As I’m writing these words, I’m at the home of one of my mentors, Dan Sullivan, who is the founder of Strategic Coach.
The only reason I tell you I’m here is that, for years, I would have been blown away simply to meet this man.
Now, we not only have a close friendship where he allows me to sleep at his house, but we now work together on big projects.
I tell you this simple story for a few quick reasons:
Most people do not know how to set or achieve goals.
Most people don’t CLEARLY know what they want. And they believe they must be clear BEFORE setting goals.
The process of writing your goals down on paper, every single day, is actually HOW you clarify your goals.
You’re not supposed to have the whole future figured out, right now.
You figure it out, more fully, one day at a time.
The purpose of goals is to guide and clarify your thinking.
You get to decide what clarity means to you — and you get to decide what your future looks like.
You do this by intentionally writing down what you would like to see happen.
It’s really that simple.
However, the only truly USEFUL form of goals is in the form of numbers or events. A brain works really well when it is trying to create a specific event or a specific number.
So, when you’re looking at your goals, you want to be sure that they are numeric or actual events in the real world.
Your brain needs to quantify, in the actual world, what it is you’re trying to do.
Simply “Having a better life,” or “Being financially successful,” or “Being a professional author,” are all HORRIBLE GOALS.
You will never get the clarity you need to truly be motivated by this kind of goal setting.
You need SPECIFIC NUMBERS and SPECIFIC EVENTS.
Both of these are very important.
If you want to have your dream job, you need to quantify that in NUMBERS. You also need to quantify it in EVENTS.
Numbers are powerful because they are measurable. If your goals are not measurable, then they aren’t actually goals.
If you don’t also have SPECIFIC EVENTS you want to create then you don’t have the creative clarity to produce something significant in the real world.
Me, sitting here at Dan Sullivan’s house, is an event in real time that shows me that I’m actually moving my life in a consciously-designed direction.
Events are happening in the real world that I was writing in my journal 1–3 years ago.
The better you get at this process, the faster you’ll achieve your goals.
One other tidbit.
When you put yourself into powerful experiences, you want to allow those experiences to truly reshape your psychology. While in powerful environments, you want to really stretch your imagination and future.
Don’t play small.
As Napoleon Hill stated, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
In certain situations, you are more receptive to change. Your subconscious is more fluid and flexible and within your hand’s reach. So you might as well grab it and shake it a little bit.
For example, while at a recent event where I was learning to grow my business, I was feeling really inspired and in what I would call a “peak state.”
I decided to pull out my journal and begin writing goals down that were far bigger than anything I’ve truly imagined.
According to neuroscience — in order for visualization to work, you not only need to be intellectually stimulated but also emotionally committed.
True imagination is both cognitive and affective — mental and emotional.
When you bring the emotional-side into your visualization and goal setting, you begin to reshape your personality, because your personality is based on emotions and memories, not based on intellect.
While writing your goals down in a far more imaginative state of mind, you’ll begin to get INSIGHTS. Those insights are the gold you’re looking for. Those insights are ideas about both the WHAT and the HOW.
You’ll begin thinking about creative solutions to your problems.
You can’t actually get creative solutions if you aren’t actively seeking something bigger and better in your life.
But while you truly entertain an idea, goal, or future event you intend to experience, you give your brain something tangible to begin playing with and solving.
This is a good use of the brain, and very few people have designed systems for getting their brain activated at peak levels.
What you focus on expands.
The things you choose to measure influence and determine your mindset and mental focus.
For a long time, my core metric of measurement was the number of email subscribers I added to my blog.
This is a picture of my current email subscriber base — those who subscribe to my weekly newsletter.
In the past 30 days, I’ve gotten around 19,000 new people.
The thing is, I don’t really care about this number anymore. I care about something much more important.
While my focus was on email subscribers, I wasn’t actually making any money.
When you set a goal for a specific metric, you then put your brain on track for developing the skills to attain that metric.
Because my focus was on getting email subscribers, I allowed my brain to learn how to get email subscribers. I learned how to develop the skills and abilities that would lead to that particular outcome.
However, in moving forward and evolving in my life, I realize that that particular method, although useful, is not the best metric I should be measuring.
There are better metrics.
There are more powerful and useful metrics.
What you measure determines the goals you set. The goals you set determine the future development of your brain and personality.
Instead of measuring the number of emails I get, I’m now measuring the number of clients I’m getting. I’m also measuring SPECIFIC EVENTS around my work, personal life, and family.
The key events I’m seeking in my work relate to powerful experiences for my clients, as well as key transformational experiences I have in my own life — such as the one I’ve been having this week with Dan Sullivan.
In other words, my focus has shifted to tangible experiences for myself and my clients.
This focus has led to far greater inspiration and insights in my morning journaling than simply focusing on the number of email subscribers I get.
Your brain develops as you focus on attaining specific numbers and creating SPECIFIC events!
I’ve created a cheat sheet for putting yourself into a PEAK-STATE, immediately. You follow this daily, your life will change very quickly.
Originally published on Medium.com.
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