Success VS Failure
The Key Is In The Preparation
Think Like An Athlete!
Achieving a goal (quit smoking, changing jobs, forgiving, losing weight…) somewhat proceeds the same way as being an athlete and preparing for a competition. Athletes can not succeed if they haven’t trained rigorously. Athletes can not succeed if they are not following a consistent diet. Athletes can not succeed if they don’t get enough sleep.
Athletes can not succeed if they don’t have enough support from their family/friends/colleagues/coach/team… Athletes can not succeed if they don’t even bother visualizing themselves brandishing the gold medal or the cup!
What’s the point in preparing for something if you don’t even know how it’ll positively affect your life once you’ve reached it? I believe it works the same way for any kind of goal that you want to achieve.
You can not just say “I want a ferrari” out loud (or in your head) and expect it to appear in your garage just because you dream of it everyday. You can’t dream for a better change, you want to make it happen. You want your goal(s) to take shape, little by little, until it’s real.
Stop Sabotaging Your Goals
As a former life coach I’ve met tons of people who were desperate for their life to change but were afraid to actually make it change. There are also those who say they want their life to change but really what they want is to complain and for people to listen to them lol.
Many people think : “I want my life to change”, but what they should really say is : “I will make it change”.
And to make it change you want to stop being your own enemy. Here are a few examples of the things we do to sabotage our goals… :
- being afraid to fail
- not showing enough persistence
- not believing in our dreams/goals enough
- getting distracted, procrastinating
- not building a network, failing to ask for help and feedback
- being afraid of other people’s judgement
- not taking responsibilities for our actions
- always having excuses for not doing something (or doing something that goes against our goals)
- lacking humility
- being scared to stand out among the crowd
- refusing advice
- thinking we don’t deserve what we want
- not planning
- thinking it’s going to be easy and being disappointed when it gets hard
Don’t Be A Quitter!
Just because you have failed once (or repeatedly) doesn’t mean you will never succeed! It is your ability to persevere through failure that will lead to maximum success. I have listed below a number of people (from all professions) who initially failed before finally succeeding :
Henry Ford : While Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
Soichiro Honda : The billion-dollar business that is Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbors, finally started his own business.
Bill Gates : Gates didn’t seem like a shoe-in for success after dropping out of Harvard and starting a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. While this early idea didn’t work, Gates’ later work did, creating the global empire that is Microsoft.
Walt Disney : Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.
Albert Einstein : Most of us take Einstein’s name as synonymous with genius, but he didn’t always show such promise. Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. It might have taken him a bit longer, but most people would agree that he caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics.
Charles Darwin : In his early years, Darwin gave up on having a medical career and was often chastised by his father for being lazy and too dreamy. Darwin himself wrote, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.” Perhaps they judged too soon, as Darwin today is well-known for his scientific studies.
Isaac Newton : Newton was undoubtedly a genius when it came to math, but he had some failings early on. He never did particularly well in school and when put in charge of running the family farm, he failed miserably, so poorly in fact that an uncle took charge and sent him off to Cambridge where he finally blossomed into the scholar we know today.
Socrates : Despite leaving no written records behind, Socrates is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the Classical era. Because of his new ideas, in his own time he was called “an immoral corrupter of youth” and was sentenced to death. Socrates didn’t let this stop him and kept right on, teaching up until he was forced to poison himself.
Thomas Edison : In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.
Winston Churchill : This Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn’t always as well regarded as he is today. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.
Abraham Lincoln : While today he is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of our nation, Lincoln’s life wasn’t so easy. In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you’re not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn’t stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed business and was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office.
Oprah Winfrey : Most people know Oprah as one of the most iconic faces on TV as well as one of the richest and most successful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position, however, enduring a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv.”
Fred Astaire : In his first screen test, the testing director of MGM noted that Astaire, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire went on to become an incredibly successful actor, singer and dancer and kept that note in his Beverly Hills home to remind him of where he came from.
Jeanne Moreau : As a young actress just starting out, this French actress was told by a casting director that she was simply not pretty enough to make it in films. He couldn’t have been more wrong as Moreau when on to star in nearly 100 films and win numerous awards for her performances.
Charlie Chaplin : It’s hard to imagine film without the iconic Charlie Chaplin, but his act was initially rejected by Hollywood studio chiefs because they felt it was a little too nonsensical to ever sell.
Harrison Ford : In his first film, Ford was told by the movie execs that he simply didn’t have what it takes to be a star. Today, with numerous hits under his belt, iconic portrayals of characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and a career that stretches decades, Ford can proudly show that he does, in fact, have what it takes.
Marilyn Monroe : While Monroe’s star burned out early, she did have a period of great success in her life. Despite a rough upbringing and being told by modeling agents that she should instead consider being a secretary, Monroe became a pin-up, model and actress that still strikes a chord with people today.
Vincent Van Gogh : During his lifetime, Van Gogh sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money. While Van Gogh was never a success during his life, he plugged on with painting, sometimes starving to complete his over 800 known works. Today, they bring in hundreds of millions.
Steven Spielberg : While today Spielberg’s name is synonymous with big budget, he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times. He eventually attended school at another location, only to drop out to become a director before finishing. Thirty-five years after starting his degree, Spielberg returned to school in 2002 to finally complete his work and earn his BA.
Stephen King : The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it, and the rest is history, with King now having hundreds of books published the distinction of being one of the best-selling authors of all time.
J. K. Rowling : Rowling may be rolling in a lot of Harry Potter dough today, but before she published the series of novels she was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel. Rowling went from depending on welfare to survive to being one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years through her hard work and determination.
Monet : Today Monet’s work sells for millions of dollars and hangs in some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Yet during his own time, it was mocked and rejected by the artistic elite, the Paris Salon. Monet kept at his impressionist style, which caught on and in many ways was a starting point for some major changes to art that ushered in the modern era.
Michael Jordan : Most people wouldn’t believe that a man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn’t let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
The 6 “Magical” Steps
Achieving a goal is pretty much like building a house. I know it sounds really obvious but you can’t just snap your fingers and tadaaaa! expect your house to be built and functional.
Before building a house you have to save money and to save money you have to work. Then you have to decide what kind of house you want… wooden, modern, apartment, etc. You have to make an appointment at the bank and ask for a loan.
If you want to build your house you need to draw a blueprint and meet with an architect or both lol. I could even go deeper into the whys and hows to build a house but you get the picture, right? Achieving a goal is exactly the same.
You have to have a plan ! You have to know what you want, why you want it and how you will have it! It sounds obvious but most people skip one of several of these steps…
1 – Visualize Your Goal(s)
Remember the athlete I mentioned earlier? I bet that using mental visualization allows them to feel the cold medal on their chest and to hear the roaring of the crowd. As they visualize their victory they can actually feel the excitement and want it soooooo bad that nothing will stop them. The power of the mind is greater than you think.
Goals can’t just be a thought or a dream. It can’t just be something written on a piece of paper or something you talk about every now and then. You have to look at your goal(s), in colors, shape and details. A goal that’s just a thought or a dream is not a goal, it’s a dream. And dreams don’t miraculously come true. Dreams come true are relentlessly built by fierce dreamers eager for results !
Use a vision board if you have to (I highly recommend it). A goal thatyou can actually see is incredibly more powerful than a goal you write down on a checklist. This is definitely my favorite technique and it works really well, especially if you’re a visual learner. You can print your visual goals and put them on the fridge, on your desk, on your bedside table, in your car… everywhere! =) If you would like to get tips and tools to build your own vision board click here
2 – Express & Feel The Power Of Your Why(s)
One thing I’ve learned as a coach and through my hypnosis course is that “I want to be happy” is neither a good or achievable goal nor a realistic, relevant and measurable one. It is just a combination of words that could mean anything.
Why do we want things? What difference is it going to make for you to change jobs for instance? How will you know you’re happy? What will have changed? Asking yourself these questions will enable you to create steps, to visualize the details of your ultimate goal and to feel as if it had already happened. You can’t just say “I want it because I want it”. You have to define why exactly it is that you want it. In details.
Don’t just focus on identifying the obvious results that you want to achieve but focus on looking within yourself. I’m talking about your beliefs about yourself here, about your business or your family….
What it is you really believe – what do you stand for?
3 – Use a timeline
Go short term, middle term, long term and remember that success isnot a race, it’s a marathon. Once you have determined precisely what it is you want, you must decide on a timeframe for having it. The deadline you’ve created will create a sense of urgency or purpose, which will serve as an huge motivator as a result, and prevent inertia or procrastination.
If you impose a date on yourself, you’re much more likely to reach it.
4 – Create Steps
Express your goal(s) in terms of specific events or actions. What exactly are you going to do to achieve your goal(s)? Define what you want in clear and specific terms. Major life changes don’t just happen over night : they happen one step at a time. Steady progress, through well-chosen, realistic, interval steps, produces results. Know what those steps are before you set out.
The goals you set need to be targeted. Jumping in with “I want to be happy,” or “I want to lose weight,” isn’t specific enough. It’s even overwhelming if you ask me. If your goals aren’t specific, how will you know when you’ve achieved them? We’re looking for specific, results-oriented goals here.
5 – Be reasonable and kind to yourself
If you aim too high, chances are you are going to get discouraged and give up. On the other hand if you take small steps and rejoice everystep of the way, you are going to feel pride and satisfaction. How else will you be able to determine your level of progress, or even know when you have successfully arrived where you wanted to be?
For instance, how much money do you aspire to make? strive for what you can create, not for what you can’t. Your environment, your schedule and your accountability must be programmed in such a way that all three support you — long after an emotional high is gone. Life is full of temptations and opportunities to fail. Those temptations and opportunities compete with your more constructive and task-oriented behavior. Without programming, you will find it much harder to stay the course.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by letting your dreams get bigger than your abilities. That’s not to say don’t set hard goals for yourself, just make sure they’re attainable.
6 – Share your goals
Talk about it, don’t just keep it to yourself. Share, be proud, ask for help and support. Celebrate your small and bigger successes! =)
Without accountability, we are apt to fool ourselves. If you know precisely what you want, when you want it, you are much more likely to continue in your pursuit of your goal. Find someone in your circle of family or friends to whom you can be accountable. Make constant reports on your progress.
Of course, it’s not the most pleasant thing to share your setbacks but when you do, you’re going to get feedback from friends/family/colleagues who have experienced the same and they’ll get back on track. And on the other hand when you tell them about the milestones you reach, you’re going to get congrats from people wishing they were you and reaching those same goals too.
When you tell people your goals, they will jump in the boat with you and help you get there. You will be shocked by the support you’ll get from your network. You’ll be even more surprised by the people who come our of nowhere to join you in your journey or privately cheer you on, knowing what you’re going through.
With all of these social media options, you basically have the entire world at your fingertips, with the ability to connect with all kinds of people who are on the exact same journey as you! There are countless groups, challenges and individuals out there, who want nothing more than to connect with other people and support each other along the way.
How Bad Do You Want It?
Take a deep breath and start focusing on the NOW and TOMORROW and forget about the past. Forget your past mistakes for now and concentrate on what you want, ultimately.
And start planning. Build your vision board. Feel it. Like really feel it. If you’re not feeling excited when looking at your vision board, you haven’t built a vision board. If you are not smiling or getting butterflies in your stomach or jumping around when looking at your vision, start over. Until it feels like it’s real. Spend time on your vision board, even if it takes days.
Changes start within your body and changes happen through actions. Feel the change in your body (warmth, butterflies, smiles, energy…) as if it had already occurred and take action, small actions to reproduce that feeling.
Setting Achievable Goals
9 Steps Towards Achieving Goals
Achieving Goal Is Predictable
The 5 Essential Steps To Setting Achievable Goals
The fastest Way To Achieve Your Goal
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Feel free to share your goals in the comment box ; Make It Real !