November 3, 2008 Peter

How to Fail, How to Succeed (Pt.2)

Last week I wrote about the differences between those who fail and those who succeed: How to Fail, How to Succeed (Pt1). More times than not, we can all find ourselves a little “wanting” when it comes to living the successful life. Also, I wanted to get away from the the classical idea of what success was pertaining to status among coworkers verses your reputation among your family and loved ones. I wrote about this in Meaningful Goals, Meaningful Priorities, and a Meaningful Life. Go ahead and take a read of it. Part 1 was about identifying what  some of the characteristics were between those who who tend to succeed and those who tend to fail. But what is the point of identifying the problem if you don’t give a solution to that problem? So this is about getting yourself where you want to be, aka, on the successful track.

Success is when you accomplish and intended purpose or a goal. If you want to make 500,000.00 within the next 10 years then you will be successful in that goal when you have 500,000.00 in your pocket. If you want to have an intimate relationship with your spouse then you will be successful when you have reached the point you feel that your heart’s beat as one. Far too often we know what we want but we don’t know how we are going to get it. As a result, we try multiple ways of attaining it but more times than not we find ourselves wondering what went wrong.

Characteristics of a goal.

  1. Goals can be anything you want them to be:
  2. Goals must be realistic.
  3. Definite and without interpretation
  4. Write your goal down and memorize it.
  5. Create an advisory board
  6. What you are going to give in return so that you will reach your goal?
  7. What is your definite plan to reach your goal.

I am going to touch on 1-3 today!!!

1. Goals can be anything you want them to be:

You’ve heard the standard motivational question: What would you do right know if money were not a consideration. This is a good question but the flaw of it is that it tends to focus on the luxuries of life and vacation type ideas. A little more poignant question is: what would you do if you knew you couldn’t and wouldn’t fail? This question engenders ideas of what you would like to be known for and things that are greater than yourself. You see, it is not a lack of desire that keeps us from these goals but the idea that we may fail if we attempt to attain them. Remember it is the successful person who does what the failure decides not to do.

So what would you do? Do you want to create meaningful relationships? Do you want to make enough money in order to say home with your family and not have your children work around your 9-5 schedule to spend time with you.

2. Goals must be Realistic

Now I know that you pessimists are going to raise a little cain because you think that this is contradictory to number one. Well, it’s not. Here’s why. If you want to be a doctor, you can. However, it would be an unrealistic goal to say that you are going to be a doctor (without any formal training or education) within four years from Harvard (while your SAT scores are in the tank). This isn’t going to happen.

However, you could say that you are going to a community college to get my GPA up and earn the grades and respect from the professors so that when you transfer they will give me a raving recommendations. In addition, you cannot expect your spouse to make a 180 degree change from the emotional distance you caused from the history of emotional and/or physical abuse overnight. You are going to have to earn back the trust and commit to the fact that although you may change he/she may not change.  No matter what that person does the question is, Are you going to commit to that goal, no matter what?

3. Goals must be Definitive

It is not enough to say that you have a goal and that is one that you can realistically attain. It must be definitive and without interpretation. In short, in must be concise and to the point. For example, it is not enough to say that you are going to be rich someday but that you are going to have 500,000.00 in the back by so and so date. Far too many people define goal as: I am going to be rich someday and buy myself a yacht. This will never do because someday never comes and the word rich may only depend on what a politician will determine. As far as what a yacht is, that could be anything. Give me a dingy and I’ll call it a yacht.

You must determine a date you are going to attine and succeed in reaching this goal. Dad, if your goal is to reconect with your daughter then you can say that you want her to know that you are sorry for how you have treated her and that you are going to have a meaningful conversation with her within 6 months. Well, the apologizing part can be handled right now. The conversational part is going to take time but you now have established where you are going.

Note of Consideration:

Even though your perception, feelings, emotions, or thoughts may change, create doubt, or beat you down, your goals cannot change. Your Goal is your beacon in the dark cold night that does not bow to the elements but stands tall for all the world to see; for you to see. Your goal is your guide. Nurture it, for it always will guide you home.

Is there anything else you think you would add to this list?

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