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What is Your Manifest Destiny?

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Manifest DestinyManifest Destiny was the general belief that the United States was destined to expand from the United States’ current territory all the way to the Pacific Ocean. This belief, which was never codified into law or even an official government policy, was the guiding principle for a lot of the government’s policies and actions. It provided guidance in terms of expansion and helped bring about westward expansion. It’s important to note that the term wasn’t used until 1845 by an American newspaper editor, John O’Sullivan, and that westward expansion had occurred in earnest long before then. However, it gave the idea a name and ideas with names are very powerful.

Now comes the next step, you need to come up with your Manifest Destiny.

If you break down the words Manifest Destiny, it literally means “obvious” (manifest) and “certain” (destiny).

Set One Goal

The value in Manifest Destiny wasn’t in that it was a clever name. It’s valuable because it gave a name to an idea that didn’t have a name. It was a name to rally around. It provided guidance and validation of the federal government expansionist policy. Everyone understood that the goal of the United States’ expansion policies was to expand to the Pacific Ocean, but until it was called Manifest Destiny, it had no name.

What is your manifest destiny? What is the one goal you have that trumps all others? What is your guiding force? You can establish your own Manifest Destiny by figuring out what is the number one goal that dominates all other decision making.

What is the one thing that always comes to your mind, or that should always comes to your mind, whenever you make a decision about money? Is that goal to pay down your credit card debt in five years? Is it to save up money for a down payment on a home? Is it to save a few more months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund?

Accept It As Your One Goal

How many times in your life will you have only one goal? I know the answer to this, the answer is never. You will never have only one goal. You will have one goal with the highest priority, but you will never have merely one. One of the things I learned in talking to a lot of readers who got out of credit card debt was that paying off credit card debt became their number one and only goal. They had others, but one stuck out beyond all others.

If there’s only one thing I learned from Getting Things Done, it’s that we are terrible multi-taskers. We think we can juggle, but in reality we can’t. When you juggle, you only touch each ball for a fraction of a second. When you try to juggle goals, you only touch them for a fraction of a second, even if it’s the highest priority goal you have. That’s a mistake. You need to accept that while you may have several goals, the spotlight is on your manifest destiny.

The best part about focusing on one goal is the feeling of accomplishment when you are finished. You’ve worked hard, you see results, and you’re done when you’re done.

Now I ask you, what is your Manifest Destiny?

(Photo: tjjohn12)

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10 Responses to “What is Your Manifest Destiny?”

  1. Arvin says:

    Uh, I understand what the article is going for, but maybe it could’ve not used for its inspiration the term that the US government used to justify the sustained brutal conquest of indigenous lands and the extermination of countless peoples, all because as the country began producing more product than it could consume it needed to create new markets.

    Even worse, much of the justification they used was for the “christianization” of “savage” peoples.

  2. My manifest destiny is to learn the ways of the Jedi.

    Actually I don’t have a singular driving force (no pun) in my life. I have many goals I’m working towards, but I don’t focus on one as a primary. I look forward to seeing what others say.

  3. eh438 says:

    Of late I have begun wondering if schools, parents, groups, will ever start teaching the young ones in their charge how much debt they can(not!) afford. Yes, the old-but-valuable “live below your means” saying. Imagine all the psychic energy the next generations would save if they didn’t have to dedicate YEARS to getting out of debt. (My friends and I always thought that Start Trek: The Next Generation was a good example of debtlessness.)

    • Arvin says:

      I’d like you to try to explain to me how the economics of star trek work at all, when there are replicators that make you anything out of nothingness, when 90% of the action takes place inside a government vessel (I don’t think debt is a topic of ongoing conflict onboard an aircraft carrier), and when most people wear the same style jumpsuits :)

  4. ManVsDebt says:

    To eliminate debt. Period

  5. Shock says:

    It’s to save a few more months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund. It’s the only financial goal I’ve yet to obtain.

  6. TStrump says:

    At any given time, I used to have a whole list of goals that I wanted to accomplish. The problem was, I got nothing done.
    So recently, I had to pair them down and now I only focus on a few at a time.
    My ONE goal would be financial freedom, which would probably include lots of little goals.

  7. Patrick says:

    I would like to work on my own one day. Working at a day job is just not for me. I would like to make my own hours and spend as much time with my family ( especially when I have kids ).

  8. Kitty_Incarnate says:

    To pay off the rest of husband’s student loans. It’s a huge undertaking and I find myself comsumed each month with the desire to find every spare penny to throw at it.


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