The most beautifully conceived and written goals are not worth the paper they are written on if I don’t immediately and methodically spring into action, holding nothing back.
Doing this, I’ve experienced great fulfillment, achievement, and passion in my life. By springing into action the moment you resolve to do so, I promise you that a flood of passion will flow into your your life, and the kind of fulfillment and passion that very few people ever experience.
A few years ago I watched the twoWilliams sisters (Venus and Serena) duke it out in the Finals of England’s famousWimbledon Tennis Tournament. I couldn’t help but put myself inside their father’s head as he watched his two daughters battle hard, one trying to beat the other. All I could think about was that the only way Richard Williams could sit and watch the match was as if he were God. Obviously, he cared about both his daughters, and loved them both equally and deeply. He couldn’t help but cheer for both of them—be proud of both of them. And, it probably didn’t matter to him who won the match. When you’re a parent, you start learning the “God lesson” or you begin to develop a “God perspective” on many things—or what I call a “God’s-Eye View” or simply GEV.
Having a GEV allows you to see both sides of most, if
not all issues. You can rejoice with the winner and at the
same time you share the pain of the loser.
No doubt we’ve all heard that we can’t love and appreciate others until we truly love and appreciate ourselves.
But most of us have some deep dark doubts about ourselves. In fact, if we are brutally honest, we feel guilty (at least some of the time) because we know we’ve done things we are not proud of—and we think, “If the world really knew everything about me, it wouldn’t think I was a very good person.”
You’ve had those thoughts before, at least if you’re normal. Rabbi Harold F. Kushner, in his book, Living a Life That Matters, makes that point very strongly by saying,
“Good people do bad things.”
But he goes on to say,
“If they weren’t mightily tempted by their ‘yetzer hara’ (evil inclination) they might not be capable of the mightily good things they do.”
He then goes on to tell of the Native American tribal leader who describes his own inner struggles by saying, “There are two dogs inside me. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.”
Someone asked him which dog usually wins, and after a moment’s reflection he answered, “The one I feed the most.”
“Good people will do good things—lots of them, because they are good people. They will do bad things because they are human.”
Celebrate the Good
So the bottom line here is even if you know you are not perfect, it’s important to take time to toast and be grateful for the good things you’ve accomplished and those tough goals you’ve reached. Always remember the wise words of Rabbi Kushner and don’t be so hard on yourself.
No one’s perfect—not you, not me!
So, start forgiving yourself now, have a little gratitude (ditch the humility for a while), and hey, why not make a toast about putting all that guilt behind you.
Focus on all the good you’ve done, and the new journey you are embarking on now and the good that will come from that. It will help feed the good dog inside of you. Remember this from the Dalai Lama’s book, The Compassionate Life, where he said, “Everyone’s real enemy is within themselves—enemies are not on the outside.”
SO, WHY NOT CELEBRATE YOU EVERY DAY?
Here’s an umbrella goal for your life and my life. And believe me this goal supports all other goals. In fact, you and I will most likely die without it—or at least die much younger than we should. At a minimum, without this goal, we may live quite miserably as we get older.
This goal is that serious—that important!
What I’m about to tell you, we’ve all heard a thousand times. We know it’s a basic truth. A growing number of people (especially in the United States) are further away from achieving this goal than ever before.
What is this so-called umbrella goal, the goal that makes virtually everything else in your life work—and work well?
I’ll get to that answer in a minute—but first let me tease you a bit more.
You can see the results everywhere of those who don’t set and achieve this goal—from rich people to poor people. In fact, you see people who have set lofty and very worthwhile goals, even achieve them or are on the brink of great personal success, and then bang, they die or their health goes to pot and they can’t really enjoy any of their success or even enjoy life at all.
What I’m talking about is your health—physical and mental.
Think about this:
- How would you feel if you played a game of golf tomorrow and shot a perfect score—that is, you shot par on every single hole?
- How would the inside of your head handle that experience, especially if it was your very first time playing golf?
Understandably, you most likely would feel fantastic. How high on the satisfaction scale would that golf score put you? I’d say pretty much at the top! Contentment—oh, yes, you’d be pretty darn content. Satisfaction—absolutely.
But how long would those feelings last? I’m afraid for most people, not very long.
Perfect Score—No Fun.
Let’s fast-forward a week. Let’s say you played golf a week later and, again, got that perfect par score. How would you feel then? Pretty darn good, right?
But what if you continued to shoot a perfect par score everyday no matter what golf course you played . . . and you did it day in and day out. How would you feel if it continued and was absolutely routine for you? And how long would your feeling of total contentment and satisfaction last? I would say not very long.
Why? Because you didn’t have to work for it! That’s one of the reasons that almost all lottery winners end up miserable, notwithstanding all the money. They didn’t have to work for it—people just don’t value or derive much satisfaction from things in their lives that they don’t struggle and work very hard for.
I’m sure you’ve taken note of certain people whose lives seem packed full of many super activities, adventures, and experiences.
Have you ever wondered how they do it all? Well, the answer lies in making, keeping, and working off of lists.
For example, British billionaire, Sir Richard Branson, credits his list making of the things he wants to accomplish as the key to his getting so much done. He takes the time to go down that list often, adding to it and checking off each item as it is completed. Today, his Virgin Group of businesses owns about 200 different companies. Among these companies are businesses that specialize in air travel, financial, retail, music, cell phones, Internet, even hotels, and a railroad. That’s a lot to keep track of in the business side of his life, but he also has a very active personal life.
In 1999 Branson attempted and broke world records in hot air balloon travel and in a transatlantic crossing in a small boat.
Pop star Madonna also has a reputation as a big list maker. Although her accomplishments are in different areas than Branson, she attributes her list-making to keeping track of her priorities and getting so much done.
Lists are one of the secrets used by the rich and famous to use every day of their lives, to support their businesses, and to expand their ventures.
List making is a common trait of millions of successful people regardless of race, sex, nationality, or occupation.
Many don’t muster the discipline and the necessary, consistent behavior and actions to get the job completely done. Do you start a project or set a specific goal only to give up before you’ve completed it? Well guess what? You’re pretty darn normal. Funny thing is that we all start out with such great hopes and enthusiasm and we think we’re doing all the right things and we’re going to “stick with it” this time. But many times we don’t. What’s missing? Is there some magic or secret to sticking to every goal you’ve ever set? As a matter of fact, there is something you can do that is almost magic and works almost all of the time. What is it? It’s one fairly simple step that you can take that will dramatically increase your chances of achieving your ONE BIG GOAL (and most of your small goals too), and you’ll do it right on your time schedule. What is that step or the secret that will help you make a quantum leap in your ability to see your dreams through to reality? You’re about to find out.
As long as I live, I’ll never forget how a series of 20-minute goals literally kept a man alive. Joe Simpson’s story is told in his book,Touching the Void (and in a movie documentary of the same title), and it is a very gripping, real-life example of the power of goals.
High in the frozen mountains of Peru, with a compound fractured leg (his shin bone shoved up into his kneecap), a determined Joe Simpson crawled, hopped, and dragged himself off a 3,000 foot glacier and over 8 miles of ice, snow, and jagged rocks.
His climbing partner, Simon Yates, thinking Joe had died in a fall off the mountain, was forced to cut the rope to keep from being pulled into a deep crevasse by the weight of Joe’s body. Simon then made his way back to base camp and prepared to break camp and go home, sickened by the thought that he had to leave his friend’s body in the frozen mountains of Peru.
The challenge for Joe was that he did not die in the fall or from the plunge into the crevasse after the rope was cut. Although seriously injured, he began the ordeal of his life!
Without food or water, and delirious with pain and fatigue, he set one 20-minute goal after another in order to achieve his ultimate goal: to get off the mountain alive!
His brutally painful journey off the mountain took days, during which time Joe lost one-third of his body weight and came perilously close to death from pain and dehydration.
Without those 20-minute goals to keep his mind occupied and keep him motivated, driving him to the next objective, Joe would have died high up there in those frozen mountains.
Joe Simpson would pick a spot maybe a hundred meters ahead, look at his watch and say, “I’m going to reach that spot in 20 minutes.”
He would then set off with determination, one excruciatingly painful step at a time, as he kept an eye on his watch. No, he didn’t always make it. Sometimes he would pass out and wake up 40 minutes later and be only halfway or less. But often, he did hit the spot within the time limit,which would motivate him to keep going. Without all of those short-term (measurable) goals, Joe Simpson would, no doubt be dead now.
It’s been said,
“Lucky are those who have passion for life,
but blessed are those who have passion ALL their life.”
I don’t know about you, but for me one of the primary keys or secrets to keeping young, in nearly every way, is to flood my life with passion. That comes from,
- pursuing what I want out of life,
- really going after my dreams with full force,
- and pursuing my priorities, and doing those things that I love to do with all the energy I can muster.
I set very specific, tough goals for myself and I go after those goals like my life depends on it—because, you know what, I believe it really does. You see, I loathe the idea of living a life of insignificance—it’s like wasting the most precious resource in the entire world—a human life—my life! If you don’t feel the same way, then ask yourself, “Why don’t I have passion for life?” Or “Why don’t I know what I want in life?” Those two questions are particularly bothersome if you once had great passion for something you were doing in your life and then you lost it somewhere along the way. Far too many people give up on life.