It gets worse before it gets better

Or so I have to believe.

It has been over four weeks since Mom died, and yet it was just yesterday. When someone dies, there is often a lot of work to do, and we are plugging away at the things we have in front of us. I go over to her house several times a week to sort through an arm load of things at a time: this cupboard emptied, that closet cleaned out, those pieces of furniture swapped with items from our house.

The cleaning out process is necessary because we depend on the granny flat rent for our attempt at financial stability. I have to make myself do the work rather than give in to the passive aggressive temptation of, "Well, we can't rent it yet; the place is still a mess." I want to scream when I think of the change ahead, but instead I sort through the papers, cull the treasures from the trash, and keep moving ahead.

Each bit of work is swathed in sadness, but it is often done without signs of major breakdown. Not thinking, not feeling, I just plod my way through the piles.

And then I find the cast iron skillet that Mom used to make animal-shaped pancakes for me in 1965, and I am back to the raw meltdown.

Man, this is hard work.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
I Thess 4:13

I have hope, truly I do. These are just dark days, and the feelings of hope are hiding beyond the horizon. But it is there, and what is true is true no matter what I am feeling at the moment.

For now, though, I will warm a cast iron pan and create pancake shapes that bring back memories of Saturday mornings, sitting on the dark green tile counter, begging for an elephant or giggling at a monkey. And maybe, just maybe, we'll smile and laugh and the sun will come out again in my heart.

My analysis report or How to analyze large amounts of test data

The past two weeks and today, I've been continuously working on my analysis report. Today, just before lunch, my first draft (which still needs introduction and conclusions) was rolling out of the printer. I thought it was not so bad how I put together a 23k words document and a large number of graphs and tables in only 11 days' time (including the time to make the analysis calculations).

I wasn't in my best shape in terms of concentration (my housing situation has cause me a lot of tension lately, although the final solution is very near), so I've been randomly clicking around the interwebs too much. However, I still think my workflow with regard to making this document was neatly organized.

Only a few months ago, I spent about the same amount of days on an analysis document of less than half the size of this one, and I spent all those days working until 8pm (instead of 5 - 6pm as I'm trying to do now).

So here's how I organized this project:

1. Review what is already done.

I already had two previous versions of the analysis report of my experimental work, so I could recycle at least some material. I ended up mainly recycling the style of my graphs, and reanalyzing my data since my new test results were screaming to be included in every possible subchapter. I also knew my advisor had suggested changing the amount of data points I'm squeezing into the plots. I waited until this version to make this change.

2. Check the expectations.

Before starting (or better, before realizing another deadline in our project was coming up), I had an appointment with my daily supervisor who told me very clear which questions our funder wants to be answered. I really appreciated that I knew exactly in advance what the expectations for this report are, so I can work towards this in as much as I can.

3. Know what needs to be done.

So I knew what the expectations were. I printed out a previous version of the report and started to reread it. In every section I jotted down what had to be altered, recalculated or added. I also changed the order of the sections, and ended up with a document filled with pencil-scribbling to guide me what had to be done, section by section. I started off with putting the sections in my word document into the right order, and then I could get started altering, improving and adding material to the sections.

4. Give the reader some framework.

Previously, I just referred to the reports with the test data. I now added a short chapter with a sketch of the test setup and some basic information about the specimens. I think that was a good idea.

5. Study the parameters as resulting from the tests.

And so I've spent 11 days playing around with data in Excel and having rows and rows and columns and columns of data flying around before my eyes. My first action was to filter my data into nice plots and tables per parameter which we had been testing.

6. Compare to calculation methods in general.

My second action then was to compare the experimental values to the calculated values. Turn out, I had to recalculate most of my calculated values as I had only made rough predictions before the tests, and I did not implement the properties as we had measured them on the test data. Luckily, I have a nice set of MathCad sheets that do the job for me. Also, once I had a spreadsheet set up to analyze my data through one method, using the next method was only a matter of copy and paste.

7. Compare how the studied parameters are reflected by these methods.

Since the comparison with the Dutch code as calculation method gave me quite disappointing results, I decided to go and check per parameter the comparison of test value to calculated value to see where exactly the weak spots of the methods are. Doing that, I did some nice observations, which motivated me to play around some more with all my data.

8. Give recommendations.

It doesn't really help the fund to produce graphs and tables and let them look for the answers to their questions in all the material I've produced. So today, I printed out the document, started reading from the beginning, and jotted down the most important recommendations - per calculation method and in general.

9. Review your material.

Does it make sense? When reviewing my material today, I found that one of my tables raised my eyebrows. I went back to check it, doublechecked my calculations, and then I discovered that I had been reading results from the wrong column.

How do you analyze large amounts of test data? Any advice for me? I'm just hoping to give my funder a report which gives them as clear as possible the answers to their questions, but also gives them enough background to these answers.

Warming up the engine

Nice organization there by Ori-estarreja. I felt that I went back in time to 2 seasons ago when I used to carelessly navigate. I did huge losses in the control areas due to a lack of anticipation.

Middle distance, 6.6k (150m), 37'57 - I thought that I would feel physically worse. I didn't loose time in the running part to the winner but did huge mistakes, summing a total of 5'30 (outch!). I may explain some mistakes in the final part by not having been able to focus because of some Achilles pain, but the mistakes in the beginning were pure distraction.

6-man night relay, 7.1k, 48'55 - It was a nice race. Good warm up, no Achilles pain. Once again, huge losses of time because of careless navigation. What more can I say? The trak speaks for itself! (however, my team won the race, thanks to the rest of the elements).
Next weekend, POM. Right now, I'm too far from the performances that I want. I'll do my best next weekend, more focused on the map.


I was happy to see that there is a new PhD comic today, titled "Reimbursement"

I've heard similar stories, of course, but I am glad to write here that TU Delft has a perfect method for travel arrangements, and I think it could inspire other universities as well. Traveling for conferences can be expensive, and for graduate students it can be financially very painful to be waiting and waiting until after the conference the reimbursement can be arranged. I really appreciate the way my university has solved this, in what I think is a very elegant way.

When I plan to go to a conference, it is important to start arranging well ahead of the registration deadline. Here's how it works:

I fill out the registration, but the central finance services of university take care of the payment for the registration. It does take 4 to 6 weeks to arrange it, but I don't need to pull out my credit card at all.

I contact the university's travel agency, and they book the flight for me and e-mail me the link to the e-ticket. There's also a group insurance to take care of us in case something goes wrong.
Again, this doesn't cost me a cent at all. WIN!

Other costs
The secretaries have files in which examples of estimated costs per major city in all possible countries are listed. Based on those rates, an estimate of our costs during our traveling is estimated, and two weeks before the conference 70% of these costs are put into our account.

I think this is a very good solution, and a great way to stimulate graduate students to get moving and take their story abroad without the menace of an excessive credit card debt.

Strengths or Challenge?

After reading (amongst others) this article about using your strengths to find your most suited path, I've spent quite some time reflecting on this issue.

The fact is, I've never made a choice based on my strengths. In fact, I've always been driven by the challenge. I've never taken the option which I thought was best suited for me, but I've always taken the most challenging option.

In high school, my favorite subjects were Latin and History. Classical studies or history would have been a logical choice of study for me, but I chose engineering because I thought it was going to be a though study, and I felt as if I needed to look for a challenge to open up my maximum potential.

Whenever I feel like I've reached the point at which I am comfortable at doing what I am doing, and I feel like I'm mastering the task or subject, I start feeling a bit restless. I feel the need to go one level up and challenge myself again.

Reading about building your life path based on your strengths sounds very logical to me, but I wonder if it doesn't deprive us of some options. The freedom to learn from your mistakes, to play around and see if we can grow in a skill which initially does not seem to be our best fit.

I've come to think that not all of it is as contradictory as it would seem at first. I now think that knowing our strengths, cherishing and nourishing them is indeed something which will make us more confident and will let us live at our full potential. Within that frame, there is still room for improving ourselves through trial and error, as long as we keep our strengths and core values in mind. I've ended up realizing that one of my main strengths is my passion for challenges.

The Friday Clive

And all the time the joke is that the word "mine" in its fully possessive sense cannot be uttered by a human being about anything.  
~The Screwtape Letters~


Last Sunday, I -finally- visited the Magritte museum in Brussels. I would highly recommend everyone to visit this relatively young (open since 2009) museum. Details can be found here.

Although I grew up with an admiration for Magritte, I didn't know anything about his two "other" styles: besides his surrealist works, he also painted some impressionist works (during the second world war) and in a "periode vache" (after the second world war).

Impressionist work by Magritte

Work from Magritte's "periode vache"

These works were not that popular, and Magritte's gallery holder in Paris told him to return to his old style. That must have been the best advice someone ever gave to the painter. He returned to his surrealist style, and produced some of my favorite paintings.

Magritte challenges our perception of day and night
I truly love how Magritte's paintings challenge our perception of reality. They make me think and reflect on our world.

At the exhibition, booklets with citations of Magritte (which are displayed in French on the walls) are available. As food for thought, here are five citations of Magritte:

All that I desire is to be enriched by intensely exciting new thoughts.

The real value of art is measured by its capacity for liberating revelation.

Surrealism is the immediate knowledge of reality.

We mustn't fear sunlight just because it almost always serves to illuminate a miserable world.

To be surrealist is to banish the notion of 'deja-vu' and seek out the not yet seen.

Sometimes cream puffs help

Yesterday was a yucky day. At some point in the afternoon, after uninspired school lessons, a generally blah ambiance began sinking into our souls.  When a young woman asked if she could make cream puffs, there was no need to think. The answer was a definite "Yes!"

Gram's apron and her copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking helped set the mood.

One cream puff is my limit, but the younger members of the family are able to indulge more and still fit in their pants, so it was safe to make a whole batch.

That one cream puff was delicious and the whole thing cheered us up immensely. 

Thanks, Claire.

Norms and Nobility...again

From the very first page of David Hicks's book:

Norms and Nobility by David Hicks

"I know that we live in an age where the homely or psychological detail is considered all-important.  We like heroes in shirtsleeves, or, in other words, we don't like heroes.  But things were not always that way, and today is not forever."
                                                                                  ~ Louis Auchincloss

A college president I know keeps three books on his night table: the Bible, the Iliad, and Louis Auchincloss' 1964 novel The Rector of Justin.  When I once asked him, "Why the novel?," he responded, "Because it raises questions I cannot answer or ignore, the sort of questions that possess a wisdom apart from answers."

This short quote was enough to get my mind spinning, in a good way. 

The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss is now in my cart, and I am re-reading Norms and Nobility for some educational inspiration.

The blossoms are all gone

An armload of freesias graced the altar area at my mother's service.

Three weeks ago they were white and purple and fragrant.

Grief was fresh and new, a gaping wound.  Life was a swirl of responsibilities and the chance to remember.

The bouquet came here and  found a home on the kitchen island.  Every day I would come down, pluck the wilted blossoms, and enjoy the lingering fragrance of the few remaining flowers.

There are no blossoms left.

Seven simple steps to tackle writer's block

As a PhD student, writing is one of my main activities. I've been trying to improve my academic writing over the past year as part of my PhD journey. Although I haven't had to face a giant writer's block yet, I do remember staring at a white screen for hours and hours, trying to write an abstract, but always deleting parts and trying to start over new. With a few basic principles, I've overcome this slight panic which I feel when I'm faced with a new document, staring at me in all its whiteness.

1. Don't postpone writing 

Don't wait until you're in your last year and need to start writing your thesis. Although this statement is common knowledge by now, there are still students who wait until all their experiments are finished to look at their data, analyze them and then write about it. By the time these students reach the point of writing, there is quite a burden on their shoulders. Students like me, who are funded from outside university, need to write partially finished reports whenever a deadline of a part of the project is near. This pushed me to start off with the "easy" writing: the description of every single test which I've been carrying out. An introduction to the test setup and measurement methods came along with that, and without noticing I had some basic material to describe my experimental work.

2. Learn from your examples

There's nothing wrong with being inspired by a great paper or a very clear thesis. The outline of my papers is usually tied to a strict scheme since I have been mainly describing my experiments, but I've been inspired by other papers that describe their experimental program very clearly. When someone has a good and structured setting out there, it's an ideal opportunity to learn from it and use it as a basis for your own writing. Your final product won't look anything like the original.

3. Have material ready

I have probably more (not-so) random documents on my computer with loose ideas, citations and copy-pasted pictures and paragraphs from papers than I have finished documents. I love having material ready and being able to start brewing a story from some ingredients. It feels much more motivating to me than to be staring an empty document.

4. Body first

Don't bother finding the perfect opening sentence for your paper. Just start with the core of your writing: some background information and literature review, and then off to your own contributions. Once these thoughts are out there, it's much easier to write an introduction and conclusion which embody the main ideas of your piece.

5. Let the ideas flow

Try not to correct yourself and reread too much while you are typing out your ideas, as this will only slow you down. Emptying your head first helps to let the ideas flow out in your writing. You'll be proofreading anyway later on, so you'll still have plenty of opportunity to correct and improve every sentence. However, having an entire part written, will help you keep an eye on what really matters: the flow of the story, not a collection of perfectly written sentences. 

6. Explore different facets of writing

I've always quite liked writing, but I used to keep a distinct line between my creative writing and my university stuff (which I didn't enjoy writing previously). Over the past few months, I've exploring as many facets of writing as possible: writing poems, writing my diary, keeping this blog, trying to force my thoughts into 140 characters (and I hope to add writing short stories to this list soon as well). Having the habit of writing helps all possible forms of writing, academic writing included. Writing can be lots of fun once you've learned to appreciate it.

7. Fresh air

Still staring at a blank sheet,  no matter what you've tried? Then don't be too harsh on yourself and go and get some fresh air. Play outside, have some fun, sleep over it. Tomorrow gives you another possibility (assuming you've been good at planning and you're not writing a few hours before your deadline).

What helps you to avoid staring at an empty document and gets you started to write?

Quadro Funcional / 2012

Diretora: Sandra Corazza Gonçalves         
Vice-Diretora: Helena Mari Freire Wayhs
Coordenadora Pedagógica: Dinamara Kuhn e Eliane Jussara da Rosa Leal

Fabiane Facco
Vanuza Stefania do Amaral

Maria Lucia Timm

Monitoras Laboratório Informática:
Angela Maria Feldmann Schmidt
Jamile Paula dos Santos Schmidt

Elisandra Alles
Elisangela Dille de Lima Guillardi
Ivone da Silva Bairros
Neli Severo
Rita Laudelina Silva
Silvia Cirlei Wegner Moraes

Ana Nara da Rosa Paula
Leonice Müller Gruhn
Viviane Cristine Santos


Educação Infantil:
Ângela Boldt do Nascimento
Maristela Rosa

1º Ano:
Maria das Graça Ragasson
Marlene Jungbeck

2º Ano:
Carla Rossoni Souto
Franciele Züguel da Silva
Leila Krambeck Vieira

Aline Pias Lopes
Simone Kich

Carla Denize Almeida
Francisca Marilene Abreu

Marlene Jungbeck
Franciele Zügel da Silva
Maria Francisca dos Santos

Andiara Daiana Didoné
Daniele Cristiane Monteiro Benetti
Débora Mücke
Onice Soares de Oliveira

Maria Rosania dos S. de Oliveira
Maria Salete dos Santos Martins

Educação Física
Cenira Odete Ramos Droppa
Fernando Krüger
Graziano Benetti

Ensino Religioso
Ione Sauer

Solon Marcelo Lazzarotto 

Crisciana Valentina Cassol dos Santos
Cirlei Wizbiki

Cirlei Wizbiki

Ninfa Isabel Lemos de Lima

Língua Portuguesa
Giovani Severo da Silva
Neusa Elena Vargas Sousa
Thaniza Corvalão

André Eduardo Ventorini
Maria Salete dos Santos Martins

Atendimento Educacional Especializado
Rosane Inês Thomas
Sára Adriane Medeiros Oliveira

Estudos de Recuperação
Olga Elisa Almeida Kersting

Coral:  Marielli Costa Beber


Hoje dia 21/02/2011 está começando o ano Letivo de 2011.

A Escola Presidente Costa e Silva deseja a Todos um ano repleto de realizações e de muito estudo.

Segue abaixo as fotos do primeiro dia de aula.




Reunião dos Professores

No dia 18/02/2011 os Professores da Escola se reuniram para a 1ª reunião do ano de 2011. Nesta ocasião foi feita a divisão das turmas de alunos.

Unlucky times...

After an unlucky January with 2 weeks off due to common flu (now I must have all the stickers in my collection), I started February with some pain near my Achilles. I just rolled this week and yesterday, when I got fine, I started a foot's infection for which I'll have to take antibiotics for the next week. The lesson is: don't be careless (as I was) about feet open lesions that can be an entry port to everything.

With all this events, I think that my coach suspects that I'm giving excuses not to train. =) For this, he has sent me some inspirational phrases from Prof. Moniz Pereira, (the old-school 90-year-old athletic's coach that was responsible for the portuguese old glories) that I share with you:
- Old are the guys that have their life full of years. I have my years full of life.
- In athletics, you can pass from 1st to 7th in 1second.
- Even when it rained a lot, I was always with my athletes at the track and never at the countertop stage.
- In my club, under any atmospheric condition, including earthquakes, everyday there is a training session.
- Give me better conditions and we'll obtain equal results.
- Living is training and training is almost winning.
- Luck requires a lot of work.

Thanks to Silva that has provided me a Alpha6 headlamp for the next season. It's an amazing headlamp that values its cost: light, easily portable and same power as much more expensive headlamps.

Just to end, Contador was exonerated. With this precedent, will it ever be possible to condemn any athlete? more at Here

The Friday Clive

"If one is nervous there's nothing like having your face toward the danger and having something warm and solid at your back."

~ The Horse and His Boy ~

A birthday of a different sort

It is pouring rain today.

It is 37 degrees outside.

And what does the birthday boy want to do to celebrate during lunch break?


Without shirts.


Happy birthday, Bren.

Here's to another year of manly adventures!

Five ways to jumpstart your day

For a PhD student, I am quite an early bird. I start every day at 8am, and I arrive to my office some time between 7:50am and 8am.Having a steady routine seems to be a great way to work continuously towards my goals.

Every now and then I start the day (too) slowly, and I end up without much work done before noon. To avoid this, I have some ways which help me to get my day started right away.

1. Don't snooze

I've never really understood why people like to push the snooze button on their alarm clock anyway. Once I am awake, I just come out of bed and start my day. Before I even realize that it's rather early, I'm already washed and dressed. 

2. Breakfast!

I'm not a nutritionist or anything, but you can't ignore all these articles which say that you need a good breakfast to start your day. I just always wake up very hungry, so skipping breakfast is not an option for me. What I've noticed over the years, is the importance of my breakfast. I've shifted from sugary cereal to honey covered cereal to wholesome cereal with dried fruits and nuts. I started to notice how much more energy I get from a breakfast without all the sugar. Recently, I've also started to have oats in the morning. The hot milk makes me a bit sleepy, but the oats themselves fuel me for a long morning.

3. Bike to university

Nothing wakes me up as well as a good bit of exercise. Biking to university involves climbing uphill (on a bridge, that is), and that makes my heart all pumping and ready for the day. I like clear, crisp mornings which give me a good dose of fresh air. I really dislike the foggy, smoggy days on which I feel I can hardly breathe.

4. Know your most important task for the day

I usually leave in the evening my most important task for the next day on my otherwise cleared desk. I also keep the document I need to work on opened on my computer. That makes me ready to get started with it right away.

5. Enjoy the silence  

(not just the Depeche Mode song). I can get great progress in the morning before people start walking up and down the hallway and students start dropping by to ask questions. My officemate is an early bird too (he starts at 7am), but his presence doesn't disturb me as much as the footsteps in the hallway. I assume the footsteps distract me so much because I always try to figure out if they are on their way to my office to come and ask me something, or are headed somewhere else.

I know this all sounds really good, but too often I start with reading e-mail and surfing the internet. I'm still working on breaking this habit and doing these low-energy tasks at my low-energy moments of the day.
How do you get started in the morning?

Birthday season..last week's celebration first..with a plug for Groupon

Birthday season is upon us, sneaking up on me in the midst of the sadness.  We had made no plans for a very special about-to-be 15-year-old girl, and suddenly the day was around the corner.

Enter the Sunday paper.  Enter the performances listing.  Enter Romeo & Juliet!  An idea was hatched.


Next up, a friend.  Yep, available.

Next up, tickets.  Enter GROUPON. 

What is Groupon?  From their website:
Groupon negotiates huge discounts—usually 50-90% off—with popular businesses. We send the deals to thousands of subscribers in our free daily email, and we send the businesses a ton of new customers. That's the Groupon magic.

(If you want to join the Groupon fun, see the end of this post.)

My birthday girl and I had already had a fantastic Groupon experience together.  She needed a suit for speech tournaments, and a Groupon offer landed in my email for a $50 gift card to a consignment store in downtown Sacramento.  Cost?  $15.  She got exactly what she wanted for a fraction of the cost.  We love Groupon.

So the morning I was getting on to the computer to buy tickets to Romeo & Juliet there was a Groupon offer for half-off orchestra seats....for the EXACT showing that Claire wanted to attend.  It Was Meant To Be.

It was a very, very, VERY happy birthday.  Two intermissions, gorgeous costumes, beautiful dancing, fantastic sword fighting, question and answer time with the dancers afterwards.  We were waiting outside when two beautiful young women came floating down the stairs after the performance; the birthday girl reported that it was the best birthday party ever.

Love you, Claire Bear. 

May you have many surprises of joy and grace in the coming year, and great deals, too! 

Click here if you would like join Groupon, and that allows me to benefit with a referral fee.  FYI:  You can choose whatever cities you would like as your Groupon cities.  I get daily emails from Sacramento and San Francisco, and I have temporarily added San Diego since I will be visiting that beautiful city for a couple of days in March.  

p.s.  Today's birthday boy's post coming soon.  Hopefully with pictures...I am cameraless at the moment and feel like I am blogging with my creativity tied behind my back.

Added later:  Not sure that the Groupon link is working.  If it is, great.  If not, no worries.  Just join!

It hits in unexpected places

I had my annual physical yesterday, and I knew it was going to be very difficult.  You see, my doctor was also my mom's doctor.  Mom and I had logged serious hours in that waiting room, in those exam rooms, in the halls.  And this time I would be alone.  I wrote to my daughter in Oregon, "Pray, please?!" and dragged myself out the door and into the car.

Coming up the hill and seeing the hospital on the right didn't do me in.  Walking in the door, filling out the forms, hearing Kristin's sweet voice calling my all went pretty well.

And then she put the pulse oximeter on my finger.  The very same one that I had seen on my mother's finger dozens of times.  And I came very close to sobbing.  I held it in until she left me in the exam room, and then I completely let go.  I wept and wept and wept some more.  I didn't want to be in that room alone, where Mom and I had giggled and cried and held hands and checked our watches in impatience and compared magazine articles.  But there I was.  Alone.

Fortunately the doctor was late, I was able to cry as long as I needed to, and we had a great appointment.  He wanted to talk about Mom, how much he appreciated her attitude.  She made a difference in his life, because often patients are not so gracious toward the doctor who gives them bad news or asks them to make changes they would rather not make.  And certainly not many of them were able to laugh in the face of life-ending adversity like Mom was.  She was a gem.

As I left, I walked down halls that echoed with her laughter; I felt sad and lost and like I might feel this way for the rest of my life.

I know it's not true, but yesterday it sure did feel like it.

A year of poetry

I decided in January to read Czeslaw Milosz's poetry this year. I bought this book:

I listened here at least twenty times to try and pronounce his name.

I read here about celebrations planned for Milosz Year 2011, the hundredth anniversary of his birth.

And then I traveled for a speech tournament, managed to lose the book, and forgot all about Milosz year.

Until my son went to use my computer backpack and there was the missing Milosz.  And so was this:

The same can be said of beauty.  It should not exist.
There is not only no reason for it, but an argument against.
Yet undoubtedly it is, and is different from ugliness.*

and this....

And when people cease to believe that there is good and evil
Only beauty will call to them and save them
So that they still know how to say: this is true and this is false.  *

Mr. Milosz arrived just in time.

* You can read the whole poem here.

Goal Achievement ! Yes Passion can help!

Most of us run through daily life focused on achieving. During waking hours we are chained to a computer, run from one meeting to another, while attending to the constant demands on our time via phone, text, email & twitter... Its a flurry of never ending activity. All this due to an incessant need to succeed or just meet obligations. However things don't always go to plan, its easy to get distracted or disheartened when we run into issues while constant challenges that make the achievement of our goals ever so hard. Challenges in our lives come from various sources, environmental, corporate, internal politics even family. When such challenges come our way you wonder what more do I have to do??

It's in this what more do I need to do? question that lies the answer. Goal setting is vital for achievement!  yet, are your goals deeply ingrained within your subconscious mind? Are "we chasing the lights of passing ships"?  I am a big believer in having goals, goals worthy of its achievement, written down, deeply ingrained within us or we will find our selves bogged down by activity, distraction & unimportant demands made on our time by others.

Goals need to be written and remembered daily. Goals are often written at the beginning of the year and forgotten within weeks of writing them.

If they are not "top of mind" we will not achieve them.  We need to be so passionate about our goals, they become part of our psyche and deeply embedded within our subconscious mind. Once our goals transcend to our subconscious mind there is nothing stopping us from achieving them, what ever obstacle we may face. You will find yourself in autopilot mode, homing towards your goal come what may...

I recently read this quote from the India philosopher Patangali,  

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”

Need I say more.. Could it be said more beautifully! If you want to achieve then you must be deeply inspired and be passionate about its achievement.

"Set your goals by the stars in the sky not the lights of passing ships"