You know the joke with the lost Bedouin? No? How come? It’s a very common joke, not to mention it has quite a deep meaning. OK, I will get you out of ignorance, just relax and read on:
Although it’s quite uncommon for a Bedouin to get lost in the desert, one of them apparently did it at some point in history. After days of walking around the sand dunes, without water, food and nobody to comfort him around, the lost Bedouin finally meets a magic fairy. You know the type: thin, translucent and surprisingly able to fulfill any wish you could possibly have.
Imagine our Bedouin’s surprise when that cute floating lady whispers to him in crystal clear voice: “Oh, you mighty Bedouin, you found me, I’m the magic fairy of this part of the desert and I can fulfill you 3 wishes.”
The lost Bedouin closed his eyes and mumbled: “Now if you would be so kind to disappear when I’ll open my eyes again, that would be great. I’m thirsty, tired and alone, and the only thing that could make things worse is a stupid mirage. Now, go!”
To his even bigger surprise, the magic fairy was still there when he opened his eyes again. And she looked a little bored too: “Ok, are we going to play this again? Just told you I’m a magic fairy, what do you want from me to believe? Can we skip to the wishes, please?”
A little puzzled, our Bedouin decided it’s better to play the way she said. After all, he had nothing to lose: if she was for real, then he got 3 wishes fulfilled, if she was a mirage, he was properly entertained..
“Ok, so wait a minute, I just have to think exactly what I need”, Bedouin said.
“No worries, magic fairy replied, I’m here to serve you”.
After a few minutes, our Bedouin decided he knows what he wants:
“First thing, because I’m walking for days in this desert without water, I would like a lot of water, right? Can you make it that I will always have water on me?”
The fairy seemed to think for a few seconds and then replied: “Ok, I can do that. Next?”
“The second thing it’s something a little bit special. You know, I had this tan skin for as long as I remember my face. Now that I met you and you said you can fulfill any possible wish, I want to take advantage of this opportunity. Although it may sound a little bit silly… Can you?… Can you make me white? Ok, I said it!”
Magic fairy looked very carefully at our Bedouin and after a few seconds replied: “Yeap, I can do that too. Last one, please?”
“Well, you know, a man is a man. And a man has needs. Lots of needs. I think you know where I’m heading here. But I’ll just say it out loud: I want to be touched by lots of women. Daily if possible. Lots of women. Daily. Can you do this?”
Fairy acknowledged and before moving her magic wand, she whispered again, in crystal clear voice, to our lost Bedouin: “So, you want to always have water, you want to be white and to be touched by lots of women, is that correct?”
“Absolutely”, the Bedouin replied.
One short move of the magic wand, a short mumbled magic formula and then our fairy disappeared.
The next second, our Bedouin woke up as a flush toilet in a crowded ladies’ room: always filled with water, colored in white and touched by women daily. Lots of women. Daily.
Yeah, I laughed too. But behind laughing, this joke tells a lot about our own goal setting approach.
Goal Setting and Your Private Magic Fairy
How many times you did your goal setting the same way the lost Bedouin did? How many times your dreams were blurred or inconsistent? How many times you followed impersonal social patterns just to find yourself in a totally different place than you wanted to be in? I know I did it at least a thousand times.
Sooner or later, if you play your cards well, the magic fairy will make your wish come true. Call it destiny, call it Law Of Attraction, call it the Universe, call it whatever you want, but the thing is, if you wish something, in the end you’ll get it. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in the end you’ll get it. 😉 So be very careful what you’re wishing for. Goal setting is a tricky thing.
At the core of our lives there’s nobody else but us. Our current situation is the direct result of what we dreamed about, of what we wanted to, of what we intended to happen. We’re all having our own private magic fairy, only we’re not always able to see her. But she’s there, and she’s doing exactly what we’re telling her to do: she’s fulfilling our wishes.
The Magic Fairy Goal Setting Exercise
One thing that could really help you avoid this lost Bedouin situation is what I call “the magic fairy goal setting” exercise. It’s a very simple thing you can do, not to mention it can be really fun. How it works?
Every time you establish some goal, put yourself in the lost Bedouin shoes. Imagine you’ve just met the magic fairy and you’re up to have 3 wishes fulfilled. How would you set up your goal? How will the wishes will sound? Compare “I want a better career” with ” I want to do something that I love, I want to be paid for and I want to feel good while I’m doing it”. Compare “I want a better relationship” with “I want a woman to love, a woman who will understand me, who will love me back and who will support me. I want to be able to talk with her openly, to have fun together and to enjoy our journey”. Quite a difference, right?
Doesn’t matter if you write the wishes down, although in the beginning it will surely help. What will matter in this exercise is to visualize the whole discussion between the magic fairy and the Bedouin. What matters is to remember that what you wish for will come true, and if you’re not 100 percent exact, you can end up as a flush toilet.
What follows is a short guide of how to create “magic fairy proof” wishes. In other words, a practical approach to avoid the lost Bedouin situation by using a better goal setting approach.
1. Be Precise
Tell “exactly” what you want. Don’t make assumptions. Magic fairies are usually pretty busy (we’re over 6 billion people to be served on this planet only, so they have plenty of work to do). Don’t just mumble metaphors like: “I want to be touched by lots of women. Daily” because the magic fairy will pick the simplest first available choice. Which, most of the time, it’s NOT what you want.
2. Be Direct
Don’t expect your fairy to understand by herself what you’re wishing for. Magic fairies are not designed to handle our goal setting process, this is our job. They’re designed to make what we’re saying real, which is a very difficult job in itself. You have to be very direct and put shyness apart. If you’re not telling out loud what you’re wanting to happen, you’re getting something extremely different. You may become white, if that’s what you wish for, but you may become the wrong kind of white, so to speak.
3. Be Fearless
Too many times our wishes are a result of a certain imbalance in our current environment. Our lost Bedouin wanted a lot of water, because he experienced loss of water extensively. So he wanted a lot of water, by fear of losing it again. His goal setting process was rooted in fear. And every time we’re acting based on fear, we’re getting strange results. We’re wishing loads of money, for instance, without caring what we have to do for it. And in the process of getting loads of money we also get other people to literally shit on our heads for it.
4. Be Confident
It will happen. Really. Once you intended something, it will happen. So, setting goals “just like that” will have the same effect as setting goals “seriously”. Everything you wish for it’s happening, period. So, if you’re wishing something at all, you’d better doing it with confidence, being prepared for it. Just sketching your goals, thinking it will just be a “dry test” without really happening, will put you in the lost Bedouin situation: you may wake up as a flush toilet in some ladies’ room.
5. Be Consistent
If you didn’t get it for the first time, don’t despair. Adjust, improve and refine your wishes and then put up the intention again. Our joke is describing only one meeting with the magic fairy but the untold truth is that we can meet this lady as often as we want, if we really want to. So, keep your precise, direct, fearless and confident wishes handy, because you never know when your private magic fairy will jump again in front of you, ready to make them come true.
My Magic Fairy Request To You
Now, let’s put this to work. Let’s have a magic fairy exercise. In this specific context, you, the reader, will be my magic fairy. Exactly, you can fulfill me 3 wishes. Yes, of course you can. 😉
So, in order to make my wishes understandable to you, I will try to follow the 5 steps in the goal setting exercise from above. First, here are the wishes:
1. I want you to spread the word about this post
And I want you to use specifically these social media outlets: delicious, twitter, digg and stumbleupon. Just click on the links and the magic will start to happen. Of course, after you click the links, you will share this blog post with your friends (by email or using specific social media tools). No need to get out on the streets and shout about it, though (I’m trying to be precise here, ok?).
2. I want you to write a blog post about your own magic fairy exercise
I’m sure you’ve been in the lost Bedouin shoes at some point in your life. There must have been a moment in your life when your wishes were misunderstood. Write a blog post about it, let it out, clear it over. Try to translate the mistaken wish into a better one. If you don’t have a blog, write in a journal. If you don’t keep a journal, start keeping one (private magic fairies do read journals, believe me).
3. I want you to link back to this blog post
So I can identify you (and pass it on to my own magic fairy, if yours is too busy at the moment). Again, if you don’t have a blog, you don’t have to link back to this. But if you do, put a link back and let the world know you’re working on your magic fairy relationship.
Now, how these wishes are following the magic fairy goal setting guidelines?
I am precise: I gave you the exact links for spreading the word.
I’m being direct: no need to tell you that I want you to make the world better, just share this post, that would be all.
I’m being fearless: I’ve been featured before on social media and I know what it takes, I even upgraded my hosting plan to cope with this. Being featured on delicious or lifehacker could really put your server to your knees. I’m prepared, go on, hit me up.
I’m being confident: I know this will happen. I just know.
And, finally, I’m being consistent: all my 3 wishes are related. All 3 wishes combined will (hopefully 😉 ) have the same effect: will spread the word about this post and help people improve their goal setting process.
Now, I wonder if I forgot something… 😉
Translations of this article: Dutch.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.