Some People Dream Of Worthy Accomplishments, Others Stay Awake And Do Them
Monday, January 02, 2006
Posted by: Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman
In the 1920's, he began selling paper cups and playing the piano to support his family. He worked hard, and he did well. In fact, he became one of the top sales people for the Lily Tulip Cup Company after 17 years of hard work.
But then he set a goal, and he did REALLY well! He set the goal of going into the milkshake machine business, selling machines that could mix 48 shakes at once, selling machines that would revolutionize the world and his life.
He convinced two brothers who owned a small restaurant to buy his machines. In fact, he went into business with them, until some time later, Ray Kroc bought out the brothers.
Ray decided to keep the brothers' name on the restaurant, however. "McDonald's" had a nice ring to it.
Indeed, it did. During the next 20 years, Ray turned McDonald's into a multi-billion dollar empire. He achieved in 20 years what it took IBM 46 years to do and Xerox 63 years.
Ray Kroc was successful, but he did not become wildly successful until he set a specific goal. The same is true for you. There's tremendous power in setting specific goals.
Unfortunately, three problems get in the way. The first one is lack of awareness. Most people don't think much about "setting" goals. They just think about going to work and doing their jobs.
That's okay--to a point. If you know how to do something, you may always have a job. But if you set a goal, if you know where you want to go, you have a much better chance of becoming wildly successful.
The second problem is lack of understanding. Most people confuse goal setting and discipline. They're not the same. Discipline is setting your alarm for 5:00 AM and making yourself get up when it goes off. Goal setting is knowing "why" you set your alarm for 5:00 AM in the first place.
And the third problem is lack of wisdom. Most people spend too much time on activities that are tension relieving instead of goal achieving. In other words, most people spend their time doing what comes naturally, doing what feels good or keeps them out of trouble.
Very few people step back, apply wisdom, and examine their actions. Hopefully you're one of them. As fitness coach Kate Larsen says, "Every choice takes you closer to or further from your goal. Where did your choices take you today?"
As a reader of the Tuesday Tip, I don't know if any of these problems are getting in your way. I don't know if they're stopping you from being a goal setter or a goal achiever. But I do know that you'd like to be wildly successful.
So start by asking yourself a question. ASK, "WHAT GOALS WOULD YOU SET FOR YOURSELF IF YOU COULD NOT FAIL?" Don't ask if it's possible or impossible. Don't worry about failing. Just focus on what you want, and let that be your guideline for setting goals.
That's what winners do. Winners would rather attempt something great and fail than attempt nothing and succeed.
Then, VISUALIZE YOUR GOAL. Practice it in your mind as though it were already accomplished. The clearer your picture and the more often you view it, the easier it will be to accomplish your goal.
It's like the legend of the prince with the crooked back. He asked a sculptor to "make me a statue of how I would have looked with a straight back. I'd like to see myself as I might have been. "
When the statue was finished, the prince put it in a secret place. Month after month, he would slip away to look lovingly and earnestly at the statue. And people began to notice the prince's back was not as crooked as it used to be.
Still the prince continued to look at the perfect statue. Each time he did, the sight of it set his blood tingling and his heart throbbing, until one day he realized his back was straight.
Just like the prince, we all have faults, and some of us have goals. But you start the process of achieving your goals when you visualize your goals.
Of course, it isn't enough to merely set a goal and visualize that goal. It isn't enough to merely want something. You've got to TAKE SOME ACTION.
Are you willing to do whatever it takes? Winners are willing. They don't expect something for nothing. And they don't expect anyone else to do it for them. Winners accept complete responsibility for their lives, and they don't make excuses. They're very tenacious. They keep at it. As Winston Churchill said, "It's no use saying you are doing your best. You have got to do what is necessary. "
Action for Goal Setting:
This week, ask yourself what goals you would set if you could not fail. Pick one that really appeals to you and start visualizing that goal all achieved and accomplished. Practice your visualization at least three times a day for at least 21 days. You'll be delighted with the changes you'll see and the progress you'll make toward goal achievement.
©Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman, 20550 Lake Ridge Drive, Prior Lake, MN 55372. Reprinted with permission from Dr. Zimmerman's "Tuesday Tip," a weekly Internet newsletter. For your own personal subscription, go to www.drzimmerman.com.