The Symbolic Aspect of Goals…

If we look at our goals — whether our goals are to start a new career, develop a wellness lifestyle or tap into a long dormant talent — each goal has many dimensions and levels as to how it speaks to us.

On the one-hand goals talk to us at a physical level: Will the new career pay more money with opportunities for growth in income? Will I truly feel physically better by exercising frequently and eating more organic foods?

Our goals also speak to us at the mental level: Do I want to devote so much time to this job or do I want to devote time to my own personal life, right now?

And our goals talk to us at the emotional level: Will this talent for singing bring me praise or ridicule from the people I know if I actually take to a stage at some point?

And, if you go higher to the treetop or eagle level, our goals speak to us at a symbolic and energetic level.

For instance, the person who wants to start their own business may say, “I want to create my own schedule and be my own boss.” But from a higher perspective that goal also represents an energetic way of living life and interacting with life. That goal is a picture for someone who (possibly) “wants to become more independent, wants to rely on them self for their own physical survival, wants more freedom in their life to make directly autonomous decisions that create their reality the way they want that reality to be designed.” That’s a big symbolic picture of empowerment.

And — going back to that iceberg visual — if the individual at the mental or emotional level doesn’t want that symbolic picture or is not prepared to go the distance to meet the symbolic representation of the goal — then getting to the goal is going to be very difficult. Because — once again — he or she will be at some level fighting the creation of that goal. Thus the choices they make will not be choices that strive purposefully to the goal, but instead are half-hearted decisions that try to both go towards the goal and to escape from the goal. Metaphorically they will be shuffling their feet back and forth and then wondering why they stay in the same spot.

Let’s take the another look at this idea… Perhaps I have a creative goal I want to pursue, such as writing a book. On the one hand I could say, “I want to write a book because I have this great idea and I think being a successful author would be so wonderful and I could quit my job and sip lattes at the café with free wifi while I just write all day on my laptop.” Terrific goal. Speaks to me at a physical (It would pay my bills if successful) , mental (I could write and develop my talent) and emotional (I’ll be having FUN) levels.

Now let’s move higher…what’s the symbolism of “writing a book”? From a symbolic picture it potentially says “I want my life to interact with the world around me at a higher creative level. Which means I am eager to fearlessly delve into my inner creative self AND I want to meet people who also delve into their inner creative selves. I’m confident I can run with that creative crowd. I trust my inner self and creativity to lead me to a place of richer empowerment in my life. I am confident to stand up in front of others and share my creative endeavors because I have something worthwhile to say and I want to express it. And in a written format others can access it easily and it will stay on this plane of existence much longer than perhaps I will — that’s the kind of confidence I am ready to express to myself and the world.” Wow, you need three lattes just to get through that!

Well, if a part of me doesn’t really want to be that creatively confident person who fearlessly delves into his own inner psyche to pull out a novel — or self-help book — then am I going to have the inner stamina to see me through the rough spots? Probably not.

So what I invite you to do is begin looking at the goals you have from a symbolic representation. Especially look at the dreams or goals that don’t seem to be moving forward fast enough for you. Try to visualize what their symbolic representation is to you. Brainstorm and write down everything you can think of that the goal might mean to your INNER life (i.e. confidence, empowerment, autonomy, freedom, connection to your groups, how you see yourself interacting with life, etc.). If you need to, start first at the physical level, then move to the intellectual, then the emotional and then the energetic level. Because each goal you have, has one thing in common — each goal pushes you to live and interact with life at a different frequency.