These days, everyone seems to set life-changing goals. It’s fun, trendy and quite easy. But how many of these people actually achieve them? Not too many I’m afraid. Why? Because actually reaching a long wished goal is not that simple as you’d think.
So what does it require to reach the peak of the mountain? For starters, you need time, ambition and commitment. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but stay with me. On top of these, you must add something different, something that few people talk about. Let’s find out together what these additional ingredients are.
Don’t just dream about your goal
You might have found yourself constantly day dreaming about how wonderful life would be, if you could only achieve one particular goal. While it’s good not to forget what you want, just dreaming about it breeds nothing.
What you should do instead is thinking about what that goal consists of, what does it actually mean, and start doing it!
Here’s an example: Say you want to make more money by selling insurance policies. Don’t just wonder around the house like you’ve had too many sips of your favorite beer, thinking about selling hundreds or thousands of insurance policies in a month, and cashing in that sweet commission. Instead, try to be a better persuader, try to show people why it’s so important to have their backs covered by a good and reliable insurance company. This will earn you trust, help people out, and eventually close more deals. See? It’s a win-win situation!
So find out what this goal is all about and start focusing on it, rather than dreaming of it. You’ll see that results will quickly follow.
Embrace intellectual humility
What is this you might ask? Intellectual humility is the ability to differentiate, at any time, between what you actually know about a subject and what you don’t (but think you do). Our mind has the natural tendency of believing it knows more than in reality does; like teenagers, you know?
Having this ability to see at any point that you don’t have all the answers, and that you need to continue to find them, is what drastically separates the goal achievers from the goal setters.
Goal setters often think they know it all, but just need to apply what they know. Goal achievers realize is that the fact that they don’t possess all the answers is what’s holding them back for the moment. They accept their humble situation, actively seek solutions, test them out, and apply what works best.
So how do you do it? Here are a few tips:
a) When you realize you don’t know everything about a subject, admit it, don’t let your ego rule your life. Say “I don’t really know enough about this subject”. You’ll be amazed how well people respond to this attitude, and how happy they’ll be to help you out.
b) Always ask yourself if what you take for granted is true and verified. These days a lot of low quality information is being spread across different unreliable outlets, so only believe what trusted sources have to say. This way when you talk with someone, you are more likely to hold the truth and gain more credibility.
c) Take notice when you are arguing about a certain belief without having the evidence to back up your statements. See why you do it, and avoid it in the future. You’ll only lose your credibility and respect if you continue doing it.
d) Don’t be shy to take interest in new beliefs just because you were adopting one since you know yourself. Be an explorer, see the multitude of beliefs, weight them, and choose the one that has more arguments to sustain it.
Adopting intellectual humility gives you the absolute edge when it comes to taking decisions, and good decisions shortens the road to what you want, that is, a successful and meaningful life.
Be the Phoenix bird
We all fail sometimes. We all have disappointments. But don’t let that put an end to your aspirations. You must learn to understand that you, like any other human being, aren’t perfect. Thus you will make mistakes no matter how hard you try. The secret is to be reborn like the Phoenix bird, from your own ashes. Then, learn from the mistakes you made and rebuild a new, stronger, wiser and better you.
Also, don’t let your friends or family influence you in any shape or form. They might give you that “I told you so” speech when you fail, but don’t let their words crawl under your skin and eat you inside out, you are better than that.
Don’t wear a blindfold
If you want to be an achiever you’d better start thinking of what “gurus” tell you and not apply their advice blindly like people that only set their goals and never reach them do. Learn to discern good from evil, useful from useless, real from imaginary, and so on. Here’s a quote I like to tell people when I talk about this subject:
“Thinking leads man to knowledge. He may see and hear, and read and learn whatever he pleases, and as much as he pleases; he will never know anything of it, except that which he has thought over, that which by thinking he has made the property of his own mind.” – Pestalozzi
While this great Swiss pedagogue lived more than two centuries ago, his carefully crafted words still hold water. Read it again and again, and apply it with each new advice you get, regardless of the subject.
Enjoy the ride my friend
Goal achievers enjoy the ride, goal setters fear it.
I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but it will take a long time before you can finally say “I’ve made it!”. However, despite what people say, the trip is way better than the achievement itself. Why? Because you’ll continually rediscover yourself, reinvent yourself, improve yourself. Every day of your journey brings in a new challenge you have to conquer, and I must say, by the time you’ll get there, the achievement will not hold so much weight, rather all the things you’ve picked up along the way.
Lean back, relax and realize that reaching your goals is all about the journey. So make yourself comfortable, because this will be a bumpy ride!
Pick up the hitchhikers
As long as you’re going down this long road, you might want to get some companions (aka friends). How do you do this? By helping others. Find the people in your life that need guidance. Seek the weaker ones and empathize with them, respect their feeling and offer to help them change their lives too. You’ll see that they will become your closest friends, your most devoted partners.
I cannot describe in words how important this is. When in despair, they will be the first to throw a hand and offer their shoulders for you to cry on. So treat them well, because true companions are priceless.
As you can see, there are some changes you have to make in order to reach the other side, the side where winners stand. It takes courage, commitment and useful advice. Ultimately up to you to decide in which camp you want to set base. Good luck!
-What are some way you go about setting and achieving your goals? Share your ideas in the comments below.