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One of the attributes of successful people is the ability to set specific goals.

We all have dreams in life. If we are serious about these dreams, we can really refer to them as goals that we want to achieve. The more specific our goals are, the more likely are we to achieve them successfully.

Dreams are often vague. "I want to be famous." "I want to be rich." "I want to get outa here." That is OK. It is rare that we start our dreaming with specific goals. However, one of the secrets of success is to find the specific goals that are required to obtain our dreams.

As an example, suppose you live in some shantytown in the middle of nowhere, stuck in a low paying job, and your biggest dream is I gotta get outa here! That, of course, is a very vague dream. When asked, just where it is you want to go, the answer often is anywhere but here! The problem is, such a vague goal is very unlikely to be fulfilled.

As Freud, Jung, and Adler pointed out, we have a conscious mind and an unconscious mind (yes, Freud called it unconscious, not subconscious). Particularly in the Jungian version, it is the unconscious mind that does (or does not) achieve our goals. It works under the direction of the conscious mind.

The unconscious mind has many similarities with computers. It does not think, it just blindly does what it is told to do. The garbage in, garbage out principle applies to it the same way it applies to computers.

From the perspective of the unconscious mind, I gotta get outa here is pure garbage. The person who has this type of dream will constantly bombard his unconscious mind with contradicting instructions. Because he does not know where specifically he wants to go, his unsconscious mind is stuck running in loops, accomplishing nothing.

It is necessary to change a vague dream into a specific goal, or, actually, a series of specific goals.

In our example, we would start by asking why do we want to get out of here. Perhaps we would like to have more culture available. That means that, perhaps, we would like to move to a big city (this is just an example, of course, your mileage may vary). Now, this is a lot better than anywhere but here.

Still a big city is not specific enough. Suppose you live in the US, do you want to go to the closest big city? Or do you want to go to New York, or Los Angeles? How about Chicago, St. Louis? Or perhaps a city on another Continent? Paris? Tokyo?

The more specific your goal, the more realistic it is.

Suppose, you want to act in the movies. In that case, you may set moving to Los Angeles as your goal, since that is where Holywood is.

Good, now you have a specific place you want to go to. It is time to find out more about it. Los Angeles is very big. It has many sections. You need to get on the web and start learning about the various sections, their advantages and disadvantages. Decide which section you want to go to.

Now you have a much more specific goal as to the place. Set yourself a time frame. I am dropping everything, and moving to LA may be the right choice for some people. Moving to LA two years from now may be the right choice for others.

Most people will probably not drop everything and move. So, you need some intermediate goals. Suppose you want to act in the movies. Do not wait till you are there. Go to your local community theatre and try some acting there. You will get some experience, plus have something to put down on your resume once you are in LA.

You should start planning on how you are going to get there. Will you drive? Will you rent a moving van? Where will you live once there? How much is it going to cost? You need money, perhaps lots of money. So, you set additional intermediate goals. Again, the more specific, the better. Wanting "lots of money" within two years is nice, but just how much is lots. Five thousand dollars? Hundred thousand dollars? Million dollars? Be realistic. Five thousand is not going to be enough, million may (or may not) be out of your current reach. Decide on a specific figure.

Now you can start working on getting that money. Perhaps you have no idea how to get that kind of money. So, you need to study how money works. Find ways of getting that money. And, of course, start working on whatever it takes to get it.

All this is just an example. You dreams may be the same or may be quite different. It does not matter what they are. What does matter is to turn vague dreams into specific goals. The more specific, the better. Then find out what it takes to achieve those goals. Let your conscious mind decide exactly what you want, and learn exactly how to obtain it. This will instruct your unconscious mind to work towards your goal. And you will achieve it.

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