“You could be great at listing goals but for them to become reality, you must truly believe in your ability”
Why goals don’t translate to results
Ever wondered why despite carefully laying out your goals on paper, planning a path, yet your goals continue to be elusive? And still, some people in their lifetime are incredibly productive. Why are some more driven than others?
We know that action is required to take a goal from inception, nailing down the details including the deadline, to completion. However, to take relentless action one must feel the hunger, the zeal or drive. It is a consistent record of actions that results in measurable progress. How do you commit on a long term basis consistently to produce the results you seek? Any goal, for example, lose 15 pounds in 3 months, requires the sustainable drive that takes you from zero to 15 pounds. Many are able to commit to a plan with the initial excitement and euphoria of something new but somewhere further along into the actual grunt work, we lose motivation or interest.
When interviewing high achievers, they were asked, “what keeps you going every day with the drive to complete your goal?” The answers share a common timbre. They feel the excitement of arrival at the destination with such clarity that their actions become not a question of whether they will fail or not but simply steps to an inevitable realization. They are very connected day in and day out, to the results. They don’t see their daily tasks as mundane, inconvenient or too hard, but simply key steps to get to the destination. This is paramount to the process. I remember asking one such productive person, how did she manage to keep her drive level high. She confessed to me that there are some low days, but few. The other days she just did what she had to do. I asked what made you just do it. She replied, “because I had a plan and I knew that this action today would lead me further along towards reaching my goal and that today’s action was a critical part of reaching my goal”. “Without completing today’s tasks, I would not be able to move closer to the completion of my goals” She regarded each day’s actions as important blocks in the structure that would eventually be formed as the completion of her goal. Incredibly she went about her task with a joy as though they were one and the same as the actual goal. Such was the vividness of her faith? High productive people seem to never lose sight of the destination, staying very connected always to the goal. Their daily lives are structured towards this goal, becoming like a religion, a deep faith.
I was reading Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles. He says after writing your goals, you must feel the arrival point of your dream with such intimacy that it drives your current actions. Are religious people more successful? A study by the University of Miami suggested that religious people viewed their goals as sacred, willed by God. It seemed that once they believed that, they put more commitment and effort towards their goals with the conviction that success was bestowed upon them by virtue of actions seemingly guided by a higher power. Is God the reason people achieve more? I personally don’t think so but I am not that arrogant to discard it totally. What do I know? Well apart from my personal “confusion”, there is no evidence to support this or deny, like most results related to God. However, there is a phenomena that occurs when you feel more confident in the outcome of your actions as a result of faith. This is supported by the study mentioned earlier. It is simply that faith which drives a confidence in your actions such that every hurdle becomes a test of delayed glory, glory that is inevitable because of a higher power behind you.
What if you don’t believe in God? How do you harness this security that your destination is only a matter of time and certain. You can develop faith in yourself. Faith in God evolves from a confidence in the power of God. What if you believed in your power to make things happen? Pete Sampras, winner of 14 major grand slams in tennis, at the top of his game, had an aura about him when he played. He was confident that as long as he played his game he was going to win. When he was challenged, he raised his game because he knew that the game was his to win. Was Pistol Pete religious? I never saw him mouth a prayer to the skies during the difficult points or after a hard fought victory. He would seem to look towards the skies but once you followed his gaze, he was looking up to his very beautiful girlfriend at the time, Bridgette Wilson. This is the faith that can be attained by someone who is not religious, faith in yourself. Faith in yourself only comes from a record. That record I refer to, is not only of winning grand slams, it is one of completion, the feeling, the belief, the confidence, that you are someone who is able to complete tasks. You must develop a record of task completion. But you say, that is the problem! Completing tasks!! Well you develop this record by starting with little things with great chances of success. Gradually you move up to higher level tasks. It is like building a muscle, a muscle that you will be able to place your faith in. (If you are unable to have that type of faith in you, there is a way to get there – TBA)
What if you had a goal that you firmly believed that an immense force was behind you to help you achieve it, that it would not be without failures or challenges, but that the force behind you would help you overcome such pitfalls as long as you believed in the success of your efforts? Feel it, live it, stubbornly believe that there is no way that you will fail. This kind of mindset affords an individual the faculty to overcome challenges that are inevitably part of the road to success. The next time you write down a goal, remember to think of it as not just a goal but something that has almost already happened or inevitably will. Note that I am not asking you to be religious, I am asking you to have faith in you! BELIEVE IN YOU! Imagine what you could be capable of if you believed that you had the ability to achieve whatever your heart desired. Don’t you have that ability? How do you know? Have you ever committed 100% to something consistently and really failed? Or wasn’t it true that your failures were painted by a discouraged disenfranchised mental fortitude that robbed you of the commitment to consistent efforts necessary to succeed, and be what you were really capable of?
Writing down a goal should not just be a casual experiment of what you might be possible, it should be something that you feel with conviction and would be just a matter of time! Remember Jim Carrey’s story? The one where when he was driving his old Toyota and struggling as an actor. At that time, with nothing to his name, he wrote himself a check for $10M AND dated it Thanksgiving 1995 and carried it in his wallet from that day forth. We know how that worked out. In case you don’t, just before Thanksgiving 1995, he found out that he was going to make $10M for Dumb and Dumber. I have to depart my consciousness to appreciate that movie’s humor but it made a helluva lot of money so what do I know?
What do you have to lose in having faith that your 100% effort will produce results?
FAITH OVER FEAR!