5 Ways to Achieve Insurmountable Goals
Written by David Schnurman, CEO, Lawline & FurtherEd, LinkedIn, 02/02/15
Once, in an interview, Ted Turner poignantly shared with the world one of the last pieces of advice his father gave him before he committed suicide: "[My father] advised me to set my goals higher than I could possibly achieve in my lifetime so that there would always be something unaccomplished that I could keep working on." Ted explained that his father had set his goals too low, and had come to regret that fact.
Take a pause and reflect on that quote. You look to what Ted Turner has achieved in his life and it is inspiring. He took what was a $1,000,000 billboard business in 1963 and turned it into one of the largest media companies in the world. Use this to reflect on your own goals and vision to see if they are set high enough.
Below is a list of five things you can to keep yourself from setting your goals too low—or from getting sidetracked on your journey.
1. Recognize That Fear of Failure is Holding You Back
This is the single biggest area that prevents us from leading extraordinary lives. But that is the beauty to what Ted's father said, the more you aspire to achieve, the more likely you are to fail. Failure is built into setting goals that you can never achieve. That can be a very freeing statement, as it allows you to think of failure as something that makes life more fulfilling, not scarier.
2. Write, Write, Write
Whether it is through journaling, writing articles, or rewriting your business plan, writing is the key to unlocking your mind and bring goals closer to reality. In today's world of 24/7 connectivity and more information than you can consume. the best way to focus is to put your thoughts down. For me, that means waking up at 5 am to write this article before the busyness of my day begins. What does it mean for you?
It is not by accident people say a lot of their best ideas come in the shower. Why? It is an area where we are relaxed and disconnected from the rest of the world. Take at least one day a month and go off the grid. Do not think about work or goals, just use the day to reenergize. If you can't spare a whole day, it may be half a day or a few hours, but the key is to let your mind flow and your creativity run free. You never know when the burst of creativity will come, so it's important to do this regularly and often.
4. Stay Organized
I have used several different task management programs over the years. Keeping organized is always a work in progress. It is the person who is organized in her mind that will achieve more then her peers. It is one of the key differentiators in life. A simple way to start is to create lists of goals and tasks. If there are things you are unsure of create a YES/NO list to help you figure it out better. For example, I was recently looking for new office space and for each place that I liked I created a checklist of both positive and negative attributes. Doing this allowed me to get a full picture of my thoughts before I made the decision. This process led me to build an amazing 8400sf tech space across from the NY Stock Exchange. Without the YES/NO lists, I would not have been comfortable taking this risk and it has been a game changer for my company.
5. Work with a Coach or Mentor
There is only so much you can do on your own. There comes a point where you need to talk it out with someone else. The key, of course, is choosing the right person. I recommend working with a coach or a mentor instead of just a friend, because of the skills and experience they can provide. A coach is trained to ask you the right probing questions to get you to explore a concept further. A mentor has the years of experience to share what you what has worked for him or her, and can also give you greater insight on your path to future success.