Chapter 1, Task 1
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Task 53 – Set measurable goals

Task 53

Set measurable goals

The Camera Cure - task 53
At a photography seminar, Morten Krogvold said to me, “This is where you should take the cover photo of your book.” At first, I was a little disappointed. I thought that I had already taken pictures that were good enough for the cover. But as the bus passed the parasols on the empty beach in Essaouira, I discovered how the shadows formed interesting shapes. I followed my intuition, went back and worked for a while to find a good composition. I worked carefully with the spaces between the parasols and the shadows. The only thing I lacked was a person to make the picture complete. When the man in the cape walked up, I was determined to get him in front of the camera. He had no chance of getting away. The goal of getting the cover photo for House Calls was stronger than the fear of asking and directing the stranger. How would the picture have looked in cloudy weather? How about later in the day? How would it have turned out if I had not been so determined? Essaouira, Morocco, 2006. Photo: Torkil Færø


Not having a goal

”What is your goal?” This is what I ask patients who are struggling. They have rarely thought about this. After some reflection, they will say something like having a good family or a plea- sant everyday life. They could benefit from having more concrete goals. Having specific goals is necessary for making the way ahead of us become visible. Then we can more easily decide what to use time on and actually get closer to achieving our goals. Studies have shown that only three percent of the population have put their goals into words.

The people who have clear goals for where they want to go are aided by the conscious and subconscious parts of their brains. The reticular activating system lets them know when they see or hear something that can help them towards their goal. They become better prepared to make the right decision when the opportunity arises.

In the past, finding a goal was not an issue. Existence revolved around two things – the survival of oneself and of one’s children. One only needed a roof over their head and food on the table. That was more than enough to occupy one’s time. In the present time, food and shelter are taken for granted and all goals are possible. But if we are not good at choosing our goals, life becomes difficult and aimless.

According to stress researcher Hans Selye, not having a goal causes stress that is harmful. I myself have seen how the people who have a concrete, meaningful goal to work towards seem physically and mentally healthier than other people.

We can set concrete goals in any area. Write down the goals you set on, for example, a poster so that you can see them every single day. Then you will automatically think about how you will achieve them. Another aid is to change your password to something that reminds you about your goals. Do you know someone who is determined to reach his or her goals? Do you know someone who isn’t? How does this affect their lives? What about you? Make sure, however, that your focus on you goal doesn’t hinder you from enjoying the process along the way. A goal that focuses on something larger than yourself mobilize more forces and will give more satisfaction than a self-focused goal.

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Decide on a goal

In 2003 I was at a workshop with Morten Krogvold at Naxos. We sat outside on a cobblestone sidewalk having a glass of wine. Old widows dressed in black wandered up and down the steep hills. Suddenly, I said, “I am going to make a photography book. It will be published in 2006 and I want to become a notable photographer.”

Morten nodded appreciatively. Both the goals and how I was going to achieve them felt right. I noticed the effect of the decision right away. It became easier for me to motivate myself to take pictures. I dared to take a step just where I had stopped before. Now the pictu- res were to take on a greater meaning than to just fill up my private photo album (this was some time ago in the old days, several years before you could get likes on Facebook).

In 2007 House Calls was published. It got me my own exhibition, participation in an inter- national master class and my first opportunity to run a workshop. If I hadn’t set such specific goals in 2003, who knows if you would have The Camera Cure® in front of you today. Your goal can seem like the top of a mountain – unreachable and not within sight at first. But do you see the little knolls up there on the side of the mountain? Keep your eyes on them. They are reachable, but don’t forget that some of them can lead to a dead end and then you will have to backtrack until you see new possibilities ahead and then continue on upwards. Step by step, picture by picture, you get closer to your main goal.

If you could pick anything and I could guarantee that you would reach it – what would be your goal? What is so important to you that you would be able to draw from all of your untapped resources to help yourself get there? It doesn’t matter if it seems unrealistic because we are able to do more than we think we can. The moment you make the decision to move towards a goal, an exciting and life-giving process begins for you. It will take you, via some detours, to a place you could not have dreamed of getting to. Possibilities will appear, and doors that you didn’t know about will open. Your subconscious will help you get there, notifying you when it perceives something that can help you towards your goal.


Take some photos that are related to your goal.

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BOOK SUGGESTION: The 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

The greater danger for
most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.


If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.

Andrew Carnegie

It is not about the target. It is about becoming a person who is capable of reaching the target.

Tony Robbins