Success Through Goal Setting, Part 2 of 3
Continuing from last time…
The primary reason why you fear failure is simply this: You probably do not understand the role that failure plays in achievement. The fact is that it is impossible to succeed without failing. Failure is an indispensable prerequisite for success. All great success is preceded by great failure. If you wish to fulfill your potential, you have to be willing to risk failure over and over and over, because there is no way that you can ever accomplish worthwhile goals until you have fallen on your face so many times that you have eventually learned the lessons that you need for great achievement.
In doing research for his classic book The Law of Success, Napoleon Hill interviewed more than 500 of the most successful men and women in America. All of them admitted to him that they had achieved their greatest successes just one step beyond the point where they had experienced their greatest failures.
A key to succeeding through goal-setting is expecting temporary setbacks and obstacles as inevitable parts of the goal-achieving process.
Now, in order to be successful, you need to focus your mental and physical energy in a single direction toward a predetermined objective. People who are especially energetic or talented have a hard time with this. They are the ones who try to do several things at once and end up doing nothing well.
Setting well-defined goals enables you to channel your efforts and focus your energy toward something that’s important to you. Goal-setting gives you a target to aim at and enables you to develop the self-discipline to continue working toward your target rather than becoming distracted and going off in other directions.
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Let me share with you five keys that will help you to reach your goals more effectively. Each of these keys starts with one of the letters in the word goals.
Whenever you find yourself getting off the track, simply repeat the word goals, and think about how each letter stands for a key that just might apply to your current situation.
The first letter is G, and it stands for get to it. Sometimes, the only difference between a successful person and a failure is that the successful person has the courage to get started, to do something, to begin moving toward the accomplishment of a specific goal.
For example, when I was younger, I realized that because of my limited education, I was stuck in a low-paying job. I began reading the want ads and decided that I wanted to work in advertising, especially as a copywriter. I went to an advertising agency and applied for the job of writing advertisements. The head of the agency was very polite, but he told me that I was unskilled and totally unsuited for the position. He thanked me for coming in and wished me luck.
Now I was back on the street, but I had a goal. I wanted to be an advertising copywriter. I immediately took the first step, which was to learn more about how to write copy, so that I would not be turned down in the future because of a lack of ability. I went to the local library and checked out books on the subject of advertising and copywriting.
Over the next 12 months, I checked out and read every single book in the library on the subject. Meanwhile, I read magazines and newspapers and thought about how I could improve their advertising. I wrote sample advertisements and began taking them to advertising agencies.
To make a long story short, at the end of the 12 months, two of the largest advertising agencies in the country offered me a job as a copywriter, and I accepted one of those offers. My income doubled. I had worked at other jobs in the meantime. But I had never lost sight of my goal, and I had kept on doing the things that I needed to do to put myself in a position to eventually achieve my goal.
You, too, may have a long-range goal. In order to achieve it, you need to sit down and make a list of all the steps that you will have to take to get from where you are to where you want to be. Then begin with the first and most obvious thing that you can do on that list. Complete it, and then start on number two.
Don’t worry about the long term. Just concentrate on the obvious first step that you can take. Surprisingly enough, everything else will take care of itself. The Confucian saying, “A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step,” is so popular in so many languages because it is so true.
Wait until next time, when I will explain the meaning of the remaining letters, and help you achieve success through goal setting.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.