When you are a self-improvement blogger, researching and writing about all the ways one can raise the quality of one’s life, people hound you with all sorts of questions.
These queries range from short and simple ” How can I become more productive“, to really complex heavy hitters such as ” How do I increase my luck?”
Yes, you heard me right.
Among all the other questions though, the one which I tend to get a lot is this – “What is the simplest way to achieve my goals?”
People always want to know the big secret, the answer they have always been looking for – how to make their dreams a reality.
I have faced that question more times than I care to admit, and honestly, it’s a tiresome job to explain that to everybody.
Therefore, I write this article as an elaborate answer to the question.
So the next time somebody walks up to me and says- “Hey, you self-help fellow, tell me the easiest way to accomplish my goals“, I am simply going to point him to this article.
Problem solved. Next question please.
Here is a simple three-step formula to achieve more than you would ever want out of life-
First: Set The Bar Super High
Second: Jump Higher
Although what I said may sound abstract or even philosophical, but it’s an analogy I use that perfectly sums up the goals and their achievements.
I am going to discuss all the three steps, in detail, so that you completely understand what I mean.
But before I explain those points to you, there is a pre-requisite that needs to be taken care of.
If you skip this part, none of the things that I talk about later in the article is going to make sense.
The requirement Iam hinting at is to…
HAVE A GOAL
This is a no-brainer.
I have talked endlessly about how it is absolutely important to have a fixed and definite goal.
Having a goal is the beginning of achieving it.
I mean, think about it- how are you going to accomplish something that doesn’t even exist?
You cannot. Anybody with a piece of brain could tell you that.
So the foremost thing that you need to have is a mission statement. It could be anything- being the best chef in your city, getting insanely rich, being a better athlete, or even becoming a world-class artist.
The only vital thing is to actually have a goal that you can work on. In order to make a goal definite to yourself, you must write it down.
Don’t be a retard. Don’t be a slob. Pick up a pen and a piece of paper and actually ink out your goal.
Writing your goals down on a piece of paper has a subconscious effect on you. It distills your thoughts into solid state, and help you achieve more of your goals, quicker and with greater efficiency.
Don’t believe me? Well check this out:
Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University did a research about the benefits of writing your goals down, as opposed to just thinking about them.
She gathered 267 people from all walks of life- professors, doctors, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and students, and divided them into two different groups.
The first group was told to write their goals down regularly in their journals, while other group received no such instructions.
She found out that the group that had people jotting their goals down, achieved more than the people in the other group- the ones who did not commit their dreams on paper.
In fact, the odds of you achieving your goals go as much as 42% higher just by writing them down, she concluded.
If that study doesn’t motivate you to put your goals on paper consistently, then nothing else will.
Your dreams, whatever they may be, take the form of goals when you put them into words, not when you think about them
If it’s not written down, it’s not a goal. Period.
Okay so with the pre-requisite covered, let us move on to the three step formula for the accomplishment of your dreams.
As a reminder, here it is again:
- Set The Bar Super High
- Jump Higher
Let us explore each step thoroughly:
Set The Bar Super High
The analogy of setting the bar higher occurred to me when I recently visited a gymnasium, and saw the athletes training for the ‘high-jump’ competition.
High-Jump, if you don’t know, is a sports event in which athletes have to leap over a horizontal bar placed at measured heights, without dislodging it.
The coach, a middle-aged man, was repeatedly telling the athletes to raise their bars higher, so they will make efforts to make higher jumps.
He gathered all the athletes and told them:
“You can set the bar low, and keep hopping over it all you want, but bear in mind that doing so will not improve you in any way.“
“In order to get better…” he added, “set the bar super high and give all your strength to get over it. That is how you do it. That is how you get prepared to compete in the Olympics.“
Let me ask you a question now: When I told you to write your goal down, did you set the bar high, or kept it low?
Most people keep their bars low, and therefore don’t achieve anything significant in their lives.
In order to get ahead in the game, set the bar higher than everybody else. Set the bar high to the level where you actually begin to doubt if you would be able to achieve it.
When you set the goal too high, only then are you prepared mentally for the amount of work and effort it’s going to take to reach to your desired objective.
Setting the mark low makes it possible to accomplish your objectives, yes, but it also keeps you in mediocrity.
You never find out what you are capable of until you raise your goals to the all new level.
Don’t cut yourself short. Aim higher!
You think you can achieve that?
Aim even higher!
There is no fun, excitement or thrill in chasing a goal you know you will conquer.
I derive pleasure and excitement from setting my goals extremely high. I thrive on the tension of uncertainty about my targets.
Does that make me a perfectionist?
Maybe. But I really do like where I end up, and I have come a long way.
Had I always set the goals ‘achievable‘, I would still be near the bottom.
When you chase your super high goal, you become obsessed about achieving it. You get so engrossed into it that nothing else matters. Let me assure you that this is a very good place to be in.
People say love is the strongest emotion you could ever feel.
Wrong! Furking wrong!
I have been in love three times in my life up until now, but nothing comes close to the excitement I feel when going after my goal with everything I got.
The euphoria I feel when I achieve my goal, feels like it’s going to blow me up. And not to mention the dose of self-confidence I get from achieving my perceived ‘unattainable’ goal.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you
become by achieving them.”
-Henry David Thoreau
I also experience a host of side-benefits, which were not intended in the first place:
I don’t get frustrated anymore over trivial matters.
I don’t get upset when somebody says that I am selfish.
I have become a more carefree person
I have gained a lot of self-esteem
I am a happier person than my buddies who either don’t have any goals, or they set them too low that they achieve it without any major difficulty.
Where’s fun in that?
I have a chart paper glued to the wall on the side of my bed. I write my ‘unachievable’ goal on it along with the steps to achieve it. I have been doing this for almost two years now and it works like miracle. I never lose track of my aims this way.
[You can learn the method I am talking about right here: Seven killer tips to stay motivated.]
It gives me immense pleasure when I accomplish the goal written on it, and proceed to tear the chart down from the wall.
It’s like the wall of Berlin, falling.
I tear the damn chart down like a maniac, and burn it to ashes. It’s a relish to see a goal of mine, achieved and done with, which I once considered mission impossible.
Do I always reach to the unachievable goal that I set myself for?
Not everytime, of course.
But I always end up in a better position than I would have been in, had I set the goals too low.
Most people don’t really realize their dreams not because they lack abilities required to fulfill them, but because they sell themselves too short.
Your goals, whatever they are, should instill doubts in you. They should sound crazy, almost unbelievable to you.
You want to break free of the self imposed beliefs you have about yourself.
When I tell one of my goals to my friends, they look at me like I am nuts. That’s when I know I have an objective worth shooting for.
Navy SEALS of America have this rule- whenever you think you have given your best, you only did 40 percent of what you are actually capable of.
The trainers force the soldiers to push themselves beyond what they think they can do, because the reality is, what you think you can do and what you can actually do, are two totally different universe.
The reason I trounce everybody else is that I expect only the best from myself.
It’s when you reach to the position at the apex, you say to yourself- “Whoa! I am really capable of doing everything I want! I didn’t know that!“
Remember that doing anything huge is a big deal until you do it- After which it becomes ‘just another thing’.
It’s a big deal until you do it.
You are capable of doing anything and everything you desire. There are only mental roadblocks to it.
What is your goal right now? Do you think you can achieve it?
If the answer is yes, it’s time you raise the goal higher.
You either go big or get lost. There are no in-betweens.
Have a little faith in yourself and try not to underestimate your potential. Remember, only you limit yourselves.
How do people make a hundred or a thousand times what you make if they can’t have a hundred or a thousand times our IQ? How? I will tell you how!
Because they dream bigger than you.
Their expectations are higher than yours. That’s how. I’m often asked, if I had my life to live over again what would I change. I’d only change one thing. I’d set my goals higher. That’s right. With all my mega-success, I’d still set my goals higher.”
-Dan Peña ( estimated worth- $50 billion)
Here you go, another one from Richard Branson ( founder of the Virgin Group of companies ) :
My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.
The world is full of average performers, and you must find a way to stand out from the crowd.
Set yourself free of your limits.
The only way to do that is by setting higher, ‘unachievable’ goals for yourself.
If you are enjoying reading the article, consider sharing it on any one of the provided social media platforms. Let others take inspiration from it, too
Remember the story I told you about the athletes I saw at the gym?
Raising their bars higher was only the first part. Jumping over the bar without dislodging it, is the remaining and more important portion.
In this article, it translate into : Work harder than your set goals require.
You must put in more work than you estimate your set goals require.
Oops…you thought you set the goal higher and boom! You achieve it.
Believe me, you have no idea about the amount of effort it takes to reach your goal.
Your calculations are only rough guesses, and they come no where close to the actual work you need to put in to achieve your dreams.
It’s better that you start putting in more hours into accomplishing the defined goals, and yes, that does mean more sacrifice of your favorite TV show, more busy time and even more stress because you can’t have it all at once.
Don’t get mad, I didn’t say the formula was easy. I said it is a simple one.
Learn to love the hard work because if you lack the work ethic, then you are shit out of luck.
I work when my buddies sleep and goof around.
The time for fun and games is over.
It’s time to take serious actions and store order in your life. The unhappiness you feel now when putting more hours into creating a better future, will pay off big time.
You cannot really evade from working hard if you wish to be more than average.
It is a fact that an above average person works harder and smarter than the average person. Therefore, you must integrate hard-work into your life with reverence.
It’s not too tough a job either.
You just have to keep working, a little bit every day, until you create a momentum after which you will become unstoppable. Working hard will become your second nature, and in the process you will surpass your goals.
The Law Of Inertia, by Sir Issac Newton is very applicable here.
In case you have forgot the rule, here it is:
“A body continues to be in a state of motion or rest until external force is applied on it.”
Your body has accustomed itself to the inertia of rest, and will continue to be the same…until you apply some force and change its natural state to motion – to work hard.
When reached a certain level by continuously exerting it to work more, your body will soon acquire the inertia of motion and will remain in the zone, effortlessly.
Force yourself to indulge in some real work, until working hard becomes your default habit.
Mark Cuban, the billionaire American businessman and investor once quoted:
I still work hard to know my business. I’m continuously looking for ways to improve all my companies, and I’m always selling. ALWAYS!
He is a damn billionaire and still works his fuckin’ ass off.
What about you?
I am also a huge fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
An Austrian by origin, he immigrated to the USA and became the world’s greatest body builder, fulfilled his dream of becoming the highest paid actor in Hollywood ( even when he couldn’t speak English properly ), and later went on to become the governor of california.
This guy is the epitome of success.
When asked about the secret to the massive success he acquired in his life, he replied:
…when you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard. Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that. Now, if you want to coast through life, don’t pay attention to any of those rules. But if you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work.
Stagnating is the worst crime one could ever commit to oneself.
Once your seemingly insurmountable goal is achieved, you must set an even higher goal for yourself.
This is how you progress.
You keep setting loftier goals and you keep going. When you stop setting goals and conquering them, you start degrading.
Sharks that do not swim, drown.
You want to rest?
Rest is all you would have when you are six feet under the ground. Nobody would disturb you when you will rest in peace.
But right now, get off your fuckin’ ass and get to work. A lot has to be done if you think about it.
Make it your habit to always out-perform YOURSELF. Your rivals don’ matter. They are not in the picture.
You are your competition.
Look in the mirror. The person staring back at you is the one you must strive to defeat, constantly.
The two rules I live by are:
1) Iam the best at everything I do; and
2) I always supersede myself.
Life is about getting better. Improving. Evolving.
It is about winning and dominating.
People often say something along the lines of: “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. What matters is that you showed up.”
For me winning is everything. It’s not the only thing, it’s EVERYTHING!
Being average is the cry of the losers. Become greatest. Become a predator and prey on the weak.
I have done my job for today – light a fire under your ass. Now it is your turn. Put the fuckin’ phone down and get to work. Because it is either you at the top or the guy next to you. Remember you are either a predator or the prey. Choose your side.
Until Next Time,