24 September 2017
In life we need to know where we are going and a goal give us a good, old-fashioned map. A goal is a point on the horizon to aim for.
It’s the single most important thing in creating success in every area of your life.
Former Marine Earl Nightingale inspired a lot of the teachings shared by famous life coach Tony Robbins. Earl had a life-changing experience as one of only around 15 Marines to survive when the USS Arizona sank during the attack on Pearl Harbour. Thousands of others died that day.
When you survive an extraordinary event it does give you a different perspective on life. Just like when I survived my avalanche.
In his teachings, Earl describes how your mind works and that ultimately every single thing starts with a single thought. A thought is like a seed. From the clothes you’re wearing, to the partner you marry, to reading this blog.
But these seeds need planting!
You need a big family of goals
Goal setting shouldn’t be once a year on New Year’s Eve. These New Year’s resolutions are often just short -term goals to buy a car, to lose weight or the like. You need a big family of goals; you need the Everests and the Snowdons.
The Everests are the goals that are so big you can’t even see them anywhere in the future! They’re massive. They’re the ultimate dream goal that will likely take years to achieve and you might never even make it.
The Snowdons are the smaller goals. These are the goals to tick off the list on the way to the top of Everest, and these are where you see progress.
It would be an extraordinary challenge to stay motivated if you only had one Everest goal. Having these smaller goals to check off is far more inspiring than just having one massive goal that you’re constantly striving towards.
Ultimately though, there is no God-given right that you will achieve everything on your list. That’s why it is essential to have these huge Everests; to dream as big as you can, to push yourself as far as you can.
We all know what we can achieve and we have a habit of sticking within that. I know that we all set goals that we know we will smash, and the goals above that level are where we start to doubt ourselves. We create these shelves of what we think we can achieve on the first level. Then, we could maybe achieve a couple of the goals on the next level up but then we think we can’t hit the ones above that. Why?
Why not dream big like kids?
Look at the greatest thing you could hope to achieve, not what you think you can achieve! Kids are the best at goal setting. They want to be astronauts, princesses, have a pet elephant, and a boat and five swimming pools!
It’s absolutely imperative that we carry on goal setting and dreaming as adults. We’re awesome at goal setting as children. Then, as we grow up, we create these ‘limiting beliefs’ and we limit our own potential. Our parents are guilty of it too; they stop us being too ambitious so that we’re not disappointed. It’s natural that they want to protect us, but you want to be ambitious throughout every stage of your life.
When you set a goal, you need to know why you want to achieve that goal. Kids rarely say they want to be an astronaut because they want to earn loads of money. They set that goal because they love space and aliens! Find something that you’re passionate about and even when the times get tough, you will still push on towards that ultimate aim.
Check your progress
We have to take the time not only to set goals but to stop and look back at them. Look at where you are on that map, celebrate and reward yourselves. Life can be tough and there are going to be challenges, so pat yourself on the back when you deserve it.
The first time that Gail and I set goals was in 2000 and we had been in business for just a few months. We were in America, in Vermont, and it was gloriously snowy. We sat down by the fire and scribbled a list of everything that we had achieved together so far. The list was tiny but we were so proud of how far we’d come already. It was the beginning of this great business, of something really special.
Every single thing in this business has come from a goal. The size of the team, the office we’re in, the clients we’re proud to serve; they have all come from the seed of a single thought which we’ve nurtured and grown into what it is today.
It’s easy for you to start on that path too. Take out a notebook and pencil, find a quiet corner of the world and write down what you want to achieve.