Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” And each of us knows from our own experience that he is right. The general flow of human life tends to be toward ease and comfort. One day flows into the next, and many of us never quite get around to turning our good intentions into reality.
Those ‘good intentions’, while no doubt admirable, tend to remain unrealised mainly because they are too vague. Vague ideas are impossible to focus on and aim for—they are moving targets.
Do you have moving targets in your life? Perhaps you want to eat a more healthy diet or lose the winter weight that has crept upon you. Maybe you just want to establish a regular workout routine and stick with it this time. That’s why some people make New Year’s resolutions—they get tired of having nothing worthwhile to aim for, so they make a promise to exercise more or spend more time with the kids. But we know the reality—these good intentions don’t come into reality.
But it must start with a dream. Something that inspires you and keeps you going when things get rough—as they will. So what’s your dream? What are you aiming for?
August 2004 was the Athens Olympic Games. And American Matt Emmons was taking part in the 50 metre 3 position rifle shoot finals. He was leading by three points and needed only to get near the bull’s-eye to win. He felt he would win and so did everyone around him. But something terrible happened. No score was recorded. He complained to the judges.
And then he made the awful discovery. He was shooting in lane 2, but fired at the target in lane 3—the wrong lane. Emmons had hit the wrong target. A terrible blunder in an elite competition. He scored zero for that shot and dropped from 1st to 8th place. His aim was wrong that day.
What people aim at
What about the aim we have in life? What are you aiming for? I looked at some answers on the internet—what are you aiming for in life?
Some of the answers were:
- I am living for my family.
- I have no aim as I have always lived my life as it comes.
- I am not an ambitious person so I have never set goals in life.
- All I want, is to live a respectable, happy, satisfied, healthy and contended life with my family.
- My family—my loved ones—keeps me going, my world revolves around them and i am nothing without them.
- I ask myself that question all the time and haven’t yet found an answer.
- I suppose I’m just slowly moving along and seeing what happens.
Michelangelo once said, “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it – but that it is too low and we reach it”. Worth thinking about, isn’t it?
What are you aiming for?
(This section has been taken from Platinum Rules For Success)
Another an old saying is: “Most people aim at nothing in life—and hit it with amazing accuracy.”
It’s a sad commentary about people, but it’s true. It is the striving for and the attainment of goals that makes life meaningful. Lewis Carroll stated this point beautifully in Alice in Wonderland:
- Alice: Mr Cat, which of these paths shall I take?
- Cheshire cat: Well, my dear, where do you want to go?
- Alice: I don’t suppose it really matters.
- Cheshire cat: Then, my dear, any path will do!
No matter what kind of travelling you’re doing, whether it’s through life or across the country by car, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know if you’ve arrived. Taking just any road will leave your fulfilment to chance. That’s not good enough.
People who have no goals feel emotionally, socially, spiritually, physically, and professionally unbalanced. This can only cause anxiety. People who have goals are respected by their peers; they are taken seriously. Making decisions that affect the direction of your life positively is a sign of strength. Goals create drive and positively affect your personality.
Time magazine reported on a national survey several years ago that only 3 percent of those surveyed had written personal goals; 97 percent of the people had no goals at all or had only thought about them. They had not committed their goals to writing. Interestingly the 3 percent who had written goals were found to have accomplished much more than any of the 97 percent.
The only goal that really counts
But here’s some good news from the Bible. The great man, the Apostle Paul, had a definite aim in life which he followed each day and paid for it in the end. He served Jesus as his Master and made this wonderful resolution we read in Philippians 3:14 :
I am sprinting towards the only goal that counts; to cross the line and win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed (Philippians 3:14 – The Voice).
Make that your aim too.