Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible
This quote is by Tony Robbins, and the claim is ballsy.
Why do most of us get up in the morning?
To make our experience in the world a little bit more like the experience in our dreams.
I hope as a reader of this blog, you have goals in your own life that you engage in fully. I hope that you, and I, go on to achieve all those things that we’re so hungry for. I hope that this amazing, awful world is even more amazing and even less awful by the time you and I are done with it.
So how do we get there?
How do we make our mark?
Here’s how I think we should go about realizing our dreams.
We must be brutally honest
Grant Cardone makes a great point in his book 10X (you can click here to grab it on amazon). He says that making a million dollars is really hard, and making a billion dollars is really hard. In fact, one of his big regrets is that he didn’t aim high enough in life, to begin with.
He has since built a billion-dollar real estate empire, making him one of the few men qualified to talk on the subject!
To stretch this idea to more general terms, Life is gonna be really difficult. With small goals, big goals, no goals.
It’s gonna be brutal.
That being said, if you gotta suffer whatever you do, why not do exactly what you want?
why not set ambitious goals that are all related to things you actually like and are actually good at?
I know it’s so basic. But it took me a few years to realize that I was literally working full-time on a career path that I didn’t really want to be on because by pursuing academics, my family and friends would think I had myself together.
It’s such a wild way of thinking, and it’s so easy to slide into that unremarkable stifling approval-seeking mentality.
Let’s keep being honest with ourselves. Let’s give ourselves a real shot at being happy. Let’s set goals from a place of genuine self-knowledge and understanding. I think that’s our best chance.
Read also: 99 quotes about sacrifices for success
We must have faith
We gotta trust the process of doing the work every day.
As I’m writing this blog now, I got a pretty basic WordPress site and little to no actual writing skill (I don’t have to tell you that!).
The odds of what this site is, becoming what I can see it being in my head, are pretty slim.
Maybe you can relate.
Maybe you’re starting something or you want to start something, and you’re looking at a massive mountain in front of you with no obvious path and no guarantees of success.
Our only shot is to trust the process. What else can we do? I have to trust that if I write every day, I will be a better writer. If I cook every day, I will be a better cook. It’s quite peculiar how progress works. The daily progress is so painfully slow, that it’s hard to see any kind of change in your work or your life.
But success creeps up on you.
I’ve seen it in my own life.
Over a 4 year period, I went from commis chef at the only restaurant that would offer me a job, to Sous chef of a great new restaurant that I’m working at as we speak. My plan this year is to work in Paris. I can honestly say that it was 4 years of head-down uncertainty, with the occasional moment of “oh man I can’t believe how far I’ve come” maybe once every year and a half.
read also: What does it take to become a successful chef? (10 TIPS)
We must focus
What do you really want to achieve in this world?
Maybe you feel called to help a certain group of people, A certain skill that you want to be world-class at, or maybe there’s a business you want to turn into a reality.
Whatever it is exactly, ask yourself this question.
How much of my attention do I directly allocate to pursuing this specific path everyday?
Alex Hormozi is an American Entrepreneur who is worth over a hundred million dollars. He had this to say on the general topic of focus.
“There’s this one resource that people who make a ton of money manage extremely well and people who do not do not…a lot of people mistakenly think that the number one resource is time… I would argue that attention is money. That is the golden resource”
Besides the starting hand that we are dealt, it is our attention that determines what we learn and from who.
It is our attention that we exchange for either success or failure.
Although we all think we want to succeed in this world, by looking at where we are giving our attention we can see where our true priorities lie.
This is an idea I truly believe in. I recently saw a video of Jony Ive (head designer at Apple) talking about Steve Jobs’ opinion on focus.
This clip deeply impacted me, and I hope it makes you think in the same way.
Here are some examples of successful people managing their focus and attention:
- Gary Vaynerchuck famously didn’t take any weekends off or vacations in his entire 20’s in order to build Wine Library from a 3 to a 60 million dollar per year business.
- Elon Musk doesn’t tend to emails and walks out of meetings if he considers it a waste of his attention.
- Bill Gates didn’t own a television and dismantled his car radio so as not to get distracted.
We must adjust (and adjust and adjust)
When you are working towards your goals not only are you attaining the outcome itself, but you are also becoming the kind of person who can attain that outcome.
Bear with me.
If you’re broke and your goal is to put £5000 into a bank account, you aren’t just trying to get the money.
You are also trying to become the kind of person who can save money, who has good spending habits, knows how to make money, and is mentally strong enough not to blow it all the minute it lands in your account.
The money is what you want, (the body/the degree/the bitcoin), but it’s really a by-product. A by-product of being that person with those traits.
You aren’t that person yet.
In order to be the person that is effective and disciplined and knowledgeable enough to have what you want, you’re gonna have to stop doing some stuff you like to do and start doing some stuff you don’t usually do.
This is not a simple process. This is a big reason why so few people actually do what they want.
It’s properly hard to do.
You will constantly find yourself slipping back into your old ways. Your old spending habits. Your old -sleeping in- student -f*ck it- mentality.
The reality of achieving our goals is pretty much day by day staying on track, getting off track, staying on track, falling off track, getting back on track…for ages.
Don’t take your eyes off where you could go, and don’t take your eyes off where you are going. Adjust adjust adjust.
Read also: 5 of the most heroic acts in history!
We must keep our heads
Achieving goals in life can be a lot like the stock market. You get closer to them over time, but if you zoom right into the day-to-day or hour-to-hour, it’s all over the place.
Bad people sticking their noses in.
Everything’s taking longer than you thought it would (How could you know how long things take?).
You got a plan for the year then the pandemic hits. You got a plan for the day and then something happens in your family. Maybe you just don’t put enough effort in. Maybe you let yourself down. Maybe you didn’t do what you told yourself to do.
Learn how to talk to yourself. Keep yourself on track, don’t deceive yourself, but understand it’s a game of decades. You normally don’t lose until you accept you’ve lost. There are always new ways to look at things, good times and bad times, and potential ways to get better. I’m not even trying to come with the whole love yourself shpiel here either; the most objectively effective strategy is to feel good in your mind and take consistent action from an optimistic headspace.
There’s not really enough time to do anything else.
The quote originated from Tony Robbins, an absolute giant amongst men in the self-development world. To check out his most famous book ever, Awaken the Giant Within, you can click this link.
If you found this article helpful, check out some others:
25 Achievable life goals by age 25
What is a man’s purpose in life?
SMART goals: what is the difference between attainable and realistic?