Here’s the thing that the books don’t tell you… Goals don’t make life easier. They make it harder. But they make it more likely you’ll achieve what you want.
Working towards your goals is not easy. If you want an easy life, find a way to accept whatever life sends you without really putting in any effort. Extinguish any thought starting ‘I wish…’ or ‘Wouldn’t it be great to…’ from your mind. Just go with the flow and enjoy what you’ve got. That’s not a bad way to live life. As I said right at the start, goals aren’t for everyone. If you’re not the kind of person who gets satisfaction from putting in effort, goals (in the way I’m talking about them) might not be the right thing for you.
There’s a great story in the book Taming Tigers by Jim Lawless (if you want to be an expert at achieving goals, I’d urge you to get this book and read it until you’ve memorised it). The story goes like this:
“One of those attending the presentation was particularly keen to say hello and he followed me out on to the lawn. After saying some kind things about the presentation, he told me how jealous he was of me.
‘Why’ I asked.
‘Because I have always wanted to be a professional speaker and to inspire others for a living.’
‘No, you haven’t’,’ I replied
He looked stunned. ‘Yes, I have! I have always wanted to.’
‘No, you haven’t,’ I said again. ‘If you had always wanted to do that for a living you would be doing it. You are doing exactly what you want to do for a living.’”
If you want something but you’re not prepared to do anything about getting it, then decide to stop wanting it. If you don’t, you’ll only torment yourself forever.
If you really want to achieve something it will involve sacrifice. The bigger it is, the more sacrifice it will require. Sacrifice including time, money, comfort, security, friendships, relationships. It will make you confront, work through and overcome your fears and insecurities. None of this is comfortable or easy.
You will have to work through times of despair, exhaustion, frustration and aggravation. You will be testing yourself and pushing yourself constantly. You will have to drag yourself away from the TV, pub, family, bed, golf course, etc. and do the difficult things that will get you where you want to go.
It is not easy. But it is effective. Plus, the sense of pride and satisfaction you get from knowing you achieved something through your own effort, strength and willpower is like nothing else. For me, that beats an easy life any day of the week.
If I won the lottery tomorrow I would probably still set myself goals. They’d be different goals, but I’d still have them. I enjoy having something to work towards, something that gives me a reason to get up in the morning.
If you’re the same then experiment with my suggestions about goals. Try them out, find out what works for you. Test, tweak, sweat and strive and maybe, just maybe, we can achieve something magnificent.