I told a story to the graduating twelfth grade class at an international school in Qingdao.  It was about my very first day in Asia.  It was the center of Cheongju, South Korea, (shinae).  I told them of my feelings of seeing all the people bustling through the streets and the colorful store fronts all written in Korean.  The people were friendly but there seemed to be no pattern to their walking.  People seemed to be everywhere; cars too.  Motorcycles would buzz by me on the sidewalk.  I was in stimulation overload.  I was excited and happy to be there. 

I made it a point, to not get lost.  To do this, I made several reference points to the colors and shapes of a few business signs as I could not read Korean.  I also walked straight on only one street.  However, the further I walked, the more everything looked the same. It took me several attempts, while walking back and forth, to find the correct intersection (sa ga ri). of which I had begun.  I was temporarily lost.

I asked the graduating class if they had ever gotten lost and how they could have prevented it.  I suggested a map.  One student was quick to say “GPS!”  I stood corrected.  I then asked them how they would plan to go to more complicated places in the city and the directions it would take to get there.  They had gotten the message.  They would need a GPS, map, or good plan to successfully get to where they were going.

I told them, that this also holds true for their future educational and career goals.  Mapping out both short term goals and long term goals are essential to get to where they are going.  I suggested to them, if they had not already done so, to make their plans in writing and revise them frequently.  They should also note the events that cause them to deviate from their goals and eliminate them.  I wished them a bright and successful future and reminded them  … “Don’t Get Lost!”

    Goal setting is not easy.  It takes practice like everything else.  

For more information on goal setting, try this link.
 Mind Tools