There is a difference between goal setting and planning.   If I wanted to go from Salt Lake City, Utah to Dallas, Texas, there are a number of different routes that I can take.  There may be some sights that I want to see along they way.  Perhaps I want to go through Las Vegas.  I will head south.  If I want to go through Denver, I will be heading east.  However, the goal is Dallas, Texas.   Planning along the way may take me in different directions.  I may change my plans along the way, but Dallas, Texas remains the goal.

During the War of 1812, both the young United States and Great Britain, wanted control of the waterways of the Great Lakes.  The British had immediately seized control of Lake Erie.  It took the Americans over a year to get ships ready to be able to engage the British.  A young 28-year old commander, Oliver Hazard Perry, the son of a United States Navy Captain, was given a command on Lake Erie.  He was instrumental in getting a squadron of ships ready for battle.  Once ready, he managed to get them onto the large lake to challenge the British.  Two of his large fighting ships named the Lawrence and the Niagara were fitted with guns and crews of men referred to by the Captain of the Niagara as “the best of the worst.”  Perry had named the Lawrence after a friend of his, James Lawrence, who lost his life in a battle against the British earlier in the Year.  After being mortally wounded, Lawrence issued his last order “Don’t give up the ship.”

In honor of his friend, Perry also had a battle flag made that he flew on the Lawrence that said “Don’t give up the Ship.”  On September 10, 1813, Perry could see that the British ships were headed for them.  He headed straight for them to engage in battle.  Sailing right into the middle of the British squadron, he fired upon the ships and was fired upon.  Both the British ships and the Lawrence sustained severe damage and heavy loss of life.  The Niagara failed to get in the fight and remained a safe distance from the battle.  The Lawrence lost four-fifths of its crew, who were either killed or severely wounded.

Perry finally boarded a small boat, with what remained of his crew and rowed to the Niagara under heavy fire from the British.  On board the Niagara, he took command of the ship and headed back into battle against the British.  With a fresh supply of cannon and men, Perry turned the tide of the battle and the British surrendered.  Perry required the surrender to occur on the deck of the Lawrence because he wanted to British to witness the terrible loss of life he had sustained in fighting this battle.

His obvious goal was to win the battle.  His initial plans required serious adjustments to reach his ultimate goal.  Refusing to quit, at first appearing as though he may have been defeated, he entered back into the fray to succeed.

It has been said that it is “darkest before the dawn.”  That may be just the time to quicken the pace, to get back in the battle, because victory may be just ahead.

Perry sent a dispatch to his commander, which is the now famous statement: “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.”  This statement has been paraphrased a number of times to read, “We have met the enemy, and it is us.”  Only if we take sight off of our goal are we defeated.  Often, we are the enemy that needs to be defeated.  We sometimes forget that the plans we make, do not always get us to the goal.  We then keep the goal in mind and modify the plans to get to the end in mind.

For me, the end in mind, my goal, was to find a business that allowed me time to spend with my wife and family, and still provided me with income.  My law practice provided money, but took all of my time away from my wife and family.  I found a community of like minded people who were willing to teach me new skills which would allow me the time I desired and the opportunity to create whatever income I was willing to pursue.  It was all up to me, but with the assistance of mentors and the educational material to reach my goals.  It all started with free on demand workshops.  If you desire more from life than the 9 – 5 rat race, this may be where your plans are adjusted to get you to your goals.  Get your free on demand workshops by clicking on the link.

  •  The painting – Battle of Lake Erie by William Henry Powell, painted 1865, shows Oliver Hazard Perry transferring from Lawrence to Niagara