How to accomplish your objectives in business or life. Excerpted from my book, Discovering Your Greatness)
Let’s start by talking about your desires.
The fact that you have a desire is evidence that you are capable of its accomplishment. You would not want something if you weren’t capable of attaining it. Nature is not cruel and vindictive.
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As Emerson said:
“There is nothing capricious in nature, and the implanting of a desire indicates that its gratification is in the constitution of the creature that feels it.”
In order to achieve significant results, the first thing you must do is something that you have probably never done before.
Most people go their entire lives without doing this.
Decide what it is that you really want.
If you had a GPS system and told it that you wanted to go “somewhere nice” it would do nothing. There is no destination for it to set a course to. It can’t provide guidance until you give it a specific destination.
For the same reason, setting non-specific goals like “good health” or “a lot of money” won’t produce any results. Without a clear objective, you end up reacting to circumstances instead of acting with a purpose.
If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time!
Accomplish Your Objective Vs Making Yourself Miserable
Here is a sure way to be unfulfilled and forever thinking “is this all there is?”
Expend time and effort pursuing something because it is what someone else wants you to want, or because someone else has it. Going after something because it is the latest ‘must have’ item will lead you down an undesirable path.
To make yourself and others unhappy, seek something so that you can flaunt it in front of someone else to say, “Look what I have that you don’t!”
If you obtain something for any of those reasons it will leave you feeling very empty and unsatisfied.
How Pursuing Your Goals Can Make You Contented
If you want to be truly happy, you should want what you want because YOU want it.
Your parents may have always wanted you to go into a certain business or to “get a good secure job.” But it’s probably difficult for you to love your parents’ dreams.
Find something that you do love and can feel passionate about.
If your friend drives a BMW, that doesn’t mean you need one. You might be happier with a Honda.
Your goals and working toward them should fill you with joy. This feeling is one of the keys to accomplishing big dreams.
In considering what you will dedicate your valuable time and effort toward always ask yourself:
“How will I feel when I reach this goal?”
In your imagination, picture yourself already having accomplished your objective.
For example: If you have an objective of buying a different car, drive it in your mind.
Now, imagine that nobody else even knows about this new car. You can’t “show it off” to anyone. The only thing you get to do is use it and enjoy it for you.
Does It Spark Joy?
Do you still feel joyful?
If so, great! That tells you that that is one of your true desires.
Go through this same process with each of your objectives.
OK, now it is time to begin deciding what you want.
Take this process seriously. It is your life, make the most of it!
Here is a very important word of advice in deciding what you want.
Concern yourself only with the ‘what’ and not the ‘how’. If you want something strongly enough the ‘how’ will become apparent as you begin to take action toward it.
Most people never go for what they really want because, based on their present situation, they do not see how they can get it.
Never allow this lack of a currently defined path to prevent you from wanting something. That is a HUGE mistake.
If you really want a $3,000,000 house, write it down! The fact that you do not currently know how you will get it is irrelevant.
Accomplish Your Objective By Prioritizing
As a starting point in deciding what you want, let’s begin with the six major categories of personal goals. They are:
- Family & Home
- Spiritual & Ethical
- Physical & Health
- Social & Cultural
- Mental & Educational
- Financial & Career
Goals are very personal.
All of the above categories will be important at some time in your life. In many circumstances, they overlap.
For example, let’s say that you have the Physical and Health goal of a certain measurement. This may entail you joining a gym or buying some exercise equipment. This physical goal overlaps into the financial area.
Right now, some of these categories are probably more important than others; it depends on where you are in your life.
Decide which categories are the most important, then narrow it down to the category that is the most important.
Make a list of the things within that category that you believe you want. Then, using the contentment process above, discover whether you truly want each goal for you.
Remember the process?
Imagine yourself already having accomplished your objective. Now, assume that nobody else knows about this besides you.
How do you feel? Are you still filled with joy?
Important Questions To Ask
Great! Keep that on your list. If you’re not filled with joy, take it off your list. The goal is not something you really want.
Spend significant time thinking about the categories which are the most important to you now.
Be specific on each goal.
It is not good enough to say, “I want plenty of money.”
How much do you want? What monthly or annual income is enough?
Is this income congruent with purchasing the things you want (like the $3,000,000 house)?
It is not good enough to say, “I want to be in better shape.”
What does that mean? Define a pant size, specific measurements, or a mile run time. Do you get the point?
Next: How Would You Feel If You Already Accomplished Your Objective
After you have defined your goals, study them thoroughly and be clear on each one.
Now ask yourself, “How will I act once I achieve these goals?”
Think about how you would feel if you already lived in your dream house, etc. You would feel like a winner, wouldn’t you?
Now, remember that feeling and ‘act as if’ you are already there. This is an important factor in all achievement. The key to effective action is every time you think about what you want to achieve you associate ‘that winning feeling’ with that thought.
Conversely, if when you think about your goals you feel like, “I’ll never be able to do that,” you will not take effective actions toward your goal’s achievement.
Remember this formula:
Thought + Feeling = Action or Inaction
If you are having trouble with developing that winning feeling do the following.
Think about a time in your life when you won something. Everyone has had victories in their life. The size of the victory isn’t important. It can be something as simple as an ‘A’ on a difficult test or winning a playground race.
What personal victory was the most significant for you?
Remember how you felt at that very moment? That is the feeling you want to associate with your true goals!
To help make your goals even more real to you it is important to visualize them daily.
For most people, having pictures of your goals helps immensely.
Our minds think in pictures rather than words.
Seeing pictures of your goals imprints them on your mind more clearly.
Gather pictures or videos that represent your TRUE goals. As often as possible throughout your day, look at these. Each time you do, marry that winning feeling with them. Together, they are a compelling force!
About the Author
The founder of SpearPoint Solutions, LLC, Bob’s professional background includes over three decades of experience in sales, leadership and training. He uses that experience and innovative thinking to develop business strategies that help organizations get unstuck. He also facilitates training on methods of thinking more creatively that can help any business or nonprofit thrive in the today's economy. Among other accomplishments, Bob is the inventor of the innovative/creative thinking game, What's the BIG Idea?™, author of the personal achievement book, Discovering Your Greatness and the book of innovative strategies and how to create them, 101 Freaking Brilliant Business Ideas: And Ten Ways YOU Can Create Your Own. He is also the host and chief innovator of the Out-THINK the Competition podcast.