How to Get Everything You Want –
Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible
By Brian Tracy
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Determine Your True Goals
Decide Upon Your Major Definite Purpose
Conclusion: Take Action Today
To Rick Metcalf, a good friend, a great American, an extraordinary entrepreneur,
one of the best salesmen who ever lived, and an inspiration to everyone who knew him.
I only wish you could be here to read this book. You left us all too soon.
This book is for ambitious people who want to get ahead faster. If this is the way you think and feel, you are the person for whom this book is written. The ideas contained in the pages ahead will save you years of hard work in achieving the goals that are most important to you.
I have spoken more than 2000 times before audiences of as many as 23,000 people, in 24 countries. My seminars and talks have varied in length from five minutes to five days. In every case, I have focused on sharing the best ideas I could find on the particular subject with that audience at that moment. After countless talks on various themes, if I was only given five minutes to speak to you, and I could only convey one thought that would help you to be more successful, I would tell you to “write down your goals, make plans to achieve them, and work on your plans every single day.”
This advice, if you followed it, would be of more help to you than anything else you could ever learn. Many university graduates have told me that this simple concept has been more valuable to them than four years of study. This idea has changed my life, and the lives of millions of other people. It will change yours as well.
The Turning Point
A group of successful men got together in Chicago some time ago, talking about the experiences of their lives. All of them were millionaires and multi-millionaires. Like most successful people, they were both humble and grateful for what they had achieved, and for the blessings that life had bestowed upon them. As they discussed the reasons why they had managed to achieve so much in life, the wisest man among them spoke up and said that, in his estimate, “success is goals, and all else is commentary.”
Your time and your life are precious. The biggest waste of time and life is for you to spend years accomplishing something that you could have achieved in only a few months. By following the practical, proven process of goal setting and goal achieving laid out in this book, you will be able to accomplish vastly more in a shorter period of time than you have ever imagined before. The speed at which you move onward and upward will amaze both yourself and all the people around you. By following these simple and easy-to-apply methods and techniques, you can move quickly from rags to riches in the months and years ahead. You can transform your experience from poverty and frustration to affluence and satisfaction. You can go far beyond your friends and family and achieve more in life than most other people you know.
In my talks, seminars and consulting, I have worked with more than two million people all around the world. I have found, over and over, that an average person with clear goals will run circles around a genius who is not sure what he or she really wants.
My personal mission statement has not changed in years. It is: “To help people achieve their goals faster than they ever would in the absence of my help.”
This book contains the distilled essence of all that I have learned in the areas of success, achievement and goal attainment. By following the steps explained in the pages ahead, you will move to the front of the line in life. For my children, this book is meant to be a road map and a guide to help you get from wherever you are to wherever you want to go. For my friends and readers of this book, my reason for writing it is to give you a proven system that you can use to move onto the fast track in your own life.
Welcome! A great new adventure is about to begin.
This is a wonderful time to be alive. There have never been more opportunities for creative and determined people to achieve more of their goals than they can today. Regardless of short-term ups and downs in the economy and in your life, we are entering into an age of peace and prosperity superior to any previous era in human history.
In the year 1900, there were five thousand millionaires in America. By the year 2000, there were more than five million, most of them selfmade, in one generation. Experts predict that there will be another ten to twenty million millionaires created in the next two decades. Your goal should be to become one of them. This book will show you how.
A Slow Start
When I was 18, I left high school without graduating. My first job was as a dishwasher in the back of a small hotel. From there, I moved on to washing cars, and then washing floors with a janitorial service. For the next few years, I drifted and worked at various laboring jobs, earning my living by the sweat of my brow. I worked in sawmills and factories. I worked on farms and ranches. I worked in the tall timber with a chain saw and dug wells when the logging season ended.
I worked as a construction laborer on tall buildings, and as a seaman on a Norwegian Freighter in the North Atlantic. Often I slept in my car, or in cheap rooming houses. When I was 23, I was working as an itinerant farm laborer during the harvest, sleeping on the hay in the barn and eating with the farmer’s family. I was uneducated, unskilled, and at the end of the harvest, unemployed once more.
When I could no longer find a laboring job, I got a job in straight commission sales, cold calling from office-to-office and from door-todoor. I would often work all day long to make a single sale so that I could pay for my rooming house and have a place to sleep that night. This was not a great start at life.
The Day My Life Changed
Then one day, I took out a piece of paper and wrote down an outrageous goal for myself. It was to earn $1,000 per month in doorto-door and office-to-office selling. I folded up the piece of paper, put it away and never found it again.
But 30 days later, my entire life had changed. During that time, I discovered a technique for closing sales that tripled my income from the very first day. Meanwhile, the owner of my company sold out to an entrepreneur who had just moved into town. Exactly thirty days after I had written down my goal, he took me aside and offered me $1,000 per month to head up the sales force and teach the other people what it was that I was doing that enabled me to be selling so much more than anyone else. I accepted his offer and from that day forward, my life was never the same.
Within eighteen months, I had moved from that job to another, and then to another. I went from personal selling to becoming a sales manager with people selling for me. I recruited and built a 95 person sales force. I went literally from worrying about my next meal to walking around with a pocket full of $20 dollar bills.
I began teaching my salespeople how to write out their goals, and how to sell more effectively. In almost no time at all, they doubled and tripled and increased their incomes as much as ten times. Many of them are today millionaires and multi-millionaires.
It’s important to note that, since those days in my mid-20s, my life has not been a smooth series of upward steps. It has included many ups and downs, marked by occasional successes and temporary failures. I have traveled, lived and worked in more than 80 countries, learning French, German and Spanish along the way, and working in 22 different fields.
As the result of inexperience, and sometimes sheer stupidity, I have spent or lost everything I made and had to start over again - several times. In every case when this happened, I would begin by sitting down with a piece of paper and laying out a new set of goals for myself, using the methods that I’ll explain in the pages ahead.
After several years of hit and miss goal setting and goal achieving, I finally decided to collect everything I had learned into a single system. By assembling these ideas and strategies in one place, I
developed a goal setting methodology and process, with a beginning, middle and end, and began to follow it every day.
Within one year, following this blueprint for goal achieving, my life had changed once more. In January of that year, I was living in a rented apartment with rented furniture. I was $35,000 in debt and driving a used car that wasn’t paid for. By December, I was living in my own $100,000 condominium. I had a new Mercedes, had paid off all my debts and I had $50,000 in the bank.
Then I really got serious about success. I realized that this “goal setting” stuff was incredibly powerful. I invested hundreds and then thousands of hours reading and researching on goal setting and goal achieving, synthesizing the best ideas I could find into a complete goal setting and achieving process that worked with incredible effectiveness.
Anyone Can Do It
In 1981, I began teaching my system in workshops and seminars that have now reached more than two million people in 35 countries. I began audiotaping and video taping my courses so that others could use them. We have now trained hundreds of thousands of people in these principles, in multiple languages, all over the world.
What I found was that these ideas work everywhere, for everyone, in virtually every country, no matter what your education, experience or background may be when you begin.
Most of all, these ideas have made it possible for me, and many thousands of others, to take complete control over our lives. The regular and systematic practice of goal setting has taken us from poverty to prosperity, from frustration to fulfillment, from underachievement to success and satisfaction. This system will do the same for you.
What I learned early on is that any plan is better than no plan at all. And it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel. All the answers have already been found. There are hundreds of thousands, and even millions of men and women who have started with nothing and achieved great success following these principles. And what others have done, you can do as well, if you just learn how.
In the pages ahead, you will learn twenty-one of the most important ideas and strategies ever discovered for achieving everything that you could ever want in life. You will find that there are no limits to what you can accomplish except for the limits you place on your own imagination. And since there are no limits to what you can imagine, there are no limits to what you can achieve. This is one of the greatest discoveries of all. Let us begin.
“A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step. Confucius
Determine Your True Goals
“Realize what you really want.
It stops you from chasing butterflies and puts you to work digging gold.”
William Moulton Marsden
My favorite word in goal setting, and in success in general, is the word “Clarity.” There is a direct relationship between the level of clarity you have about who you are and what you want, and virtually everything you accomplish in life.
Superior men and women invest the time necessary to develop absolute clarity about themselves and what they really want, like designing a detailed blueprint for a building, before they begin construction. Average people just throw themselves at life, like a dog chasing a passing car, and wonder why they never seem to catch anything, or keep anything worthwhile.
Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “Have you built your castles in the air? Good. That is where they should be built. Now, go to work and build foundations under them.”
In this chapter, you begin to crystallize your visions and values into concrete goals and objectives that you can work on, every single day.
Make Your Goals Personal
Earlier I mentioned that intense, burning desire is absolutely essential to the overcoming of obstacles and the achieving of great goals. For your desire to be intense enough, your goals must be purely personal. They must be goals that you choose for yourself, rather than goals that someone else wants for you, or that you want to achieve to please someone in your life. In goal setting, for the process to be effective, you must be perfectly selfish about what is that you really, really want for yourself.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot do things for other people, either at home or at work. This simply means that, in setting goals for your life, you start with yourself, and work forward.
The Great Question
One of the most important questions in goal setting is this: “What do I really want to do with my life?” If you could do or be or have anything at all in life, what would it be? Remember, you can’t hit a target you can’t see. You should return to this question, over and over again, in the months and years ahead. “What do I really want to do with my life?”
In determining your true goals, you start with your vision, your values and your ideals. When you begin, these will often feel a bit like fantasies, detached from reality. However, now your job is to make them concrete, like designing a dream house on paper.
Decide What You Really Want
You start with your general goals and then move to more to more specific goals:
1. What are your three most important goals in your business and career, right now? 2. What are your three most important financial goals right now? 3. What are your three most important family or relationship goals, right now? 4. What are your three most important health and fitness goals, right now?
Identify Your Major Worries
The flipside of the above questions is for you to ask, “What are my three biggest worries or concerns in life, right now?” What bothers you, worries you, concerns you, and preoccupies you, in your day-to-day life? What aggravates or irritates you? What is robbing you of happiness, more than anything else? As a friend of mine often asks, “Where does it hurt?”
Once you have identified your biggest problems, worries or concerns, ask yourself:
What are the ideal solutions to each of these problems?
How could I eliminate these problems or worries immediately?
What is the fastest and most direct way to solve this problem?”
A Great Thinking Tool
In 1142, William of Ockham, a British philosopher, proposed a method of problem solving that has come to be referred to as “Ockham’s Razor.” This way of thinking has become famous and popular throughout the ages. What Ockham said was that, “The simplest and most direct solution, requiring the fewest number of steps, is usually the correct solution to any problem.”
Many people make the mistake of over-complicating goals and problems. But the more complicated the solution, the less likely it is ever to be implemented, and the longer the time it will take to get any results. Your aim should be to simplify the solution and go directly to the goal, as quickly as possible.
Double Your Income
For example, many people tell me that they would like to double their incomes. If they are in sales, I ask them, “What is the fastest and most direct way to double your income?” After they have come up with a series of suggestions, I give them what I consider to be the best answer. “Double the amount of time that you spend face to face with qualified prospects.”
The most direct way to increase your sales has always been the same. “Spend more time with better prospects.” If you don’t upgrade your skills or change anything else about what you are doing, but you double the number of minutes that you spend face to face with prospects each day, you will probably double your sales income.
According to studies that go back as far as 1928, the average salesperson today spends 90 minutes each day face to face with prospects. The highest paid salespeople spend two or three times that amount. They organize their days efficiently to assure that they spend more minutes in the presence of people who can and will buy their products or services. And the more time they spend with prospects and customers, the more skilled they become at selling. The better they get, the more they sell and the more they earn, and in less time.
Double Your Productivity
If you examined your work, you would find that 20% of what you do accounts for 80% of the value of all the things you do. In my Advanced Coaching Programs, we teach our clients to identify those 20% of activities that contribute the very most value and then do twice as many of them.
Instead of using their intelligence to juggle their time and accomplish a greater number of tasks, we teach them to do fewer tasks, but tasks of higher value. Some of our clients double their productivity, and subsequently, their income in as little as 30 days with this approach, even if they have been working for many years in the same position.
Always look for the simplest and most direct way to get from where you are to where you want to go. Look for the solution that has the fewest number of steps. And most of all, take action! Get going. Get busy. Develop a “sense of urgency.” The best ideas in the world are of no value until they are implemented. As the poet said, “The saddest words of mice and men are these: it might have been.”
Wave A Magic Wand
In determining your true goals, use the “Magic Wand” technique. Imagine that you have a magic wand that you can wave over a particular area of your life. When you wave this magic wand, your wishes come true!
Wave a magic wand over your business and career. If you could have any three wishes in your work, what would they be? Wave a magic wand over your financial life. If you could have any three wishes in your financial life, what would they be?
Wave a magic wand over your family life and your relationships. If you could have any three wishes in this area, what would they be? If your family life were ideal in every respect, what would it look like?
Wave a magic wand over your health and fitness. If you could have any three wishes with regard to your body and your physical wellbeing, what would they be? If your health were perfect, how would it be different from today? Wave a magic wand over your skills and abilities. If you could have any three skills or abilities, developed to a high level, what would they be? In what areas would you like to excel?
The magic wand technique is fun on the one hand, but quite revealing on the other. Whenever you imagine that you have a magic wand, your true goals in that area emerge. You can also use this exercise for other people who are not sure about what they want or where they are going. It is amazing what comes out when you ask this question.
Six Months To Live
Here is another goal setting question that reflects your true values. Imagine that you went to a doctor for a full medical check-up. Your doctor calls you back a few days later and says, “I have good news for you and I have bad news for you. The good news is that, for the next six months, you are going to live the healthiest and most energetic life you could possibly imagine. The bad news is that, at the end of 180 days, because of an incurable illness, you will drop stone dead.”
If you learned today that you only had six months left to live, how would you spend your last six months on earth? Who would you spend the time with? Where would you go? What would you strive to complete? What would you do more of, or less of?
When you ask yourself this question, what comes to the top of your mind will be a reflection of your true values. Your answer would almost always include the most important people in your life. Very few people in this situation would say, “Well, I’d like to get back to the office and return a few phone calls.”
Make Up Your Dream List
In setting your true goals as an extension of imagining that you have no limitations, make up a “Dream List.” A dream list is a list of everything you would like to be, have or do in your life, sometime in the future, if you had no limitations at all.
Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of Chicken Soup For the Soul, recommends that you sit down with a pad of paper and make a list of at least 100 goals that you want to accomplish in your lifetime. Then imagine that you have all the time, all the money, all the friends, all the abilities and all the resources necessary to achieve these goals. Let yourself dream and fantasize. Just write down everything that you would like to have as if you had no limitations at all.
The amazing discovery you will make is that, within 30 days after writing out this list of 100 “Dreams,” remarkable things will begin to happen in your life, and your goals will start to be achieved, at a rate that you cannot even imagine today. This seems to happen to virtually once they have written down at least 100 goals. You should give it a try. You could be amazed at the results.
The Instant Millionaire
Here is another goal setting question; “If you won a million dollars tomorrow, cash, tax free, how would you change your life?” What would you do differently? What would you get into or out of? What would you do more of or less of? What would be the first thing you would do if you learned today that you had just received one million dollars cash?
This is a way of asking the question, “How would you change your life if you were completely free to choose? The primary reason that we stay in situations that are not the best for us is because we fear change. But when you imagine that you have all the money that you will ever need, to do or be whatever you want, your true goals often emerge.
For example, if you were currently in the wrong job for you, the idea of winning a large amount of money would cause you to think about quitting that job immediately. If you were in the right job for you however, winning a lot of money would not affect your career choice at all. So ask yourself, “What would I do if I won a million dollars cash, tax free, tomorrow?”
No Fear Of Failure
Here is another question to help you clarify your true goals: What have you always wanted to do but been afraid to attempt? When you look around your world, and you look at other people who are doing things that you admire, what have you always wanted to do as well, but you have been afraid of taking the chance? Have you wanted to start your own business? Have you wanted to run for public office? Have you wanted to embark on a new career? What have you always wanted to do but been afraid to attempt?
Do What You Love To Do
In setting goals for your life, short and long-term, you should continually ask yourself, “What do I most enjoy doing, in each area of my life?” For instance, if you could do just one thing all day long in your work, what would it be? If you could do any job or full time activity all the time, without pay, what would it be? What sort of work or activity gives you the greatest joy and satisfaction?
The psychologist Abraham Maslow identified what he called “peak experiences,” those moments or times when the individual feels the happiest, most elated and exhilarated. One of your aims in life is to enjoy as many peak experiences as possible. You achieve this by thinking back and identifying those moments of peak experience in your past, and by then by imagining how you could repeat them in your present and future. What have been your happiest moments in life up to now? How could you have more of those moments in the future? What do you really love to do?
Make A Difference
You should have goals for social and community involvement and contribution as well. Think about what kind a difference you would like to make in your world. What organizations, causes, needs or social problems would you like to work on or in? What changes would you like to see? Who is there who is less fortunate than you that you would like to help?
If you were independently wealthy, what causes would you support? Most of all, what could you do today to begin making a difference in your world? Don’t wait until some future date when everything will be ideal. Instead, start today in some way.
Set Clear Financial Goals
One of the most important areas of goal setting is your financial life. If you could earn and accumulate all the money you need, you could probably achieve most of your non-financial goals faster and easier than you can today.
If your life were ideal, how much money would you like to earn each month, each year? How much would you like to save and invest each month and year? How much would you like to be worth sometime in the future? What sort of estate would you like to accumulate by the time you retire, and when would you like that to be? Most people are hopelessly confused about their financial goals, but when you become absolutely clear about them for yourself, your ability to achieve them increases dramatically.
Clarity Makes Your Dreams Become Your Realities
When you are absolutely clear about what you want, you can then think about your goals, most of the time. And the more you think about them, the faster they will materialize in your life.
This process of asking yourself questions about your goals in each part of your life begins to clarify your thinking and make you a more focused and definite person. As Zig Ziglar says, “You move from being a wandering generality to becoming a meaningful specific.” Most of all, you reach the point where you can determine your major definite purpose in life. This is the springboard for great achievement and extraordinary accomplishment.
Your major definite purpose will be the topic of the next chapter, and how to achieve it will be the subject of the chapters to come.
Determine Your True Goals:
Write down your three most important goals in life right now.
What are your three most pressing problems or worries right now?
If you won a million dollars cash, tax free, tomorrow, what changes in your life would you make immediately?
What do you really love to do? What gives you the greatest feelings of value, importance and satisfaction?
If you could wave a magic wand over your life and have anything you wanted, what would you wish for?
What would you do, how would you spend your time, if you only had six months left to live?
What would you really want to do with your life, especially if you had no limitations?
Decide Upon Your Major Definite Purpose
“There is one quality which one must possess to win,
and that is definiteness of purpose,
the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”
Since you become what you think about most of the time, a major definite purpose gives you a focus for every waking moment. As Peter Drucker said, “Whenever you find something getting done, you find a monomaniac with a mission.”
The more you think about your major definite purpose, and how to achieve it, the more you activate the Law of Attraction in your life. You begin to attract to you people, opportunities, ideas and resources that help you to move more rapidly toward your goal, and move your goal more rapidly toward you.
By the Law of Correspondence, your outer world of experience will correspond and harmonize with your inner world of goals. When you have a major definite purpose that you think about, talk about and work on all the time, your outer world will reflect this, like a mirror image.
A major definite purpose also activates your subconscious mind on your behalf. Any thought, plan or goal that you can clearly define in your conscious mind, will immediately start to be brought into reality by your subconscious mind (and your superconscious mind, as we will discuss later).
Activate Your Reticular Cortex
Each person has within his or her brain a special organ called a “reticular cortex.” This small finger-like part of the brain functions in a way similar to a telephone switchboard in a large office building. Just as all phone calls are received by the central switchboard and then rerouted to the appropriate recipient, all incoming information to your senses is routed through your reticular cortex to the relevant part of your brain, or your awareness.
Your reticular cortex contains your reticular activating system. When you send a goal message to your reticular cortex, it starts to make you intensely aware of and alert to people, information and opportunities in your environment that will help you to achieve your goal.
A Red Sports Car
For example, imagine that you decided that you wanted a red sports car. You write this down as a goal. You begin to think about and visualize a red sports car. This process sends the message to your reticular cortex that a “red sports car” is now important to you. This picture immediately goes up onto your mental radar screen.
From that moment onward, you will start to notice red sports cars wherever you go. You will even see them driving and turning corners several blocks away. You will see them parked in driveways and in showrooms. Everywhere you go, your world will seem to be full of red sports cars.
If you decided to buy a motorcycle, you would start to see motorcycles everywhere. If you decided to take a trip to Hawaii, you would begin to notice posters, advertisements, brochures and television specials with information on Hawaiian vacations. Whatever goal message you send to your reticular cortex activates your reticular activating system to make you alert to all possibilities to make that goal a reality.
Achieve Financial Independence
If you decide to become financially independent, you will suddenly begin to notice all kinds of opportunities and possibilities around you that have to do with achieving your financial goals. You will see stories in newspapers and recognize books on the subject wherever you go. You will receive information and solicitations in the mail. You will find yourself in conversations about earning and investing money. It will seem as though you are surrounded by ideas and information that can be helpful to you in achieving your financial goals.
On the other hand, if you do not give clear instructions to your reticular cortex and your subconscious mind, you will go through life as though you were driving in a fog. You will be largely unaware of all these opportunities and possibilities around you. You will seldom see them or notice them.
It has been said that, “Attention is the key to life.” Wherever your attention goes, your life goes as well. When you decide upon a major definite purpose, you increase your level of attentiveness and become increasingly sensitive to anything in your environment that can help you to achieve that goal faster.
Your Major Definite Purpose
Your major definite purpose can be defined as the one goal that is the most important to you at the moment. It is usually the one goal that will help you to achieve more of your other goals than anything else you can accomplish. It must have the following characteristics:
It must be something that you personally really, really want. Your desire for this goal must be so intense that the very idea of achieving your major definite purpose excites you and makes you happy.
It must be clear and specific. You must be able to define it in words. You must be able to write it down with such clarity that a child could read it and know exactly what it is that you want, and be able to determine whether or not you have achieved it.
Your major definite purpose must be measurable and quantifiable. Rather than “make a lot of money,” it must be more like, “I earn $100,000 per year by (a specific date).”
It must be both believable and achievable. Your major definite purpose cannot be so big or so ridiculous that it is completely unattainable.
Keep Your Feet On The Ground
A woman approached me at one of my seminars and told me that she had decided upon her major definite purpose. I asked her what it was. She said, “I am going to be a millionaire in one year.”
Curiously, I asked her approximately how much she was worth today. It turned out that she was broke. I asked her what kind of work she did. It turned out that she had just been fired from her job because of incompetence. I then asked her why she would set a goal to acquire a million dollars in one year under these circumstances?
She informed me that I had said that you could set any major goal you wanted as long as you were clear, and she was therefore convinced that was all she needed to be successful. I had to explain to her that her goal was so unrealistic and unattainable in her current circumstances that it would only discourage her when she found herself so far away from it. Such a goal would actually end up demotivating her rather than motivating her to do the things she would need to be financially successful in the years ahead.
Be Honest With Yourself
A man at one of my seminars told me that his major definite purpose was “world peace.” I explained to him that, unless he was the head of a major super power, there was very little influence he could have on “world peace.” Such a goal would only keep him from setting a personal goal that was attainable, something he could work on every day. He was visibly irritated and walked away, unhappy with my reluctance to encourage him in his fantasy.
In both of these cases, they were using goal setting against themselves. They were setting themselves up for failure by creating goals that were so unachievable that they would soon become discouraged and quit making any efforts at all.
This is a real danger when you begin setting big goals for yourself, and you must be careful to avoid it. It can be a blind alley that leads you into discouragement and demotivation rather than to enthusiasm and excitement.
Don’t Sabotage Yourself
I made this mistake myself when I was younger. When I first started setting goals, I set an income goal that was ten times what I had ever earned in my life. After many months, and no progress at all, I realized that my goal was not helping me. Because it was so far beyond anything that I had ever achieved, it had no motivating power. In my heart of hearts, although I wanted it, I really did not believe it was possible. And since I did not believe it was possible, my subconscious mind rejected it and my reticular cortex simply failed to function. Don’t let this happen to you.
Your major definite purpose should have a reasonable probability of success, perhaps 50:50 when you begin. If you have never achieved a major goal before, set a goal that has an 80% or 90% probability of success. Make it easy on yourself, at least at the beginning. Later on, you can set huge goals with very small probabilities of success, and you will still be motivated to take the steps necessary to achieve them. But in the beginning, set goals that are believable, achievable and which have a high probability of success so that you can be assured of winning right from the start.
Your major definite purpose must be in harmony with your other goals. You cannot want to be financially successful in your career on the one hand, and play golf most of the time on the other. Your major goals must be in harmony with your minor goals, and congruent with your values.
The Great Question
Here is the key question for determining your major definite purpose: “What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?”
If you could be absolutely guaranteed of successfully achieving any goal, large or small, short term or long term, what one goal would it be? Whatever your answer to this question, if you can write it down, you can probably achieve it. From then on, the only question you ask is, “How?” The only real limit is how badly you want it, and how long you are willing to work toward it.
A Nobel Prize Winner
One of my seminar participants, a professor of chemistry at a leading university, had won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry two years before, in partnership with two other scientists. He told me that, when he started his university career in his twenties, he decided that he wanted to make a major contribution in the field of chemistry. That was his major definite purpose. He focused on it for more than 25 years. And eventually he was successful.
He told me, “I was clear from the very beginning. I never doubted that I would eventually make such a significant contribution to chemistry that I would win the Nobel Prize. I was happy when it happened, but it was not a surprise.”
Be Willing To Pay The Price
Everyone wants to be a millionaire, or a multi-millionaire. The only question is whether or not you are willing to do all the things necessary, and invest all the years required, to achieve that financial goal. If you are, there is virtually nothing that can stop you.
The Ten Goal Exercise
Here is an exercise for you. Take out a sheet of paper and write down a list of ten goals you would like to accomplish in the foreseeable future. Write them in the present tense, as though you had already achieved these goals. For example, you would write, “I weigh XXX pounds.” Or, “I earn XXX dollars per year.”
After you have completed your list of ten goals, go back over the list and ask yourself this question: “What one goal on this list, if I were to accomplish it immediately, would have the greatest positive impact on my life?”
In almost every case, this one goal is your major definite purpose. It is the one goal that can have the greatest impact on your life, and on the achieving of most of your other goals, at the same time.
Whatever goal you choose, write it on a separate sheet of paper. Write down everything that you can think of that you can do to achieve this goal, and then take action on at least one item on your list. Write this goal on a 3 x 5 index card that you carry around with you and review it regularly. Think about this goal morning, noon and night. Continually look for ways to achieve it. And the only question you ask is, “How?”
Think About Your Goal
Your selection of a major definite purpose, and your decision to concentrate single mindedly on that purpose, overcoming all obstacles and difficulties until it is achieved, will do more to change your life for the better than any other decision you ever make. Whatever your major definite purpose, write it down and begin working on it today.
Decide Upon Your Major Definite Purpose:
What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?
Make a list of ten goals you would like to achieve in the months and years ahead, in the present tense. Select the one goal from that list that would have the greatest positive impact on your life.
Determine how you will measure progress and success in the achieving of this goal. Write it down.
Make a list of everything you can think of to do that will move you toward your goal. Take action on at least one thing immediately.
Determine the price you will have to pay in additional work, time and commitment to achieve your goal, and then get busy paying that price.
Take Action Today
You have now learned perhaps the most comprehensive strategy for setting and achieving goals that has ever been put together in one book. By practicing these rules and principles, you can accomplish more in the coming months and years than most people accomplish in a lifetime.
The most important quality you can develop for lifelong success is the habit of taking action on your plans, goals, ideas and insights. The more often you try, the sooner you will triumph. There is a direct relationship between the number of things you attempt and your accomplishments in life. Here are the 21 steps for setting and achieving goals, and for living a wonderful life.
Unlock Your Potential – Always remember that your true potential is unlimited. Whatever you have accomplished in life up to now has only been a preparation for the amazing things you can accomplish in the future.
Take Charge of Your Life – You are completely responsible for everything you are today, for everything you think, say and do, and for everything you become from this moment forward. Refuse to make excuses or to blame others. Instead, make progress toward your goals every day.
Create Your Own Future – Imagine that you have no limitations on what you can do, be or have in the months and years ahead. Think about and plan your future as if you had all the resources you needed to create any life that you desire.
Clarify Your Values – Your innermost values and convictions define you as a person. Take the time to think through what you really believe in and care about in each area of your life. Refuse to deviate from what you feel is right for you.
Determine Your True Goals – Decide for yourself what you really want to accomplish in every area of your life. Clarity is essential for happiness and high performance living.
Decide Upon Your Major Definite Purpose – You need a central purpose to build your life around. There must be a single goal that will help you to achieve your other goals more than any other. Decide what it is for you and work on it all the time.
Analyze Your Beliefs – Your beliefs about your own abilities, and about the world around you, will have more of an impact on your feelings and actions than any other factor. Make sure that your beliefs are positive and consistent with achieving everything that is possible for you.
Start At The Beginning – Do a careful analysis of your starting point before you set off toward the achievement of your goal. Determine your exact situation today and be both honest and realistic about what you want to accomplish in the future.
Measure Your Progress – Set clear benchmarks, measures, metrics and scorecards for yourself on the road to your goals. These measures help you to assess how well you are doing and enable you to make necessary adjustments and corrections as you go along.
Remove The Roadblocks – Success boils down to the ability to solve problems and remove obstacles on the path to your goal. Fortunately, problem solving is a skill you can master with practice, and thereby achieve your goals faster than you ever thought possible.
Become An Expert In Your Field – You have within you, right now, the ability to be one of the very best at what you do, to join the top 10% in your field. Set this as a goal, work on it every day, and never stop working at it until you get there.
Associate With The Right People – Your choices of people with whom to live, work and socialize will have more of an effect on your success than any other factor. Resolve today to associate only with people you like, respect and admire. Fly with the eagles if you want to be an eagle yourself.
Make a Plan Of Action – An ordinary person with a well thought-out plan will run circles around a genius without one. Your ability to plan and organize in advance will enable you to accomplish even the biggest and most complex goals.
Manage Your Time Well – Learn how to double and triple your productivity, performance and output by practicing practical and proven time management principles. Always set priorities before you begin, and then concentrate on the most valuable use of your time.
Review Your Goals Daily – Take time every day, every week, every month to review and reevaluate your goals and objectives. Make sure that you are still on track and that you are still working toward things that are important to you. Be prepared to modify your goals and plans with new information.
Visualize Your Goals Continually – Direct the movies of your mind. Your imagination is your preview of your life’s coming attractions. Repeatedly “see” your goals as if they already existed. Your clear, exciting mental images activate all your mental powers and attract your goals into your life.
Activate Your Superconscious Mind – You have within you and around you an incredible power that will bring you everything and anything you want or need. Take the time regularly to tap into this amazing source of ideas and insights for goal attainment.
Remain Flexible At All Times – Be clear about your goal but be flexible about the process of achieving it. Be constantly open to new, better, faster, cheaper ways to achieve the same result, and if something is not working, be willing to try a different approach.
Unlock Your Inborn Creativity – You have more creative ability to solve problems and come up with new and better ways for goal attainment than you have ever used. You are a potential genius. You can tap into your intelligence to overcome any obstacle and achieve any goal you can set for yourself.
Do Something Every Day – Use the “Momentum Principle of Success” by getting started toward your goal and then doing something every day that moves you closer to what you want to accomplish. Action orientation is essential to your success.
Persist Until You Succeed – In the final analysis, your ability to persist longer than anyone else is the one quality that will guarantee great success in life. Persistence is self-discipline in action, and is the true measure of your belief in yourself. Resolve in advance that you will never, never give up!
There they are, the twenty-one most important principles of goal setting and goal achieving ever discovered. Your regular review and practice of these principles will enable you to live an extraordinary life. Nothing can stop you now.