How to set the right goals and why you need them.
We read so much about goals and the purpose of goals but it’s estimated that up to 97% of us don’t have real goals set for ourselves in our personal life. So, let’s explore this a little bit…
Firstly, what is the difference between a scary, audacious goal and just your every day run of the mill goal? How can you tell if a goal is one or the other and which one is better to set? What is the real purpose of a goal and what happens if we don’t have any goals set?
There are three types of goals:
- Goals that we can achieve with our eyes closed.
- Goals we think we can achieve with a bit of work.
- Goals that we only dream about and have no idea how to achieve them.
The third type of goal is those that dreams and fantasies are made of. Most of us, when we think of those big dream goals, tend to quickly push them aside.
As kids we are so good at imagining, dreaming and picturing the impossible. Then, for whatever reason, as we grow up we start to put rigid filters on what we think and how we think. We put up barriers to stop ourselves from dreaming. Imagine if Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Richard Branson (and the list goes on) all just stopped dreaming. Where would the world be today?
The simple answer is that we have to allow ourselves to dream and we have to allow ourselves to have really big goals. When I first re-learnt this a number of years ago, through my mentor Bob Proctor, I was so relieved. I was a closet dreamer and I thought, as an adult, that I should control it. But Bob opened my eyes and I realised that all my big day dreaming was exactly what I should be doing. It’s why I achieve the results that I achieve today. It’s what drives me. It’s what fuels my whole being.
As Robin Sharma stated, “everything is created twice, first in our mind and then in reality”. And no truer words have ever been spoken. Anyone who has ever created anything of significance had to dream of their creation first. They had to hold the image in their mind and they had to believe that they could do it. They may not have known how but they had faith to know they could find the solutions to their most desired dream.
And here’s another simple truth, there is no difference in ability and potential between those who have created big things than those who have not. The only significant difference is that some chose to dream and think big goals while others imprisoned their mind and allowed self-limiting beliefs to rule their world. Some people control their lives from within, while others allow the external to control them and to dictate what is possible and what is not.
We are all born with the ability to dream big. No one but you can take that away from you. We become what we think about all day. So, always dream big and don’t worry about how you will make your dreams come true. All you have to do is think of your end goal and dream, become fixated on it and then work backwards so that you don’t stop yourself before you even start.
What I love knowing is that the bigger your dream, the more exciting it will be and the less you will know how to attain it. The less you know about how to reach your dream, the more creative and innovative you will become. You will find new ways to help you progress towards your dream.
Earl Nightingale beautifully defines success as “the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal or goal”. The minute I heard this, I latched on to it and believed it in all of my heart. I live by this every day. And, every day I ask myself one very simple question, “Did I progress towards my goal today?” I recognise if I took action towards my goal and when my answer is yes, as it is every day, then I know I am successful.
Growth only comes from those big, scary, exciting, and audacious goals. Learn to embrace the feelings of being uncomfortable because magic only happens outside of your comfort zone. When you get too comfortable, there is no learning and life can become, to put it simply, boring and full of drudgery. As Robert A. Heinlein put it, “ in the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it”. And this is where most people get really stuck and the vicious cycle begins. This is where people find they cannot jump off the spinning wheel.
But here is the great news…where you are today and where you have been in the past will not dictate where you will be tomorrow. That is totally up to you and you can change that today. We all can. All you need to do is make a committed decision to jump out of the spinning wheel, set that great big goal of yours and take daily action towards it. Trust the process, have faith in yourself and your true potential, and watch your life transform.