A Worthy Goal – Part 2 – Take a Step, Now Take Another

A Worthy Goal – Part 2 – Take a Step, Now Take Another

Earl Nightingale said that “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal.” Because he was instrumental in the realization of my success through the many books and tapes he produced (and that my successful father encouraged me to read and listen to), I wanted to dedicate this first of the Achieve Master series of articles.

In this article we will look at the part of Mr. Nightingales quote “the progressive realization…” If you have not, please read my other article “A Worthy Goal – Part1: Cutting the Crap…”

Once we have established a worthy goal, we must then make the journey to get to it. If our goal is truly worthy (ie: it is a true goal, it is an uplifting goal, and it is inherently a good goal), then we must ask ourselves: “Is this something stretch me as a person to achieve?” Or “Is this something I can do right now without much effort?”

It’s not a goal if you can do it now; it is just a task in that case.

I have developed a software system that helps people achieve their greatest dreams, and the primary “memory mnemonic” (if you will) is the statement “Do This Now(TM)”. But this refers to Tasks. Goals, on the other hand are things you cannot do “now”, but that will requires you grow or change in some way (learning a skill, strengthening muscles, practice at a skill you have to get to the next level, etc.)

Once a goal is perceived it must be crystallized. There is no room for vagueness, as best as you can you must visualize every detail and nuance of your goal. It should excite you and generate intense interest for you to do this. Here are some examples:

Example 1:
Jack Sprat says: “One day I’d like to be a captain of a dinner cruise boat.” When his friends ask what he has done about this dream of his he says he has a few magazines with boats and once went on a dinner cruise with his wife.

Example 2:
Joe Smith wants to own his own dinner yacht where he can ply the inter-coastal waters around the Carolinas and have several well paying guests on board. He loves the idea of being on the water and socializing with guests while feeding them marvelously prepared dinners using local cuisine and telling them about the sites and history of the area. He has gone to several yacht makers to see what kinds of boats are available. He is currently taking a course on the history of the area and has started an account where he is saving as much money as he can spare. He has also begun talking to a business friend about how to write up a business plan so he can raise more money for equipment. In addition to this he has called up several cooks he knows of at various local restaurants to see if they would be interested in such an idea. Joe has gone on all of the dinner cruises in the area and written down his observations about how they work, what methods are better than others, and how he could differentiate his idea from theirs for a truly unique experience. When his friends ask what he has done about his dream, Joe pulls out his large folder of pictures and business plans, showing them his latest list of things he needs to do and those that he has completed.

Now after reading these two examples, which one strikes you as most likely to succeed?
Now, to be fair, Jack Sprat has done some correct things (getting boating magazines, going on a cruise) but his statement of what he is doing is very fuzzy (he still calls a yacht a “boat”). He is dreaming, but he is not doing much about the dream, and really does not know where to begin or what to do next. Joe, on the other hand has a crystal clear set of goals and tasks, and is always updating and re-clarifying so he can move towards that goal. Joe is always making sure that he is doing something to move him closer. Jack, not so much.

I am not sure Jack would ever reach this goal, but nothing short of death is going to keep Joe away from it.

And that is the secret of “the progressive realization”, daily making a concerted effort to do something NOW that will move you, if only just a little, towards your goal.

If you have ever used a navigational system or an online map system like Google Maps or Map-quest, you know how this basically works. You tell the system where you are now, and where you want to go. These are the two endpoints. Goals are the same, you need to know where you are now (your situation, education, finances, skills, etc), and where you will need to be to achieve your goal (to the best of your knowledge).

The mapping applications always give you a list of points you must reach, turns you must take, and the good ones can help with obstacles and alternate routes. In the same way you must break down the steps to reach your goal so you know what things you need to learn, what money you will need to raise, what skills you will need to develop, etc. You will also have obstacles, and alternate routes. You need to know all of this, or as much as possible,

The best possible way to do this is to use “backwards planning”. Backwards planning is starting where you want to end up (your goal) and moving backwards one simple task at a time, until you arrive back to where you are at now. How to perform backwards planning is the subject of my next article so don’t miss it!