Goals ~ Poetry, Prose or Both?
The title for this post came to me after reading an online goal-setting article last week. The article was well done and included information on S.M.A.R.T. goals that I mentioned in last week’s post. By “smart” goals we mean SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT (realistic) and TIME-BOUND. As I read the piece, I thought about my post last week entitled “Goal Setting Is An Inside Job“. I quoted the wisdom of Solomon in Proverbs that we make our plans, but the outcome is PAPA God’s.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant or realistic and with a time frame attached – you know the ‘practical advice’ we are so used to getting from the experts in life!
But I’m also for goals being more than just a cerebral exercise. I’m all for prose; but in my world, prose without poetry is shallow and somewhat ‘sterile’.
Poetry and Goals. . .
Poetry is art. It’s of the heart and soul. It doesn’t have to rhyme to be poetry; but it does have to touch the deep places. While we use our brain to engage poets-art-with-words; the words reach into places that the brain cannot go. Or at least, doesn’t always want to go.
Poetry senses the dreams and visions of the poet and permits them to flow in ways that nothing else can do. My suspicion is that poets may more easily allow the wisdom of Solomon to engage their dreams and visions than the subscriber to prose thinks to do. In fact, the pros-er might just scoff at the poet as she seeks to line up her goals with the Father’s will.
In my opinion, poetic goals are the outcome of the following:
- time spent alone with PAPA God
- ask (seek) Him to grant us discernment with regard to His will
- listen for His answers to our requests, for He will answer if only with silence for the time being
- say “thank you” and “Yes” when we receive the discernment
- write out our goals with His will in mind, and
- create them with
- a measure of measurement,
- with more than just attainability, giving PAPA an opportunity to enlarge our territory beyond our limited human vision
- relevant vs realistic, as many times PAPA’s direction seems anything but realistic in natural terms, and
- with a time frame in mind, but somewhat open-ended. Again giving PAPA God the opportunity to move in our lives without being throttled by our human limitations!
Poetic License. . .
Ever hear the phrase “poetic license“? Google Dictionary defines it as follows: “the freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect.”
Setting goals from the poetic perspective permits the Christian business woman to take a much different approach – a “freedom from the conventional”.
A freedom afforded us because we seek, wait and do from a spiritual perspective. Such an approach does not deny the usual and customary, but simply adds a bit of poetic license to the prose of an everyday do-as-the-experts-do approach.
Practical Advice From A Spiritual Perspective ~
From experience, I’ve learned that the Biblical way involves the following:
- Do, or better yet. . .
The great men and women of God found their purpose/destiny by seeking, waiting and doing. Doing while they waited for God to grant them the discernment they sought. And while they waited, they did the usual, mundane everyday chores required of us while we wait for our various assignments.
- Moses tended sheep for 40 years before PAPA called him to lead the Israelites from captivity. He didn’t sit idle while he waited.He also didn’t race out believing he had the answers before they came.
- Mary waited for the birth of the child she was told would save her people from their sins. And while she waited, she pursued the usual activities which were customary in her day. (An aside. . we assume that the minute Gabriel departed after delivering his earth-shattering message to young single Mary, that she was immediately pregnant by the Holy Spirit. But we don’t know that. . .and that discussion is for another day; another post).
- The disciples waited in an upper room until the day of Pentecost. They went about the usual and mundane while waiting for the promise given them at the Lord’s ascension.
I’m suggesting Christian women in the marketplace approach goals and the process of setting them using a spiritual model to do so! How about first setting them as follows:
- a goal to engage in daily silent time to tell the Lord your plans (the ‘seeking’)
- a goal to ask for discernment to know His voice when He speaks to you
- a goal to expect Him to answer
- a goal to wait for His answers even when He seems to tarry (the ‘waiting’)
- a goal to engage in the customary and mundane daily tasks of living and doing business-as-usual while you wait for His direction (the ‘doing’)
- a goal to keep an open spirit in order to hear (or see) His answers when they come
And while we wait, we can set those s.m.a.r.t. goals that the guru’s say we should. We can even pursue them while we wait for heavenly direction to guide our paths as we do. After of course, we have engaged in taking the poetic, or spiritual route, set out here!
Christian women in business, are you willing to join me in this dynamic approach to the goal-setting process?
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building a Community of Christian Business Women
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