Life Coaching For Christians

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Practical Things I've Learned From Fairytales – Goal Setting

As a Christian Life and Leadership Coach, I attempt to coach others about success. I point out that success comes through vision, goals, action steps, and diligence. Some feel entitled to have success, but no matter how “entitled” one feels, success rarely comes to those without vision, goals, action steps and diligence. Now all of these seem like very adult oriented topics, but I learned all about them as a child, when I read the story of the Little Red Hen.

The Red Hen found some wheat seeds and from that she had a vision. The Red Hen could have stopped right there with the finding of the seeds, but she was positive minded. She saw what those seeds could become – a loaf of bread. Without a vision, we do not know where we are going and with out a vision, we do not know when we have arrived at success. Her vision gave her the starting point for her journey to success.

The Red Hen tried to share her vision with the other barnyard animals and motivate them to in share her vision. The other animals made their feelings clear to the Red Hen. They neither cared nor had the time for her vision. They sought to be a negative and visionless influence upon her. This happens many times in life. How many times have you had a good ideal, only to have it dashed by the opinions of other people? Many times these are our friends, associates, or fellow employees who, themselves, have no vision. They have no vision because they do not desire or feel incapable of acting upon a vision.

When the Red Hen acted on her vision, the first thing she did was to set some clear and attainable goals for her-self. She set goals of planting, harvesting, milling, and then baking. By doing so, she had mapped out the major milestones that would bring about her success. She then set up small stepping stones to help her meet each goal:
For her planting goal - plowing, watering, and weeding
For her harvesting goal - cutting and loading
For her milling goal - moving, grinding, and packaging
For her baking goal - mixing, kneading, and patience
Each of us must do the same in our journey towards success by setting some clear and attainable goals for ourselves. Then follow up by establishing a small series of stepping stones – called action plans – to reach each goal.

Each time the Red Hen started a new goal, she tried to bring her friends on board. But the barnyard animals had not caught her vision and therefore saw no value in the goals the Red Hen had set, nor the actions steps she was taking to complete to each goal. Like the Red Hen’s friends, you may have those who see no value in the goals you have set, or the actions steps you are taking to complete to each goal. Never let your friends, co-workers, or family keep you from setting and reaching reasonable goals for yourself.

The Red Hen was one diligent Hen. She worked very hard. She did not worry about failing or what the barn yard animals thought. As I think about it, the little Red Hen reminds me of a quote from Teddy Roosevelt - "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, … who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." The Red Hen stepped outside the barnyard made herself the “hen” of the arena.
Do not allow the timid souls and critics of the barnyard to infect you with their lack of enthusiasm. Instead be diligent in every step you make towards bringing about the visions for your life and career. Get out of the barnyard. Be that woman or man that is “actually in the arena.” As long as you are in the “arena” - my friend - no one can stop you.

Although this is a simple childhood fairytale that was written many years ago, it is still very relevant in the real world today. You have to have a vision for your life and career. You have to set reasonable goals and put action steps in place to meet them. And finally, you must be diligent in all you do, no matter who the timid souls and critics are around you.

The moral of the story is to not be a halfhearted barn yard animal that does not believe in visions, goals, action steps or being diligent. Instead - be like the Red Hen, get into the arena and go for your vision.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include the following with it: Stan Lewis is a Christian Leadership & Life Coach. If you liked this article, you should really explore coaching to increase your personal growth & development by Clicking Here or the various line of Myers-Briggs©, FIRO-B©, STRONG©, & CPI© assessments at He also has awesome freebies on his site. Questions about this article or you need assistance, please call me at 214-629-7217.


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