If you don’t have a goal, you don’t get the gold.
I spend my professional life speaking in a lot of corporations and to a lot of associations. But I also do a lot of listening. People come up to me before, during, and after the program to share their stories. I love it.
If time allows, I’ll often ask those people about their goals. And their answers are interesting.
When I ask the older folks about their goals, some of them say, “Well, I’m getting by…I’m not doing too badly … and… I’ve just got four years, three months, and two days and I’m out of this place.”
Some of the younger folks tell me they’re “keeping their options open.” They don’t want to decide on anything too quickly.
In both cases, I hear a lack of goals, and that’s tragic. There is greatness in those people, and there’s greatness in you–but it will never be released without some clear, meaningful, specific goals.
So ask yourself, “Do you have an overriding goal for your life? And do you have goals for every aspect of your life?” If not, you are literally missing one of the most powerful, motivating, and healing forces known to man.
If you will take the time to figure out your goals and write them out, you’re going to get three major benefits. Let me spell them out.
Of course, you may be saying, “Slow down. How can I expect to get the benefits of goal setting if I don’t even know how to set my goals?” Good question.
That’s part of the reason I offer my Peak Performance Boot Camp once a year. I’ll teach you how to set and achieve more goals than ever before.
Presuming you want the best out of life, that you want to be a goal setter and a goal achiever, I can promise you these three benefits.
1. REALISTIC GOALS GIVE YOU CONFIDENCE.
For years, the researchers have disagreed over which comes first — confidence or competence. In other words, is it a matter of building your confidence so you can be successful? Or is it a matter of succeeding at something so you’ll be more confident?
In reality, there’s truth in both positions. But it’s a lot easier and a lot quicker to set a realistic goal, achieve it, and end up feeling confident than it is the other way around. It can take a long time to build up your confidence if you don’t have some successes along the way.
Realistic goals will give you those successes. And realistic goals will give you confidence.
That’s how I started my business. I started selling greeting cards door to door at age 7. I had a realistic goal to sell a few boxes of cards to the people within a square mile of my house. One success led to another, and one goal turned into another. By age 14 I owned a small international import business. And I’ve never had any difficulty since that time being successful in business — no matter what the economy was like.
I call it “Take Charge” power. That’s why I called my CD album “TAKE CHARGE: 6 Strategies For Achieving More Than Ever.” I would highly recommend that you get a copy — but don’t listen to it once. Listen to it over and over again. Study it, and you’ll release powers you never knew you had.
2. GOALS RELEASE YOUR ENERGY.
When you have an exciting goal, all sorts of powers are released within you. Inertia and procrastination are thrown out the window.
Perhaps you can relate. You may have a tough time getting out of bed in the morning. You push the snooze button or your alarm clock two or three times, and you slowly, reluctantly get yourself ready and off to work. After all, you figure, yesterday wasn’t too exciting at work and today doesn’t promise to be any better.
But let’s say, by contrast, you get an early morning phone call. You’re told by a reputable source that you’ve just won a trip to Hawaii and a half million dollars — provided you can be on the plane in three hours.
I suspect that new exciting goal would motivate you to achieve more that morning than you’ve achieved in the last thirty mornings put together. You would find places to send the kids and take the dog, and you would find people to fill in for you at work. You would be flying high instead of griping about your busy schedule or the drudgery of “another day another dollar.”
Do you have goals that excite you? Do you have goals that are releasing your pent-up, untapped enthusiasm? If not, you’re missing out.
3. GOALS HELP YOU OVERCOME OBSTACLES.
If you don’t have any goals, you’re bound to see a problem as a reason to quit. For example, if you don’t have the goal of building a great relationship with someone, you may think “it wasn’t meant to be” when a conflict arises. And you bail out.
The same is true in business. If you don’t have the goal of exceeding your customers’ expectations, you may take your customers for granted. You may not take their complaints and suggestions seriously enough — until it’s too late.
Goal setters approach life quite differently. When they encounter an obstacle, when they come to a turn in the road, they don’t see it as the end of the road. Their goals allow them to see beyond the obstacle, and their goals keep them from getting demotivated.
That was certainly the case of one businessman. At the age of 42, he was fired from the only job he ever knew. He was fired for 3 reasons: 1) gross incompetence, 2) stupidity, and 3) loss of business. And to make matters worse, his name, his plight, and the 3 reasons for his firing were plastered all over the “Wall Street Journal.”
As you can imagine, the news devastated him emotionally. It took him two years to rebound.
He finally went into business for himself because no one would hire him. He worked in his garage, and even though he was just a small operator, he was proud of his little business. So he put his name over the garage — Thomas Watson, Sr. — and under his name he put the name of his new company — IBM.
All he had was his goal, but his goal motivated him to keep on keeping on. Watson knew that failure was never final. Failure was simply a lesson, and the lesson would lead him to greater success the next time around.
Olympic star Bruce Jenner also knew about this. Jenner said, “Success is not measured by heights attained but by obstacles overcome.”