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The Power of Goal Setting

When I was 22 years old at a resort in the southern Adirondack Mountains, I made the first notes on opening a resort in Tennessee. Menus were planned (you know I would focus on food)–rooms were laid out—recreation activities were listed –and property requirements were considered.

For the next 34 years, I collected brochures, took pictures, laid out strategy, revised plans, visited bed and breakfasts, country inns and resorts in the U. S. and in Europe.  When Whitestone Country Inn was about to become reality in the early 90’s, I had accumulated hundreds of pages of ideas and plans.  The finished product is much better than the  plans, so I guess we know who was really in charge.

For me there has always been power in a written plan.  Expecting certain outcomes certainly changes behavior.  I have thought often of Alice’s questions (Alice in Wonderland) to the Cheshire cat:  “What road should I take?”    “Where are you going? asked the cat.    “I don’t know!” replied Alice.  “Then is makes no difference”, answered the cat.

How fortunate to know what I wanted to do!  And how frustrating to wait 34 years to do it!  But through those years, I felt empowered by the goal.  By the time Whitestone could become a reality, I was clear about what a Whitestone experience should be.  What joy to get up every day in the midst of a reality that was only anticipated for so many years.

Dr. Albert Einstein was very absent minded.  During his later life he boarded a train to speak to a large gathering. When the conductor came by to collect his ticket, Dr. Einstein could not find it. He frantically searched through pockets and papers looking for his ticket. The conductor rather quickly sought to resolve the probem. “Dr. Einstein, I’m sure you bought a ticket. It’s okay, we know who you are.”

The conductor passed on down the aisle.  When he returned some minutes later, Dr. Einstein was down on his hands and knees still searching under the seats for his ticket. Once again the conductor reassured him, “Sir, it’s okay that you cannot find your ticket. We know who you are.”  Einstein looked up and replied, “I know who I am, but I don’t know where I’m going.”

Look for those things you feel passionate about. Set written life goals about what you want to accumplish. There is real power in knowing where you are going in this life and in the life to come.