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Identify What You Want to Accomplish in Life

As a college student at Brigham Young University, I remember reading the poem written by Jessie B. Rittenhouse that had a major impact on how I felt about goals.

I bargained with Life for a Penny, and Life would pay no more,

However I begged at evening, when I counted my scanty store.

For Life is a just employer, He will give you what you ask,

But once you have set the wages, why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire, only to learn, dismayed,

That any wage I had asked of Life, Life would have willingly paid

(As quoted in Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich, 1960, p. 40).

I worry that too many of us do not think of what we want to get out of life. Instead, we wander aimlessly through life and forget who we are. We set our wages too low—settling for just a single penny. Unless we make some changes, we will be disappointed with the penny we receive from life.

The gospel can give us wonderful direction in our lives if we will follow the teachings of Christ. Following Christ’s teachings has made all the difference in my life; His teachings have helped my family and me put our most important priorities first as we have set our major goals within the context of the gospel. The scriptures tell us, "Be thou humble, and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers" (D&C 112:10).

We can get more out of life if we will put this scripture into action. As we dedicate our lives to understanding ourselves, our goals, and our desires, and as we learn and do the Lord’s will, He will help us understand the direction our lives should take.

I’m sure you have some favorite motivational thoughts that have helped you in life. These are some of my favorites:

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve (W. Clement Stone).

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right (Henry Ford).

And my all-time favorite,

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail (Anonymous).

The purpose of this website is to help you plan the financial future that President Benson speaks of and then to help you live your plan.

Goal setting is not easy, but it is doable. All goals have costs—costs in terms of time, effort, or money, or a combination of the three. Time costs require a certain number of hours or minutes of your day to accomplish. My daughter Natalie just signed up to run a marathon in six months. She will need time to train and get ready. She is planning on four to six hours a week to prepare for her twenty-six-mile run.

Effort costs require you to accomplish other sub-goals so you can achieve your overall goal. My wife and I have a goal to run each morning at 5:00 a.m. To do this, we have set a sub-goal to get to bed each evening before 9:30 p.m. so we have sufficient sleep to allow our bodies to function.

Financial costs require an amount of money to achieve a specific goal. My son, Clinton, would like a car when he gets his license. To achieve his goal of purchasing an automobile, he will need to save a specific amount each month for the next thirty-six months.

Some have wondered about the difference between financial goals and personal goals. There is no difference. Financial goals are personal goals with a financial cost attached.


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