I read about a couple who had a remarkable experience with goals.
One day, while this man was on the job, he made the acquaintance of a mentor, who told him something amazing about the power of having clear goals. The man could have anything he wanted in life: all he needed to do was clearly articulate it.
The man instinctively knew this wise mentor was telling the truth; but as he thought deeply about what he had heard, he came to a sobering realization: he could not in that moment think of any goals to articulate.
That night, he excitedly told his wife what he had learned. And while he wasn't able to articulate a dream, she was--and did. She described to him the kind of home she longed for them to live in, exactly what it would look like, feel like, taste like, smell like.... She encouraged her husband to share this vision, and to keep talking with his new mentor. In less time than one would think possible, the vision she had painted for him that night became a reality: they were living in the very home she had described to him!
But it didn't end there.
The woman instinctively understood the importance of stretching beyond one's comfort zone; she knew that if we only dare to dream really big, virtually anything is possible.
As her dreams grew in scope and daring, she continued describing them to her husband in vivid detail. He continued to dialogue with his mentor, and over the course of time, one by one, the dreams this bold, entrepreneurial woman had envisioned all became reality. Their wealth grew prodigious; soon they were living a lifestyle unimaginable to most.
It was truly a remarkable course of events...
Until one day, alas, it all came to an end, when the husband's mentor, who was a magic flounder, grew weary of the fisherman's wife and her unceasing demands, and stopped granting her wishes--and the hapless couple in this most cautionary of Grimm's Fairy Tales, "The Fisherman's Wife," found themselves living once again in the same wretched hovel where they'd started.
There is a bit of Fisherman and Fisherfrau in each of us: the part that knows how to be content, to truly live in the moment; and the part that perpetually aspires to more. Mr. and Mrs. Fisherman did not have a particularly harmonious relationship. Perhaps within our own natures, we can achieve a more graceful balance--and happier outcomes.
If people like Brian Tracy and Dianna Booher and Richard Brooke and Lisa Jimenez are right (and they are), then we've got the power of the Flounder in our hands. Let's use it well.
JOHN DAVID MANN is Editor in Chief of Networking Times.