I was sitting in a bowling alley recently, waiting for my turn, and this guy sitting next to me started talking about the Egyptian Pyramids. He was explaining all the historical and political significance of them, which I had never really thought of before. When most people think of the pyramids, they naturally think of these giant structures that were built out in the middle of the desert, many thousands of years ago by a culture that we can’t begin to understand. Some even believe they had influence from alien life forms, as some of the structural mathematics matches up keenly with certain elements of our solar system and out galaxy.
This guy was telling me how it was a brilliant political maneuver by the government at the time. They were very dependent on the Nile for almost all of their food, and when the Nile didn’t provide sufficient water, many people suffered. Every year the Nile would flood, submerging many peoples houses and farms, so they were not only dependent on the Nile, but they had to live and move according to its behavior.
Having a whole people who felt they were at the mercy of the gods was not an easy people to govern. Any edict the Pharaoh would proclaim would always be conspired in light of the heavens and the forces of nature, and would consequently take a back seat.
Enter the pyramids.
Deciding to build the pyramids was a stroke of genius. It gave virtually every Egyptian a feeling of being in control of something, for the first time in their lives. They knew they were building a very large structure, and they could even imagine a point up in the sky that they were aiming for, and that they would one day reach. To go even further, the engineers designed the pyramids so that when they were finished, they would point to a certain and prominent star in the sky, so even at night the people could connect their daily activity towards a specific goal to a far of distant point of light in the mysterious night sky.
If you’ve ever taken the time to look at your goals, it’s important to have them defined in two different ways. One way so that you can determine exactly when you have accomplished them, and giving you a specific time and place to focus your attention. Keep your eyes and mind on the finish line at all time, so to speak. This way your brain knows exactly what behaviors to do and not to do in order to get you to your goal. Many people set goals and fail, not because they don’t want them, but because they are not set with enough clarity and specificity.
The other important factor is to set a goal in a direction that you want to go in. Once you achieve your goal, you are going to have to come up with another one. Resting on your laurels has long been known as a killer of motivation and success. When you choose a far of direction, like the horizon, or a star in the sky, you will keep on going in the right direction, and can keep your motivation when you stumble along the way.
When you set both of these with enough clarity and specificity, you will almost get to your goal automatically. Just like the pyramids, once they set the plans, gave everybody a clear idea of where the were going, the pyramids went up almost automatically. And anything you want to create in life will go up just as quickly and as smoothly.
One thing that did go very smoothly, was my bowling. It seemed that every time I released it, it would roll very smoothly straight to the gutter, and my friends very quickly erupted in laughter and told me what an entertaining bowler I am to watch.