A POWERFUL Question – Own Control (POWERFUL Goal-Setting pt.2)


O Dear

Acronyms aside, there is a groan attached to this blogpost. A comedian once shared a joke with me that both offended my sensibilities (it is sexist) but also made me smile because of its deeper truth. So I’m going to share the joke here on the understanding that I think it refers equally to both genders…

He said, “I now know exactly why so many marriages get off to the wrong start… it’s all to do with the Church wedding service.” We all leaned forward to hear more, many of us, I suspect, having less than perfect marriages. He then asked us to interact.

“What is the part of the Church you walk up to get married?” he said.

“The Aisle,” we said, with one voice, like a herd of sheep.

“What part of the Church do you stand before when you’ve finished your journey up the aisle?” says he.

“The Altar,” says we.

“And, finally, what do you sing when you get to the Altar?” he asked?

“A Hymn,” we declared, pleased that we’d clearly got the answer right.

“And there’s the problem,” he revealed, “Aisle, Altar, Hymn – this is how most marriages start.”

[Like me, you might need to hear the words rather than read them to get the punchline.]


“I’ll alter him” or “I’ll alter her” are both ridiculous foundations upon which to seek to build any relationship. We can change no-one but ourselves. This means that it is wise to set goals with an “O” – standing for goals that are under our “Own Control”.

I know that I went through my childhood always wanting more friends (I make few but intimate friendships). I was envious of the more outward-going youths who seemed to make friends so easily – even drawing others to them. What I needed to learn was to just deal with the part of the chemistry that was under my “Own Control” – to be more friendly myself.

Love is the same. A goal set with a frustrating future will be, “I want more people to love me.”

A goal set with a more certain future is, “Today, I shall be more loving.”

That way we can move from, “Oh Dear!” to “Oh Yes!”


[Author’s Note.  If you are following this blog series, it is based on the acronym “POWERFUL”.  I am using this to highlight the 8 characteristics of well-formed goals.  So far we have had the P for “Positive” (putting your goals in positive terms) and O for “Own Control”.]


A POWERFUL Question – Positive (POWERFUL Goal-Setting pt.1)


A POWERFUL Question.

I have recently joined two special interest groups on Facebook. Both are to do with a rare Myers-Briggs psychological profile I share: INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving). We make up just 4% of the population, so we can easily feel like outsiders.With a sense of isolation, it is tempting to stray too often into negative territory – being clear on what we don’t want rather than thinking of what we do want. A post on one of the sites got me thinking about how to structure my goals in a way that would help.I use a mnemonic called P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L. to set powerful outcomes! For this blog, I just wanted to share the first letter’s meaning: P for Positive.It seems our minds work better when we focus on a positive goal rather than a negative goal. This is because a negative goal pulls our attention towards the very thing we don’t want.If I ask you, just for a few seconds, not to think about Santa Claus wearing ballet shoes……my hope is that you couldn’t help but think about this very thing!

So, if my goal (either formally or informally) is NOT to do something, my brain will focus on what it will be like to do that thing. For example, if I wish to NOT be so irritable – my brain will be actively scanning for times when I am irritable. If I wish I didn’t feel so anxious all the time – my brain scans for signs of me being anxious.

One question can turn this natural psychological tendency around so that your brain may be a better servant.

The question is: what would you rather have?I can answer these in a heartbeat: I want to be calm and relaxed; I want to be at peace and have hope.If you find yourself drawn to thinking about what you don’t want, flip this instantly with the question: what would I rather have? Then you can invest your energy wisely, moving towards more of what you prefer.

SHARM Enhanced Accelerated Learning.

The SoundCloud link below uses sophisticated brainwave entrainment codes to help you access an enhanced mindset in which you can learn at an accelerated rate.  When listening on headphones and sitting still, your brain will access this state rapidly and effectively.  !!!Warning!!!  This can be a deeply relaxing and refreshing experience – and so it is not appropriate to listen to this while doing any other task – whether driving or ironing!  Give yourself the gift of 8 minutes of relaxation.  Sit back, relax, pop on your headphones and chill out while you learn.