Motorcycling, Happiness and The Art of Goal Setting

by Charles R. Morgan


What does motorcycle riding have to do with setting goals?

I’ve been riding motorcycles since the age of 16, progressing from a 100cc scooter all the way up to several 1200cc touring bikes, from crotch rockets to luxurious, cross country BMW mile chewers. I’ve made it on two wheels from New York City as far as Hilton Head, Orlando, Key West, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, New Orleans and San Antonio, sometimes with a road map and sometimes without.

Along the way I rode what some call the baddest racing bike of them all, the MV Agusta F4– so nasty and beautiful and with such a deep championship racing heritage that it held its own display at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Easy riding, sometimes to nowhere.

One of the joys of motorcycling is taking a Sunday morning ride with absolutely no destination in mind, go with the wind—start out with just a direction in mind and figure the rest out along the way. I may go north, make a gas stop once out of town, then decide where to go from there.

This is the essence of easy rider freedom, living in the moment, creating solutions on the spot without drifting too far away from the demands of the present. The consequence of not paying attention, however, is being squashed like a bug by another vehicle or careening off the side of the road into a ditch, and much worse lots of blood, broken bones and even instant death.

Like the Ferrari, an MV Agusta F4 combines the highest levels of Italian design, technology, power and speed. To stare at it, admiring one gorgeous line after another, is an inspiring activity unto itself not only for rider but spectator alike.

One day I recall doing just that, admiring it, as I sat dressed head to toe in black leather riding gear and boots at a New York City sidewalk café drinking coffee. The bike was backed up to the curb ten feet away. I’m watching “bike television.”

A gentleman walked  up,  gushing with passion over this red, silver and black sculpture on wheels. He shook his head in disbelief, looked at me thrilled by the sight, saying with a straight face, “this thing looks so fast, you probably get there before you even leave!” I chuckled.

Working backwards from somewhere.

Reflecting on it now, this is exactly what it takes to achieve and sustain goals in life. Get there in our minds eye first then taking action. Vision the destination, have the outcome in the mind by using all our sensory mechanisms, dreaming, anticipating, and with strong emotional desire, pre-experiencing exactly what we desire before we get there.

We do this all the time without even thinking about it.  When it comes to mundane tasks like getting stuff from the store, going downtown, heading out for a picnic or getting some exercise, we know the destination before we leave and it doesn’t require a step by step action plan to get it done.

Once there is an extra ordinary goal in mind, however, some outrageous new thing you or I always wanted  but never got around to being, doing or having, negative bias kicks in and virtually dozens of excuses and reasons pop up as to  why it’s impossible and we shouldn’t even try.  What’s the use?

Thoughts of fear or “I’m not good enough” block the natural flow of energy and we are unable to imagine what it’s like being in that extra ordinary place.  In fact, in this state, the chances of “getting there” are slim and it’s a safe bet that actions required to start and sustain the journey never leave the thinking stage.  The opportunity to beat one’s self up is ripe.

How can you combine your inherent ability, the power of imagination and the natural flow of energy to “get there before you leave” when it comes to reaching and sustaining stretch goals in your life?

Step up to the power of visioning.

Here’s how to put all this into action for yourself and keep it going over the long haul.   Write out an intention statement that is concise, about a page long that expresses how wonderful life is now that your goals have been realized.  Goals are  most powerful when aligned  with your best and highest good–your life’s purpose (contact us for guidance on this  if you like.)

See yourself a year from now. All your observations are stated in the present tense, as if you have been projected into the future Star Wars style.  All comments are in the affirmative–comb your statement several times like a negative thought detective eliminating every trace of doubt and fear.

Describe what service and value you have delivered to your fellow human beings and all that you have now attracted into your life as the reward. Write based on how grateful you are now that all this has happened for you “since last year.”  In essence you are writing a script of the movie you plan on living.   The movie is the outcome.

Make a vision board.

Collect pictures that show the script details–tell your story in images.  These pictures match up your intention statement line for line. Get your scissors and trim them up.  Have fun exploring images that portray what your life is like–pretend–go to the book store and buy some more colorful, exciting magazines that contain reflections of this new life.  And while you’re out, stop at the arts and crafts shop and buy a large white poster board.

Settle on a pile of images that really turn you on.  You might even get a loved one (who has an artistic streak) to help. Start placing the pictures on the poster board to make a collage. Rearrange them.  Let them sit for a few days, then when you’ve got it to a point where you’re starting to feel inspired, glue everything together.

Put the board where you can see it every day.  If you’re game, take a photo and keep it on your phone so you have the extra dimension of portability.

Let us know how this process works out.  We love visioning!



  1. Love this activity/process for setting goals. I think I’m going to try a version of this. I could imagine doing it as I read the article.

  2. I can imagine this process working for multiple goals. It probably would help you to figure out how your goals can be combined.

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