The other day Tremaine at A Cornered Gurl (give her a visit!!) and I had a discussion in the comments of one of my posts about life not owing you anything. You can read the thread here The basic premise of Tre’s comment was that there are tons of people who do everything in their power to get ahead and fail to do so because of people in higher positions not giving them the opportunity to advance. My return question to Tre was to ask if there really are “a ton” of people who do all they can do.
My opinion on this is based on my experience and other’s opinions will vary, but I don’t see a lot of people in this world doing everything in their power to advance. Are there people who give their all? Yes. Are there a ton of people who do so? No.
To give one’s all is to use every moment of every day to figure out a way to achieve one’s goal. To do everything in one’s power does not mean to work hard. To give one’s all supersedes hard work; it is an unquenchable, burning flame of desire to possess what it is one wants. To give one’s all is an obsessive, definiteness of purpose. It is more than showing up every day. To give one’s all means someone is so determined to get to their goal that they will do anything and everything necessary to do so. I don’t know many people who possess this type of drive; present company included.
So I stand by my assertion that very few people actually give their all. Very few people do everything in their power. And when I say very few I am guessing that number is in the low single-digit percentile.
I have written goals. I believe those with written goals achieve more than those who do not. I also know that my friends and associates who have written goals make more money than those who do not. Simply put…people who have a plan are more successful than those who don’t. Some will argue against this statement, but that is not the point of this post. My point is that I need to re-write my goals for my professional life.
I’ve gotten a bit lazy in my professional life. Now this is not to say I am lazy as I probably work harder than most people in sales. But my goals are not to be life everyone else; I want to be elite and elite status requires elite effort. Lately I have noticed my effort has been ordinary and complacent.
So I will spend the next week rethinking where I want to be and how much I want to make. The most important reason I have written goals is to make sure I am comparing myself to my potential and not comparing myself to others. I must aim for the highest bar and lose sight of what others are doing.
I’d be curious to know your thoughts on written goals. Why do you or why don’t you write goals down?
I believe having goals and having dreams are two separate things. Dreams can be goals, but not all goals are dreams. For instance, a dream can be to one day live at the ocean and this can also be a goal. But a goal could also be to earn a six figure income, but that doesn’t necessarily mean six figures is a dream. It is easy, however, to see how the six figure income could be a vital part of eventually fulfilling the dream of living at the ocean.
I don’t encounter many adults whose dreams are still alive, who are also actively working and living toward those dreams. I’m not sure why. Maybe people have dreams they just don’t talk about them? Maybe they once had dreams, but somewhere along the line they stopped aiming their life at those dreams.
Do you have active dreams to which your life is solely focused?
When I first started blogging I had no clue what I was doing or what blogging was all about. What I did know was that I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to spread my net far and wide and have thousands of people read my page. I set my goals based on follower numbers, primarily setting my aim on the types of numbers that a few other big blogs had-Harsh Reality, Don Charisma and The Public Blogger.
These blogs had tens of thousands of followers and I wanted to be in their league. I remember telling a few guys I know about my vision and they said I shouldn’t expect much because most blogs fail and very few ever get more than a few hundred followers. I actually had other bloggers tell me the same thing. They never said I was crazy to think big, but I could tell from their tone that they thought I was a newbie speaking like a newbie. Basically they were saying, “Good luck, but it’s probably not going to happen.”
What’s my point? I am exactly where I had hoped I would be at this point. Don’t allow what others say to deter you from your vision. Don’t let other people’s negativity limit you. Don’t allow yourself to live in the box others build for you.
Visionaries are deemed to be crazy by “normal” people. Don’t settle.
I sometimes wonder what people truly think when I tell them I am writing a book, a memoir about my life.
People that know me and know part of my story think it is a great idea. Other people who do not know me well or know my story at all sometimes act like they are impressed, but are they really? Some people do not say anything at all.
I believe some people chuckle a little to themselves in disbelief when I tell them I am writing my memoir, thinking it is a stupid idea and that I will never get a book written or published.
When I see negative reactions or non-reactions, I become even more determined to finish writing my memoir and memoirs. I will show them.
When my dreams come true and my memoir is finished, published and being sold, I will be so proud of myself.
I am a hard worker. By this I mean that I develop a plan, analyze my progress, challenge myself daily and put the time in; basically I show up every day to succeed. I know not everyone does this because I watch people’s actions.
Living in the world of sales and marketing affords me the opportunity to watch a lot of business people and compare and contrast. Living in the world of sales also allows me to watch other sales people and compare and contrast what I do against what they do. I have learned that if you aren’t doing it, then one of your competitors is doing it; so get busy!
I see a lot of mediocre habits. I watch people go through the motions every day. I hear people talk as if they want to be the best, but then watch their actions say otherwise.
I’m not so sure people these days want to work hard. I’m not sure people in our age understand what working diligently means. I am convinced that people have tricked themselves into believing they are doing their best when in fact they are operating at 60%.
The vast majority are coasting; flying under the radar. They live in a world below the top 10%, but above the bottom dwelling 10%. Flying under the radar isn’t a compliment. It means you put effort into not being noticed; going undetected. Those living in the world of the 80% do so because they are comfortable there. The expectations are lower when you live in the middle.
The funny thing is those who live in the top 10% never think about it because they are too busy working. And most times those who think they are a top producer are not and make excuses. Those who say “I’m an asset to the company” or “they couldn’t run this place without me” are the ones who have tricked themselves into believing they are a top producer when in fact they are not.
They are living in the realm of “good enough”. I’m not sure what “good enough” is, but it isn’t okay with me.
The real question is where do you stand? Have you tricked yourself into believing you are functioning optimally when in fact you are coasting at about 60% efficiency?
When we were young society tried to instill in our minds the belief that if one works hard, takes their vitamins, is a good person and does what’s right, life will turn out pretty good. And for the most part I guess this could be true. That doesn’t mean life is easy or that you will get your way or reach your goals.
There’s no guarantee you will reach your goal. There is no magic wand to be waved which instantaneously produces that for which you desire. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. You can work your tail off to achieve a certain objective only to have success ripped from your grasp.
So what does this tell us about life? I believe this reality teaches us there is more value to be found in the seeking than in the attaining. It reminds me of how much fun I have planning a vacation and then anticipating the trip. I almost enjoy that part of the vacation more than I actually enjoy the vacation itself!
And so it is with working toward goals.
I might be disappointed that I didn’t reach a goal, but if I worked hard and gave my best then I actually did achieve something…didn’t I?
I’ll be curious to read your view on this idea so be sure to continue the conversation in the comment section.
As I walked Bentley the other night I saw a lot of airplanes in the sky and I thought to myself how busy the airport must be on a Friday night. That got me to thinking about how far air travel has come in the last 40 years and the fact that the early flight visionaries were told air travel would never become common place. After all it is simply not practical. Ford was told he would never invent the 8 cylinder engine. Some said we would never travel to space.
We are surrounded by things which are common, everyday occurrences to us that at some time in the past were considered inconceivable. They are proof to me that I can expect more from myself and I can expect more for my life than others expect for themselves. Jobs was told he was foolish to invest so much into a mobile phone, after all, “who’s gonna carry a phone with them every where they go?”
“No one is gonna drink bottled water when you can get it free from the tap.”
“Who in their right mind is gonna drive to swamp land in the middle of Florida to ride carnival rides?”
Visionaries see things differently. They don’t see the obstacles and they don’t listen to the naysayers. They dream big dreams and live big lives free of the finiteness of the human mind. They see a different reality and they believe in that reality before they can actually touch and feel it. They are proof that you should never, ever settle for less.
I choose to give my energy to the reality I design for myself. I choose to stick to my vision of what I want not based on the limited vision of others and their expectations of me.
Why settle for less-than when you can set your eyes on achieving greatness?