Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Declaration of Independence

On 4th July 1776 the Continental Congress approved the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.

To achieve independance from Great Britain, the United States had to go through a lot of hard struggle and pain.  At times it must have seemed an impossible challenge.  But no matter how impossible it looked, they didn't give up.  They had a clear goal they were determined to reach, and reach it they did.  And the starting point was the Declaration of Independence.  Putting down on paper very clearly and precisely what it was they wanted to achieve, and particularly why they wanted to achieve it.

Putting down in writing exactly what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it is a key step in achieving any goal.

Firstly, there is the "what".  Sometimes we think we want to achieve one thing, but when we commit pen to paper and our goal takes shape we realize that goal is something a little different from what we had imagined.  Fleshing out our goal this way is a very important step.  Otherwise we may find we are struggling to achieve something that later we decide is not so important - in which case we will probably give up the struggle.  Think very carefully about your "what".

Secondly there is the "why".  This is very important in providing the right motivation when things seem to be going wrong and the goal seems further away than we had originally imagined.  If this really is a key goal for you then I can pretty much guarantee you will face such crises.  Without strong motivation it would be so easy to give up at that point.  Read the Declaration of Independence and see just how much of it is about the "why" rather than the "what".  A lot of thought went into that "why".  Think really hard about your own "why".  Think about how much better life will be for you and your family when you have achieved your goal, and put that down on paper.

Imagine the founding fathers had decided not to bother writing the Declaration of Independence.  Without the power of that document providing inspiration and motivation, would Washington have managed to keep the militias fighting when supplies dried up and the challenge seemed impossible?  Perhaps, but it would have been a lot more difficult and perhaps he would not have succeeded.  

Make sure you have your own Declaration of Independence which shows clearly what you want to achieve and why, and you should find it much easier to achieve that goal.

With thanks to Thad Zajdowicz for the image of Thomas Jefferson signing the Declaration of Independence.

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