Looking Forward Instead of Backward

Several months ago a friend stated that success for him began when he and his bishop started looking looking forward. What would you like to accomplish in near term?" Once they did that he started to have success.
forward instead of backward. They had been counting days or weeks since he last acted out--and he just wasn't making progress. Then either he or his bishop said, "Let's set a goal

Well it was months ago that I heard that suggestion, but I did nothing about it. Then one day in thinking about my own situation and where I was stuck, I decided to try it. So in a meeting with my bishop I told him that I would like to set a goal to be able to go to the temple again. What would I need to do to get my recommend back. At first the bishop said, "Let me think about that for a while and I'll let you know."

Our next appointment was a couple of weeks later. I brought up the subject again. He said, "Yes I have been thinking about that." And he told me what he wanted me to do. Well I was able to do it and now I currently have my recommend and I am trying to attend the temple once a week.

I think that worked for me because a negative goal is just that, "negative." Counting days since you last screwed up is not positive. How do you know when you have reached your goal? If your goal is to just go one month with out acting out and you succeed--then what? What it the reward?

I am reminded of a story told to me when I was a youth. There were two boys lost at night in a terrible snow storm. The both needed to reach safety. They both knew the general direction of safety. But one boy did not make it because he zig zaged throgh the snow all over a large open field. The other boy made it to safety. 

When asked how he managed to make it, he said he saw the image of a large tree on the horizon and so he headed straight for the tree. The only difference betweent the two boys is one had a goal that he could see the the other did not.

So my thoughts on this is the we need short term goals that we can really see and accomplish. It could be, like in my case, I wanted to go back to the temple. However, for someone else, it could be, to take the sacrament, or to bless the sacrament or to participate in a blessing. But it should be a goal that we can see. 

Of course our goal is to be exalted. But in the mean time we need lots of short term goals. Does this make sense?

Back to me. I first had the goal to go back to the temple. After going back I now needed additional goals to stay sober. So I decided to set the short term goal of attendig the temple at least once a week. I also had the goal to participate in an upcoming baptism. I also set the goal of putting names on the prayer roll of the temple (in person). These are all good short term goals for me.

In conclusion, all I can say is that looking forward and not backward worked for me. But it did not seem to apply to me the first time I heard the suggestion.  Timing is important.

No comments: