Yes, later this week we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving, when many will get together with relatives and learn yet again why they aren’t closer, pig out on too much food, and retire to watch football on the widescreen.
This is the time when bloggers from all over will be sharing what they were thankful for and desperately trying to get more interactivity by asking you to share what you’re thankful for.
Well, I say, “Forget that!” Remembering the past and being thankful for it is like sending flowers to a funeral. Hey, if you don’t want to send me flowers when I’m alive, don’t send flowers now that I’m dead and can’t appreciate them! Instead, think about the past year based on a few simple principles that can lead do a magickal outcome:
- What did I want?
- What did I receive?
- What do I want?
1. What Did I Want?
This is a great time to remember what it is you wanted to achieve this year. Did you want a better job? More money? A new relationship? Travel to distant places? Adventure?
The sad truth is, most people don’t make plans. They drift through life, the victims of what they call “fate” or “luck.” This is a very¬†unmagickal approach to life. Goals are like a destination on a map. Unless you have a destination, you will have no idea how to arrive…somewhere. Get a destination, or set of destinations, and you can follow the map to reach your goals.
Some people think that by not having goals for the year they will be free just to “be” and “go with the flow.” This is simply not true. Not setting goals simply means that what happens in your life is not under your control. If you’re not under¬†your control, you’ll be under the control of others. You don’t go with the flow, you go with someone else’s flow toward their goals, not yours.
I don’t know about you, but as an Aries I have no problem making goals, it’s following through on them that continuously remains my challenge. Part of that, for me, is that goals seem to be restraining, and I value freedom. What I’ve learned, however, is that having realistic goals ends up giving you¬†more freedom.
Let’s say you have three goals to accomplish tomorrow. You give yourself 2 hours to accomplish each goal. But when you get to it, you discover that you are easily able to finish each goal in 1.5 hours. The result gives you an extra 1.5 hours to do something else…or just do nothing. Establishing goals gives you greater freedom, not less, with the benefit of increased personal responsibility for your actions. This, in my opinion, is a magickal approach to life.
2. What Did I Receive?
If you didn’t have goals for the previous year, you really won’t have much of a way to judge this. You received a raise at work, but did you have a goal to receive twice that raise? You’re in a new relationship. Is it everything you wanted? Without goals, what you received is just a guess compared to what you might have wanted. So if you didn’t have goals for this year, wait on this until next year.
If you¬†did have goals, which ones did you obtain? Which ones did you get more than you had hoped for? If you received more than your goal, was it because your goal was unrealistically low? Did you underestimate your value? Or did you find a way to exceed your original goal? If the latter, how can you apply that to other goals in the future?
But what if you didn’t achieve your goals? In NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, we say, “There is no failure, only feedback.” Not achieving your goal¬†does not mean you failed. Nor does it mean that you are a failure. What it means is that either your goal was unrealistically high or you did not have the tools to achieve your goal.
The problem with setting goals too high is that you don’t reach them. It is natural to perceive yourself as having failed. Your unconscious mind relates this to everything, not just the one goal you didn’t achieve. The attitude of being a failure permeates all aspects of your life, influencing your potential successes elsewhere in a decidedly negative way. That is, perceived failure in one area leads to failures in all areas. So instead of thinking that you didn’t reach your goal and you failed, turn this around to ask yourself¬†why you didn’t achieve your goals. If your goals were unrealistically high, I would urge you to cut them back to realistic levels. It’s what I like to call, “Greater success through lowered expectations.” If you achieve such a more realistic goal before the time you scheduled for it, you can move on to higher goals. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you want to run a marathon. You set your goal to run a marathon by November of next year. Unfortunately, you can only run 75% of a marathon by that date. You’re a failure. Instead, lower your goal to run a half-marathon by November. You easily run it by September. You’re a success. You continue your practice and can run 75% of a marathon by November. You’re an enormous success. So be a success by making your goals more realistic. It doesn’t mean you can’t exceed your goals, it just affects you mentally and physically in a positive way.
Another reason you might not have achieved your goals is because the methods you used didn’t work. If this is the reason, examine what you did during the year. Did you drift off the path? Was your path ineffective? Use this feedback to help design greater successes in achieving future goals. For example, if you used magick to help you achieve your goals, why wasn’t it successful? Did you make some errors in your spells and rituals or do you actually need to move to a different style of magick?
3. What Do I Want?
The third step is to design your goals for the year to come. Remember to keep your goals realistic rather than so lofty that you’ll not be able to achieve them. Plan out what magick you’ll use. One system that follows what I’ve outlined here is that of Time Line Magick as described in just part of the new 12th lesson in third expanded and revised edition of my¬†Modern Magick. Perhaps you might like to add some different systems of magick such as¬†chaos magick,¬†Witchcraft,¬†Wicca,¬†The Golden Dawn,¬†Sex Magick,¬†Tantra,¬†Evocation,¬†Vodou,¬†Hoodoo, or¬†Postmodern magick to what you do. Your potential is unlimited.
As one of my teachers used to say:
Learn from the past.
Live in the present.
Create your future.
With this three steps you have a guideline for creating an incredible future in the coming year.
So what are your goals?