Sunday, December 19, 2010

Setting Goals and Making Choices

This past August I was privileged to have been asked to be the speaker for our local pageant. I would like to share with you today what I spoke to those in attendance that day because I think it applies to all of us. I hope you enjoy it:

 I read a quote the other day and I would like to share it with you now:
"We all have dreams and wishes.  Unless we do something about them, that is exactly what they remain.  It is action that brings our dreams and wishes to life.  We can do this by setting goals and taking it step by step until our goals are realized.  Never be daunted by those who would discourage you. Listen to and act on your inner voice, let your life be an adventure! Mistakes and all.  After all, it is your life!" (Author Unknown)

 It is important that even at your age you set a goal of the things you would like to do in your life. Many of you have probably been told 'you can be anything you want to be' and yes that is true!
However, as with most things in life, there is a condition placed on that lofty statement. The condition is this: yes you can be anything you want to be but you must make the right choices along the way to arrive at that goal.

So choices are very important. If I say that I want to be a doctor, then I have to choose the right courses in high school, I have to choose to study hard and make good marks, I have to choose a good university and again choose to study instead of just sliding through.
It's easy to say that my goal is to be rich. But how am I going to attain that? What job do I need to have that will help me become rich? What profession must I have? What degree? And how do I get that degree? What choices must I make to attain my goal?
No matter what my goal is, I must make the right choices that will help me attain that goal. It is all dependent upon the choices I make.  Sometimes, to achieve our goal, we must make the right choice in choosing our friends.
Mark Twain once said: "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great."

Choose to be around positive people. People who will encourage your dreams and help you make the right choices to see that dream become a reality.

The Bible itself in 1 Corinthians 15:33 says this about our choices in friends: "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." It's important to make the right choices in choosing our friends. Choose a friend who will encourage you, a positive person, someone who knows your goal and will remind you to keep that goal in mind.

Our choices will affect the outcome of our life, so it is important to choose wisely. Sometimes we have to seek the advice of someone older and wiser to help us make those choices which in turn will help us achieve our goals. And while it is important to listen to advice, only you can choose to either follow that advice or to do something completely different.

Don't be afraid to voice your goal even if it doesn't measure up with society's expectations. Be strong and sure enough of your goal that you are not ashamed of it. Every girl, every woman has the right to choose what they want to be and no one should put that goal down.

In today's world, when a little girl is asked what she wants to be and she answers "a teacher" or "a doctor" or whatever profession, there will be smiles and nods of approval by those asking. Those same smiles and nods of approval need to be there if that same little girl answers "a mother" or "a homemaker". One profession, job, or calling is no more important than another. All are needed in our world today.

Not everyone is cut out to go to university. Not everyone wants to. And maybe your goal doesn't require you to have letters after your name. It does not mean that your goal is less important than someone else's. It is your goal and that makes it special.

When I was a little girl I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I answered "I want to be a mommy". The people asking me would always say things like "Well, don't you want to be a teacher or a nurse?" or "You can do more than just that" as if my goal of being a mother was not as important as those other goals.
I have worn many hats in my life; I have had many careers. I have been a professional. For ten years I was a provincial buyer for Birks Jewelers. I have been a retail store manager, a sales manager and a pastor's wife. But my greatest 'career', if you will, is being a mother. I wouldn't change it for the world. It is what I have always wanted to be.

Let me encourage you girls to set a goal and then set out to make the choices that will allow you to achieve that goal. Surround yourself with good, positive friends and role models. And don't allow anyone to discourage you from whatever your goal may be.

The choices we make determine the life we live. Whether it is a choice in a career or a relationship, our choice will determine the life we have. You can have desire for success but unless you put in the effort, you will only be left with your desire.

You need to have your plan in place. Determine your intent for success, layout the plan to achieve it and go for it. Remember it is really up to you and the choices you make, so choose wisely.

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