How to hit your goals
You set annual goals in all the key areas of your life. You constantly read on-line tips about new ways to achieve your goals. You make sure you’re doing things properly to succeed. Then why is it still a battle to hit those goals?
1) We are definitely the sum total of all our thoughts and habits. William Allen said many years ago, “Our thoughts make us.” Dale Carnegie coached millions of people around the world to focus on what they are becoming, rather than just concentrate on their circumstances. In other words, our habits are what shape us. We need to practice and build skills and attitudes that make us deserving of achieving our goals.
The most important key to a better future is you. It’s an inside job. If you want a better than average income or business, become a better than average authority and/or businessperson. Become someone who has a better than average way with people, a bright smile, a strong handshake, top-notch communications skills, enthusiasm, and confidence. Be someone who practices opportunity-thinking and attitude control, and a person who learns finances and business. As Jim Rohn reminded us, “Work harder on yourself than on your job.”
Many of us suffer excess weight around the belly and hips because of an overabundance of unhealthy food and drink in our diet. We also suffer from consuming an overabundance of unhealthy information from television, radio, the print media, as well as our smartphones and iPads. All of this makes many people intellectually unhealthy. Be smart, and feed your brain only from the best sources of information. Ignore the trash, and watch the improvements to your attitude and your thinking.
The difference between you and others who will not be as successful is that you are constantly working on improving yourself and your business. You take programs that require you to practice until your habits improve. You read and listen to only the best. On a flight yesterday, I noticed that the first-class passengers weren’t reading check-out trash – they had the Wall Street Journal and similar material open. That should be a clue to others.
Many people just stop growing. They get through university and think they’ve studied enough and deserve success, only to find out that life isn’t a study session. It’s real-time action, choices, decisions and behaviours. Education may get you a job and in the game, but your success philosophy, skills, and behaviour are what actually create your success. In many ways, this might not seem fair. When do you ever get to just soak in life and enjoy it all?
The answer is, you can have it all, but getting there requires achieving some goals, and they just don’t magically accomplish themselves. Even personal life-goals like travel, health, financial, social, spiritual and recreational objectives need clear, simple actions that take you there.
2) Successful people do the things that others know they should be doing, but don’t get around to doing. For every action there is a subsequent learning and next action. Those who succeed learn and keep advancing. You can plan and plan, but those who win pull the trigger and act despite any preconceived worries and concerns. If there wasn’t some risk to be had and learning to be done, you would have achieved your goals already.
That is the game. Think, plan, act – despite possible risks. In today’s world, I hear too many excuses, too much worrying, and placing of too much blame. It’s as if we shouldn’t even try or, at least stay determined, focused and persevere. How spoiled, cynical and even downright negative can some people get? It would be great if we all were in the perfect organization with the perfect offering to the markets, with the best engaged team, great management and leadership, and with tons of resources to spend but, the truth is, that isn’t reality for most of us. It may never be that way. You make the life you deserve in spite of the circumstances. You deserve the life you create from your actions, not your worries. As a new pup in business I copied the actions of my mentors until my own learning piled up, became an essential part of who I was and what I did, and I became me, the person I wanted to be. Who are we taking mentoring from today? Are we done learning? I don’t think so.
When you hear yourself say, “We should _______”, in some sort of vague complaint, correct yourself and say, “I should ______.” Always work on you and your actions. It’s your only doorway to possibilities and it’s what gives you the power to change whatever needs changing.
When you hear complaints and criticisms without a vision or a statement of what is wanted instead, remind yourself and say, “What do we want?” Grumbling and blaming are useless unless they present a contrasting reality to what is wanted; the best thing to do is state out loud what you want.
Tell yourself, it is possible. (No one attempts to do things they think are impossible). It doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, but it does open up your mind to what is possible instead of remaining in an automatic restraint grounded in the past.
Then ask what is missing that if it were present, would make achieving your goals possible. This question can be magical.
Formulate your answer this way: “Who do I need to be to make that missing ingredient present? What do I need to learn to achieve the desired result? What skills do I need in order to be the person who elegantly makes it all happen?”
Remember, always stay in a success state of mind. Don’t let junk information in. We engage their customer’s by conducting listening meetings to get at all the data.
We research what’s happening not only to their customers but, to their client’s customer. What is the underlying structure here? What are they troubled or challenged with? What would help them change their lives – help them move forward? After the meeting we connect the dots, determine opportunities, possibly change the offering and story and get into action. This is where the innovation comes in to play. This took some time, but compared to the cost of treading water, it’s quick and cheap.
Now I realize only so well that business and the jobs we’re in are driven by routine tasks with short term deadlines. So many client teams were not that interested initially in doing that kind of thinking. Imagine the founders of the sacred cows, the political pressures and the creators of that year’s business plan all being upset with the findings that were discovered. Because of all that and limited time, so many just want better short-term operational ‘how to’s’ that will magically improve their lives now. “Can’t you just teach us how to sell or communicate better to our customers this morning?” “Why do we have to go through all this disruptive process?” “Uh, how will that help us sell our CD’s!”
So why am I talking about connecting the dots today? Well, as much as I realize few want to peel the onion and more just unknowingly give opinions or spew concepts without facts and ignore connecting the dots to a bigger picture of what’s going on, I see that those who do put 2% to 10% of their time to actually thinking and aligning with others who do, are the learners. They are the opportunist. They are the winners today. This is not just for Silicon Valley.
Well, free markets accompanied by free trade make us richer by economizing on the amount of knowledge or information we needed to produce things. Just imagine the amount of knowledge we would need just to produce our own breakfast. How would we know about pork, raising pigs, producing wheat, almond milk, chicken feeding, protecting and raising chickens just to get eggs? How to grow and process coffee, etc? How costly a breakfast that would be? Therefore, aligning with others knowledge and realizing their outputs make sense.
Let’s act on our curiosity more. When you hear off-the-top stuff, go find out, especially as it relates to your customers and team. It’s amazing how Mr. Google has taught so many of us to dig deeper about so many things. Now let’s connect the dots from what we learn. It usually takes a team to do so. Go find one in your industry and company. Your career and business will advance.
Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
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