Set a Goal and go after it
Jack Canfield, world famous author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, has also written his enormously successful book “The Success Principles”. In it he shares with us the most important steps he has uncovered for becoming successful in any endeavor. He not only draws on his own experiences but he has taken seminars and workshops from many of the most successful people and has interviewed many others on how they have achieved their success. Jack has boiled down all this expertise into 64 of the most important success principles.
Today I want to share with you his principle “Just lean into it”. When we set a goal we may not know how we’ll achieve it or even what steps to take. We may not even know exactly how our goal will look when we achieve it. The important thing is to get started. Let me give you an example.
I grew up in Germany. When I was in 9th or 10th grade, I was struggling in my English class. I wanted to get better but I just didn’t know how. Then I came across a summer school program in England. I signed up and spent several weeks in England taking English classes and living with a British family. Being immersed in English for several weeks certainly helped but I still needed more. Then my path took a completely different turn.
Next I found out about a program to spend a year in America as a high school exchange student. I applied and eventually not only spent a year in America, but I stayed for life. I am now fluent in English, but when I first started on a quest to improve my English skills, I would have never expected to settle in America. I thought I was just after getting a better grade in my class.
Another example is the story of Martin Luther King Jr. When he started encouraging people to fight racial segregation, he undoubtedly could not have foreseen that less than 60 years later we would have a black president.
So what about you? What are your goals and how can you begin to take steps? How can you find out what other people have done to achieve what you want to achieve? Can you interview someone? Are there books or tapes available to teach you what you want to know? Can you take a course or do you need a degree? In the end you can learn all about it but just like riding a bike – you can’t learn it from reading a book. You need to take action. And that might be scary.
Reasons we might not be willing to take action towards our goals:
- It never occurs to us
- It’s inconvenient – we have to seek out information and make time to learn it
- Fear of rejection – asking others for help or advice – we might get rejected
- Fear of change – learning something new and taking action will mean change and that might be uncomfortable
- Unwillingness to work hard – taking actions towards our goals means having to work extra in addition to what we already have to do on a daily basis. Many people are unwilling to put in the extra effort.
Look at this list. Is it worth giving up on your goals and dreams because of these reasons? I hope you make the choice to go after your dreams and goals. Ask yourself, “What is the next step I can take?” And then have the courage to take it.
One of the best ways I know to stay on track towards achieving your goals is to have a coach or at least an accountability partner. We often will do things for others that we won’t do for ourselves. Having someone to support you and hold you accountable may be just what you need to help you achieve your goals. Aren’t you worth it?