I am going to be doing a talk for a bunch of middle and high school students on goal setting. It is really about deciding what you want to do in life. I want to get them to appreciate the importance of really picking what they want - not what they think they are supposed to want or someone else wants for them.
So many of us live our lives based nearly entirely on what we have been told about life by others. It is vitally important if we are to be really successful in life that we start following our heart and not our mind. That bio-computer brain of ours can only regurgitate ideas and beliefs that have originated in the past and if we do not find new ideas of our own we will be doomed to repeating old cycles over and over again. That is not always bad but it will most likely prevent you from finding out the things that will bring you the most joy and personal satisfaction.
There is a word from India's spiritual traditions: dharma. A definition of the word is "life purpose". The tradition suggests that we each come into life with a unique life purpose - a way we can offer the most value to the world and ourselves. For some the path is clear. If you are born with great musical ability or athletic ability you clearly had a pretty definite plan about your life before you got here but most of us are not so lucky. Further, because from the moment we are born we are told stories about what we should do, what our parents and friends think we should do to be successful; we may never discover what we really wanted to do until much later in life or never. My hope is to get people to take charge of their storyline NOW rather than later.
A good way to help find the right path is to ask yourself what you want to be doing 5 years from now if there were no restrictions and it could be absolutely anything that would be making you happy. Give yourself several categories to design: work is the one most people will focus on first but think about what you want for family, friends, a home (your living arrangement), relationships, leisure, things you want to do and places you want to go. Fill up a bunch of pages with a list of hopes and dreams for every category that comes to mind. Writing them down is important because it will help clarify and define what you really want and start setting you on a path toward those objectives.
I want to assure you that there is no reason why you cannot have everything you come up with to be part of your life. What you will find is that as long as you accept that you deserve to have all of your hopes and dreams come true, they will all become your reality as quickly as you are willing to believe in their reality. You will have a passion for the things you really want to do and be and that passion will focus your energy to build a path to their realization.
The greatest part of the process is that as you move toward realizing your personal hopes and dreams you will find that you are benefiting many others in helping them follow their path because we are all so closely connected by the very energy that shapes reality. The PositiVibes you generate as you move with excitement and anticipation toward your goals will bless everyone around you - the whole of Creation actually. Knowing this is important because you must never let yourself fall into the trap of thinking you are being selfish for wanting and having such a great life. Know that you have been "inspired" to have all of your personal hopes and dreams because in moving toward them you will be on the path that offers your best possible contribution to the well being of the whole world.
Along the way, trust your heart - or maybe you call it your intuition - to keep you on the right path. If it "feels" right you will never get far off course. Follow your heart; fill your days with things and activities that fill you with appreciation and joy. Have fun! That really is what it is all about.