Goal setting. The holy grail of the self help world. It really is one of the few things taught by almost every single motivational teacher on the planet in some form. But does it work? Is it really necessary for success in your life? Yes and no. It never hurts to have things to shoot for. But it isn’t the absolute end all be all of performance and success. In fact, I would argue that some people will be hindered by setting arbitrary goals. What happens if you don’t meet or achieve those goals. It might set you back and change a once confident mindset. Besides, I know people who have never written down a goal in their life and make more money than most of these “teachers” or anybody else for that matter.
I can’t tell you how many times I have read the same tired motivational lines. You cannot hit a target unless you have one. A missile has to have a target to hit. Without goals you are just shooting in the dark. And on and on and on.
I ordered and completed a 30 day audio program by a world famous motivator about 15 years ago. One of the audios was about goal setting. The guy talked about how he achieved all these things months after setting the goals to do so. He was very persuasive and believing, so I committed to the course did the exercises.
Basically, he had you lay out all your goals and then pick three things you would do in the next few days to move you towards each of these goals. It really wasn’t a bad or unproductive exercise. In fact, I would say out of the thirty days, this was the most productive exercise of all.
At the time I was running an internet based business offshore and getting new customers was getting harder and harder to come by. This was after the dotcom bust and the economy in general was not that great. So one of the goals I set was to reach and acquire new customers. Out of this exercise I came up with the idea to build some portal websites to drive traffic to my main site. The portal thing turned out to be a huge money maker. We started attracting customers and helped weather a bad storm. When the main business started doing bad these portal sites took over as my main business. So, all in all it was a good idea which came out of this goal setting/brainstorming session.
So just to be honest, I am not bashing goal setting. Like I said, this one exercise gave me a full blown business which at one point was making me 20k a month in profits. I just think there are quicker ways to access the unlimited power of your mind and give you quicker success.
A Better Idea…
Around the same time I did this goal setting session, I started reading about visualizing. This was way before the movie The Secret came out and made the law of attraction so popular. I actually was reading the book Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. This is what lead me to visualizing. If I remember right, I heard about him from a guy named Matt Furey who sells fitness info online. I also learned about Dan Kennedy from him but that is another story.
Mr. Maltz was a plastic surgeon. This was in the sixties I think and he did surgeries mostly for people who had been disfigured or had some defect or abnormality. It wasn’t so much cosmetic as a plastic surgeon would be today. Well, he noticed that after he fixed the abnormality, most people would still be self conscious about it. This led him to discover that if you changed your self image, you could change most anything in your life. The quickest way to do this is by visualizing. I won’t get into visualizing in this post, but it can be a very powerful and I will get into it in the future more in depth.
So this is my opinion. The vision of something is far more important than a singular goal or group of goals. A vision, a real strong vision will move you closer to what you want than any sort of goal setting or writing down of goals. Every business I have had has come down to vision. When I had a clear vision of what I wanted, the business usually turned out okay. When I had a cloudy or unclear vision, it didn’t do so well. I find myself in this dilemma right now. I keep going back and forth with my current business about what I want to do. I just can’t figure out what it is I want. This stems from the fact that I despise the business I am currently in. I know this but remain stuck. I am working my way out as we speak (or write) with a new, more complete vision.
You must always have a vision. If you have a business you want to start or grow then think about how that will look in five or ten years and make it that way. I have seen many great businesses built from nothing. They all have one thing in common. A owner who has a vision and believes in it.
I don’t believe in my vision right now and my business is suffering from it. So, I am working on a new vision. Instead of setting a bunch of goals which won’t work out because my vision is not congruent, I am charting a whole new course.
My point is this. If you have a vision or mission for your business or life, goal setting is irrelevant. Everything will automatically be pointed towards this vision. But, it must be crystal clear in order for it to work. You must be able to see it and believe that it is achievable. This is, kind of, what I believe the law of attraction really is. It is just a vision.
When you have a clear vision, things begin to happen to you which will help you achieve that vision. I no longer think it is magic or some law. I just think you begin to notice things which will drive you towards your vision, sometimes subconsciously. This can seem like magic or some force, but the force is really just your mind. Your mind is very complex and in a way it can work like magic. We have no idea what the power of our mind really can accomplish.
So get your vision crystal clear in your head of what you want your life and business to look like. Then decide to make this vision a reality. Then visualize this vision until it becomes real to you. Once it becomes real in your mind, reality will catch up real soon.