecology that supports organic growth, which lives in the profound evolutionary realms that our lives are joined to”.

 “Human development and evolution are a non-linear process that cannot be forecasted – it happens as it happens, with the seeker making his or her lives available to this thrilling process”.

 …perhaps have a go at a few examples from your life…

 The way forward

A ‘target mindset’ keeps fixing the outcome and all too often imposes upon us the experience of ‘failure’. An ‘aim mindset’ seeks to keep developing and improving with no projected fixing timing or outcome. Thus, “I will continue to improve” as against “I will transform by end of month”.

An ‘aim mindset’ accommodates the kind of pressure system that keeps a person in track with what they want. A ‘target mindset’ is a tunnel vision to an eventual burnout.

So, by all means have targets where you must have a target. But try to keep your centre of gravity in having aims, to grow the inner conditions that support being and staying in the evolving flow of the unfolding of the human possibility.

Note: This Fulcrum makes for an engaging self-awareness building workshop, or an equally engaging interactive keynote, on site or via Zoom.

With best wishes,

David Gommé

World Copyright 2024© David Gommé

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