Critical Mindset--Left Braining

First, a little explanation of the title of this blog.  When it comes to things with a chronologically linear nature (like setting a goal, creating activities to reach that goal, and then acting on those activities), We are said to be very left brained.  Left brain tends to be credited for being very analytical, linear, objective thinking that looks at each "part" individually.  Right Brian thinking  is credited for being intuitive, subjective, and looking at the whole.  Many people find themselves on the right side of the brain for these same types of issues.  Two people with very different perspectives who crave similar (successful) results.  

In truth, almost everyone can acheive (or even overachieve) on their life's ambitions, but many, many people don't.  Some attribute it to bad luck. Some attribute it to bad circumstances surrounding them.  Some attribute to a personal failing.

But it is a belief that achievement comes with specific actions -- actions that define where you want to go, how you're going to get there, and how you'll know when you've arrived.   Sounds simple, right?  Yet, how many people (author included) have failed at losing the weight they promised themselves would come off at the beginning of the year?  How many people have failed to save money?  How many people have failed to write the great American novel?

Define where you want to go, map out how you're going to get there, and decide how you'll know when you've arrived -- also known as "goal setting / goal achievement".  

I could go on and on (and probably will in later blogs entries) about the value of goal setting and achievements.  I want to share my understanding of goal setting.  I set goals, create actions to meet those goals, and measure whether those actions have occurred to gain the ultimate success in achieving the goal.  There is no fuzzy ground for me.  If I set a goal to lose 20 pounds in two months -- and plan to eat fewer than 1800 calories in a day and do a cardio exercise for no less than 120 minutes a week -- I expect myself to maintain that exact plan.  If I eat 1900 calories one day and exercise for 60 minutes in that same week, even if I still lose weight,I have failed myself.  I could have lost MORE weight by sticking to my plan...  the steps along the way are as important for me as the ultimate goal.  Very black-and-white: Either I do the activities and achieve a "win" or I don't.   It reminds me of the scene with Mr. Miagi and Daniel from "The Karate Kid" movie (confession: I'm a cheesy '80's pop culture fan...)


Miyagi: Now, ready? Daniel: Yeah, I guess so. Miyagi: [sighs] Daniel-san, must talk. [they both kneel] Miyagi: Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later [makes squish gesture] Miyagi: get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do "yes" or karate do "no." You karate do "guess so," [makes squish gesture] Miyagi: just like grape. Understand? Daniel: Yeah, I understand.

Now, I'm not saying that's the only way to look at life.  But I'm saying it's the way that works for me.  And I hard on myself?  Sometimes.  But I also reward myself for achievement.  And it feels very real to me when I do get that "win".  I feel like I covered every corner and made sure I took no shortcuts -- because those short-cuts just short-cut myself in the long-run.

Well, that's enough blather from this side of the brain this week.  As we continue to develop this blog, I hope Joe and I can share in techniques and exercises that have helped us throughout our lives.  Beyond goal setting and goal achievement, we'll dwell on what matters most to you -- and WHO matters most to you... we'll look at big picture topics like career choices and family/lifestyle issues... we'll look at the little things, too -- like how I knew I was a success for a day when my two-year old daughter told me that she loved me, for no reason at all.

Please feel free to comment and let us know how you feel about what we're writing about.  This should be a conversation, not a lecture.

I look forward to learning more about all of you out there!