Superphysics Superphysics
Chapter 8b

The 5 Layers for Goal-Setting

by Lam Icon
March 19, 2023 5 minutes  • 872 words
Table of contents

The 5 Elements or Layers of Reality is always useful since it describes how Reality works or is maintained.

It can be immedately used as a proper goal-setting framework that aligns with the Nature of things. At the moment, the most popular framework is SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable or Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound
The 5 Layer model

If we put SMART Under our Five Layers Model, we see that it overly emphasizes the Material Layer through the four criteria of being specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic. This is consistent with SMART being invented by George T. Doran, a Western academic. It is in line with Western materialist systems and philosophy which prefers hard evidence over abstract concepts.

Only the ‘Time-bound’ criterion is ‘immaterial’ by being in the Spacetime Layer, relating to space and time.

The problem is that success is really achieved by alignment with the Aethereal layer as the cause, of which the Material layer is just an effect.

Giving too much emphasis on specifics, measurements, and attainability neuters the mind too much and disconnects it from the infinite possibilities granted by the higher layers.

Although SMART improves goal-setting by adding the 2 Layers of Matter and Spacetime, as opposed to not having any system at all, it also sabotages success by ignoring the other 3 Layers. This will give less success than if all the 5 Layers were used.

The 5 Layer Criterion for Goal-Setting

Our goal setting based on the 5 Layers will solve the deficiencies of the SMART criteria.

Name Description
Natural is the goal in line with dharma or the Nature of Things? This replaces the Realistic criterion
Time-bound the goal should be encapsulated as an endeavor or project (This is from project management)
Comparable the progress towards the goal should be comparable to a control or benchmark. This replaces the Measurable criterion
Flexible the goal should have a Plan A, Plan B, etc as many roads can lead to that goal. This also means that the goal itself can be shifted or tweaked a bit. This replaces the Achievable criterion
Definable the goalposts and results should be defined as to be comparable

Natural Criterion

The first criteria is the natural-ness of the goal. There are some goals imposed by others that are not natural.

For example, Chinese and Vietnamese parents impose that women must marry before 30. But not all women have marriage as their natural goal or would want to marry later than 30.

Some managers impose unnatural sales or profit targets that are not natural in a time of recession.

Under this criterion, a genocide or the use of nuclear weapons is not a goal because it is something that humans do not naturally do.

This Natural Criteria helps people choose the goals that are not only realistic, but also in line with morality and Nature.

Time-Bound Criterion

This is already discussed extensively in Project Management literature.

Comparable Criterion

People measure things for the sake of comparison. This is why we focus on the criterion of comparability instead of measurability.

For example, you might want to have a general goal of a good 2024 for your son, using only his happiness as the basis. With this criterion, you can compare his happiness in 2024 with 2023 without any quantitative measure.

Flexible Criterion

In most cases, there are sudden events that impact our goals greatly. An example is the pandemic which made many businesses fail.

The Flexible Criterion is based on the Convertible Layer and so it knows that goals must be flexible. This is also in line with the Natural criterion.

If one way doesn’t work, then try another way while staying with the general aim. Under SMART, other other hand, the goal must be very specific. If the result does not match the specifics, then the goal fails.

For example, many Vietnamese have a goal of owning a house after reaching a certain age. This criterion removes the rigidity by allowing, as options to home ownership:

  • long-term lease or
  • different kinds of houses such as container house

Another example is a woman having a goal to find prince charming which she defines specifically under SMART as:

  1. Rich
  2. Handsome
  3. Tall
  4. Caring
  5. Loyal

But under our 5 Layer Model, this might manifest as 5 different persons. And so, looking for these in 1 person might be impossible!

Definable Criterion

The goal has to be defined to make the abstract goal more realistic.

In the example of the goal of house ownership, how would you define a house? Does it have a specific minimum floor area? Does it have to be in a specific city? Should there be internet or mobile data coverage?

Note that the Flexibility Criterion is Superior to this one, just as the Natural Criterion is superior to the Flexible. The definition is not as specific or rigid as the one under SMART.

More Realized Goals, More Happiness

The more we realize our goals at work, or in life in general, the more we gain a sense of fulfillment and therefore, happiness. If setting goals using the SMART Criteria was not so effective, people can try the Ngũ Hành model, which has already been used in Asia for various applications, as an alternative way to achieve their goals.

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