Establishing goals is common practice for someone who is starting a new stage in life. I learned about this when I started my education, and now I realize creating goals are the reason of my educational success. Although some could say I have had difficulties in life due to having Cerebral Palsy, I find these limitations are only a mental block, because I’ve been able to achieve more than I had ever expected.
“Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them”Jack Canfield
I first started setting up goals for myself when I arrived in the U.S. for the first time. I’m from Ecuador, and my native language is Spanish. Having no practice or knowledge of the English language prior to coming to the U. S., I enrolled in an ESL class at Madison Area Technical College. I set myself the first goal of many to come; to learn English. Once enrolled, I started to fear and doubt my abilities, because starting to learn a new language is difficult. Out of necessity, I created a personal plan that later will prove to help me succeed in achieving future goals. The plan goes like this:
1- Find the Objective:
My objective was to learn English. Yours could be to be more productive, to wake up earlier, to run a 5k, to make somebody happy. This plan is proven to work for any objective.
2- Find ways to reach the Objective:
I had to study daily to learn the language, show up to class, follow the curriculum, complete exams, and study hard. For you, it could be setting up the alarm 5 minutes earlier, walking to places more, buy a gift for someone. There is always one tiny thing that can help you reach that objective.
“Although some could say I have had difficulties in life due to having Cerebral Palsy, I find these limitations are only a mental block, because I’ve been able to achieve more than I had ever planned.”Carlos Aguilar
After a year and a half passed, and after proving that I could succeed at learning English, I decided to enroll in the Programming curriculum at Madison College. That was my next goal. I achieved this goal in December 2013 following the same plan I used previously for learning English. One goal led to the next, and I’m now studying at a University I had never dreamed of studying at: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Big and Small Goals
Big goals will guide your career, plans and ambitions, but small accomplishments will be the ones that will bring daily satisfaction. My biggest goal was to study at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. If I had thought about that as my sole goal, I would have felt no gratification. I had a series of small goals that helped me get there. Learn English was one of them, and then I pursued an associate degree in Programming at Madison College. These smaller goals are the ones that made me happy, because I learned everything is possible with patience. I often look back and think of everything I have done to be where I am, and I’m always happy to realize of what I am capable of doing based on my past successes.
Now that I’m about to conquer my ultimate goal, I’m planning on getting a Master and possibly a PhD from this prestigious University. I feel nothing would be possible without establishing goals to guide me to my ultimate goal. I’m doing this for me and my loved ones, and because I love studying. Having goals and passion are the mix of a successful life.
About the Author
Carlos Aguilar is an Eagle with Cerebral Palsy. He came to the US from Ecuador with one goal: to be a successful professional. There’s really no limitations for Carlos.
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