If you have ever had any big goals, you know that achieving them is difficult. If it was easy, then we would all be billionaire, astronaut, world-traveling super-models. But we are not.
Anyone who tells you that you can achieve any goal by simply following a list of five or ten steps is kidding themselves. No one can guarantee it.
What I can do is give you guidelines that will make the journey smoother, quicker, and easier.
These are not generic bullet points created simply to make a post go viral. These are actionable tips I learned from an audio course I purchased from the billionaire Bill Baren. Enjoy:
1. Make sure it’s not someone else’s goal.
Sounds stupid but it’s not.
Many people accomplish goals that are made by other people. The best example is a doctor. Many asian parents influence their child to be a doctor. At the end of the day, even when they become one, many are left unsatisfied and unfulfilled. They achieved a goal they didn’t want themselves.
Internal motivation and fulfillment is strong.
Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
I used to be pre-med but after a decent amount of denial, I realized I didn’t enjoy reading thirty chapters on medicine a night and decided to move on. It took me a long time: I was about to take the MCAT.
Some people love medicine and that’s fine. But make sure you know what your heart is saying.
This can apply to a lot of things: many people end up becoming investment bankers or lawyers for the wrong reasons as well.
2. Don’t use the word “goal” ever again.
The goal has many subconscious triggers that may affect you negatively.
It may sound like a chore or obligation.
Instead, use the word “promise” or “achievement.”
I like “promise” better. That word will make it seem more fun, achievable, and non-overwhelming. A better word may work for you though if “promise” has its own negative connotations based off your upbringing or culture.
3. Clearly identify your goal.
Don’t just say I want to be rich. By being as clear and specific as you can, you can make measurable results. “Rich” is a very vague term.
By clearly defining it, it becomes much easier to measure and achieve.
4. Identify what motivates you (your internal motivator)
In order to achieve a big goal, you need a lot of motivation. As soon as it gets tough or you don’t get it as soon as you want, it’s so easy to quit.
If you have a good WHY, a good reason, then you can face frustrations and overcome them. You have a big reason to persist.
As Tony Robbins and Billionaire Bill Bartmann said, It can be a positive or negative motivator.
You can move away from pain or towards pleasure.
Different motivators work better for different people.
Some people prefer a negative motivator. They want to prove someone wrong: “I can do that even though everyone said I can’t.” or “I can prove them wrong. I will be a success so people don’t think I am un-dateable.”
Some want a positive result: six pack abs.
I think positive motivators are generally speaking better since negative ones can bring toxic mindsets. However, both can be used very effectively with a healthy perspective.
Use visual stimulus to remind of your motivation as frequently as possible.
Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad Poor Dad and Bill Bartmann did this with great success. They put up pictures of their girlfriends to keep them motivated: Robert wanted a healthier body so he put a picture on the treadmill and Bill wanted to be successful for his girlfriend so he put her picture on his study desk.
5. Believe that you can achieve your goal no matter where you came from, what education you have, or how tough it is
Now, I am not some wishy-washy believer that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Although that seems positive, it not reality.
The following analogies are from the billionaire Charlie Munger:
Can a 2 foot man be the next Michael Jordan in the NBA?
Will a 90 year old woman be the next sex symbol in Hollywood movies?
Far from likely, no matter how much you believe.
However, I believe in positive thinking and achievement within reason.
This is when the impossible becomes possible.
An example would be Napoleon Hill’s son who was told countless times that he would never hear because of his deformed ears at birth. He and his father kept at it and persisted, despite doctors telling him to give up, and eventually, they somehow managed to hear again.
Another example would be the billionaire Bill Bartmann. He grew up in the worst neighborhoods with the worst kind of people. He was a gang member, he wasn’t spiritual, he was an alcoholic, he was a high school drop-out, and he wanted to commit suicide. He ultimately changed his life, became an extremely positive person, and became a success financially and spiritually. He lost the use of his legs in an accident but did not give up. Despite being told by doctors that he could not walk ever again numerous times, he persisted with physical therapy against advice. After many months, he was able to get feelings in his toes. His doctor continued to tell him to give up. Eventually, he was able to stand again.
Some may call these miracles but I think that they truly are science not catching up yet with reality. Although we have progressed very far with science, we don’t have all the answers. And sometimes, there are things we deem impossible that actually are because of information we have yet to discover.
So where do you draw the line?
What is impractical and what is actually possible?
That’s hard to say.
I can say this:
If it’s something another person has already done before with your circumstances, you have a higher chance.
So long story short: The big thing you can do is stop giving up so easily. PERSIST.
Even if it takes years upon years.
The billionaire Elon Musk has famously said that he will only give up if he dies or becomes physically unable to do anything. He spent hundreds of millions of dollars to get a rocket ship into space with his program Space X. Despite four failed attempts, he put his last dollar into another attempt that succeeded.
Elon has this drive because he’s motivated by his passion and interest to succeed and be on the cutting edge of technology. He’s not motivated by a weak WHY like just to make money.
A great book on understanding motivation and how to use it in your business for employees is a book called Drive by Dan Pink. I highly recommend it.
6. Create a plan.
Good enough is fine.
Perfectionism can be the death of you.
Rather than striving to win, you are striving to simply not fail.
In the brilliant book, Rework, Jason Fried says to use “judo solutions.”
A judo solution is one that “delivers maximum efficiency with minimum effort.”
First off, let me take a quick moment to highlight how incredible this book is. I kept hearing successful businessmen rave about this book. Now, I have been in the business books space for a while, but this one intrigued me because of the credibility of the people who talked about it. Billionaire Mark Cuban said he’d choose anyone who read Rework over anyone who got an MBA. Businessman like Russell Brunson said that it would have saved him years of time in his business if he read this. Long story short, this is one of the best books of the decade. Check it out by clicking here. I’m all about getting ahead, which is why I got it immediately. A good portion of this article was based on his foundation.
Anyhow, back to the point: People over-complicate problems by trying to create overly-complicated solutions.
Sometimes, you should find a solution that is as simple as needed, but no simpler. Fried says look at political ads: often times, they’re sloppy, bad production, grainy, and have bad audio. But they work. If you wait too late, the time has passed. Sometimes, it’s more important to get it out there (think minimum viable product and the book Lean Startup).
You can make it better later.
The same concept holds true for tons of things: building a great blog, a good product, or a good service.
Yes, you will have blanks.
Yes, it may be incomplete.
Yes, it might change over time.
But still have a plan that you write down with a pen and paper.
Review it every day and try and fill in the wholes. In order to succeed, you have to have a clear plan.
It is KEY that you write it down and look at it every day.
7. Use a reminder trinket.
Different things work for different people, so you may have to tweak this a bit to fit your tastes.
The idea is to have a little physical trinket of some kind to remind you of your big goals.
For some people, it is a ring. Others use some little metal trinket in their pocket.
Some people simply have an index card taped to their mirror. And some use visual reminders (See Step 4).
8. Use Self-affirmations frequently
Some people explain this technique as voo-doo, “Tony Robbins incantations”, or a “mystical law of attraction.”
I’m not one who does that.
This technique works for a lot of scientific reasons related to the human psychology and biology.
You are layering validation and re-enforcement on top of more.
You are increasing your confidence and self-esteem on the conscious and subconscious level.
Here is how you do it:
Every day, you say at least 10 times an affirmation such as this: “As long as I learn something, I am succeeding.” or “I am a confident, exuberant, positive man.” or “I am a force for good.” or “I am the best _____ in the world.”
The NBA player Dennis Rodman was known as a bad boy. He had tattoos and seemed to never listen. However, every day before a game, he would be seen listening to music. Or at least that is what he told people. In reality, he was listening to a recording of his own affirmations.
9. The Tell Someone Technique: Deep and Lasting Motivation
This is a technique I named but it is quite simple and straight-forward.
To further boost your long-term, genuine motivation, you simply tell other people and let them hold you accountable.
10. Visualize your success like you’re already there.
This is an exercise that many wealthy people have used to become wealthy, even when they were broke poor. It is also one of the key pillars of advice by Napoleon Hill and he has helped tens of thousands of people become millionaires.
Examples include Jim Carey, who spoke on Oprah about this, and billionaire Bill Bartmann. Jim did a variety of visualization practices including dreaming through neighborhoods with mansions and pretending he lived there and writing a fake check for a million dollars for acting services rendered and putting it in his wallet. Bill happened to also do the neighborhood technique.
Athletes do this all the time for the game-winning shot.
There’s many versions of this technique but the best ones have these elements:
- You visualize it happening already.
- You say to yourself “I have all of this. I just don’t have it yet.”
- You define an equal amount of value you exchange for what you get. For instance, I will have one million dollars in 3 years for acting services rendered or accountant services. You don’t just get it. You have to provide positive value to others in exchange.
- You can’t just visualize it and go take a nap. You have to then start taking action. And move in the direction of where you want to go. Have patience because it doesn’t happen immediately. It takes time.
- Optional: Use a physical object to define it. Like a fake check.
As with many success and self-help techniques that may show incredible potential, I always incorporate them into my routine. Especially when there is very little downside. This is one of them.
Those are the 10 steps. They may seem like common sense but the truth is common sense is not so common.
I don’t think they’re common sense to begin with, but even if you do, realize that a great majority of people who read this will not do all these steps religiously and frequently.
Although they seem simple, a thousand excuses will pop up for why they have not succeeded or executed a year from now.
Don’t be like these people.
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