Do you want to build a business, change a relationship, improve your health or quit a bad habit? Do you want to earn a million dollars or be debt free? I can’t promise you any of these things, but I can promise this: You stand a better opportunity for achievement in these areas if you set goals, and if the goals are compatible with all your other goals. You’ve probably heard others make the same observations. What we sometimes fail to point out is that we must also be very realistic about where we are in life, right now, relative to our goals.

For instance, to get out of debt we must face up to how far in debt we really are. What is the specific amount? The same is true with respect to the necessary skills, training and attitudes for the achievement of other worthwhile objectives. Where are we and where do we want to be? Also, what is our unique individual perspective on such matters? The following two stories illustrate these vital principles.

J.B’s elderly customer had his roots in San Antonio. I mean he really had his roots here.

When something was said about Austin (about 75 miles away), his comment was, “You know, I need to get up there one of these days. I hear it’s a real nice place.”

One day, after I told a customer about the elderly gentleman, he shared another story. “Back when I had my gas station this elderly lady, a longtime customer, brought her yellow Studebaker – Lark in for service. She said that she wanted the works - gas, oil, belts, hoses, rotate the tires, grease the wheel bearings, everything. She was going on a road trip.”

Thinking she was going at least several hundred miles, he asked, “Where you headed?”

“Oh, I’m going down to LaVernia,” she replied.

Knowing that her destination was only about 30 miles away, he couldn’t resist teasing his sweet friend. With tongue in check he replied, “My goodness, for a trip like that I think I’d go out to the airport and get on a plane.” For a long time it was a standing joke between them.

But, the principles these two stories illustrate are no laughing matter. They involve the uniqueness of goals and of those who set them.

BARBER-OSOPHY: The distance to a specific goal, and the difficulty of achieving the goal, often depends on who has the goal.

Copyright 2006, Sumerlin Enterprises.

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Author's Bio: 

Terry L. Sumerlin, owner of J.B.'s Barber Shop in San Antonio, Texas, appears nationally as "The Barber-osopher.” A humorous keynote speaker and motivational speaker, he inspires and engages his audiences with funny anecdotes and thought-provoking stories.