“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.” — Mark Twain
In the first part of the 1900’s lived a man named Howard HIll. He was a football and basketball star but became famous for archery. He may, in fact, be the greatest archer that ever lived. He won 196 consecutive archery tournaments, never being beat. He would perform by doing difficult trick shots like shooting an apple or even a prune off of someone’s head from as far as sixty feet, and then would likely top that by shooting at an even smaller target from the same distance or maybe even longer. He could also shoot a flipped coin from a distance or split a rolling ball made of wood. He would also sit on the ground and push his bow with his feet while pulling the arrow back; even from this position he was able to hit the bullseye.
He went to Africa and brought down rogue elephants with nothing more than his bow and arrows! He also did all of the archery stunts for the original Robin Hood movie with Errol Flynn, the one where he shot a bullseye and then split his first arrow with a second. You can see why he would be considered the greatest archer that ever lived.
But despite of all that, I am pretty sure you could beat Howard Hill at an archery contest. In fact, I’m 100% positive you could…if we blindfolded Mr. Hill and spun him around a couple of times and then told him to hit the target.
You may say, “Well obviously he can’t hit something he can’t see.” I agree completely. And that is the point of this post. How could anyone expect to hit a target they can’t see or have never defined for themselves?
Do we all have goals for ourselves? Most people say they do. But the results get interesting when you dig deeper. Let’s look at the results from a study done a few years ago.
430 people sampled at random were asked the following questions:
Do you have goals: 74% said yes.
Are they written down anywhere? 2% said yes.
Are they posted somewhere that you can see them every day? 0.3% said yes.
Essentially, for the sake of our illustration, 74% or people know there is a target out there somewhere to be shot at. 2% know exactly what it looks like. and 3 out of every 1000 people are actually focused on it. Which ones do you think have any chance of hitting the bullseye?
So how can we move towards our “dream life” if we have never defined it? We really can’t. Unless we take action, it is all just a wish that most likely will never be realized.
How do we get into that elite 0.3%? It actually isn’t that difficult and only takes a few minutes. Here are a few steps to get you started. These steps only take about 15-20 minutes but will probably be the biggest step you have ever taken towards your future goals.
Step 1: Sit down and think about what you would consider the perfect life.
Don’t hold back or limit yourself. Dream big! Where would you live? What job would you have? What car would you drive? Where would you go on vacation? How would you spend your free time? How much money would you make? What would your kids be like? What kind of spouse are you? The more detail the better.
Step 2: Write it down!
If it isn’t written down it is just daydreaming. Something almost magical happens when you write it down. It solidifies the idea in your brain. You start to “own it.” The more detail the better. Tip: Write it as though you already have those things or are that way. Example: “I run 5 miles every morning. I spend time with my children every day. I drive a new red sports car. I weigh ____lbs. and eat healthy.” You get the idea. The power of thinking in the present tense is awesome!
Step 3: Organize it!
Read through what you have written and pull out the 5 things that are most important to you. The “Fab 5” things that, when accomplished, will be the most rewarding. Make them into a bullet list. You should only write it down if it is something that you are passionate about accomplishing. It doesn’t have to be a huge goal but it does have to mean something to you.
Step 4: Post It!
Once it is organized into your 5 bullet points, post it somewhere. The fridge, the bathroom mirror, on your computer screen, somewhere where you will see it all the time. The more you see it, the more it will influence your daily decisions.
You don’t have to accomplish all of your wildest dreams in a week. But if you have the target visible, you will find yourself taking small steps in the right direction. Soon those steps will snowball into major progress and before long all of that progress will turn into major success. But without a target to aim at, you may as well be a blindfolded archery champion.
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