“I love boats and have always thought about getting one.” I heard again today from a Whole Foods employee. She asked me what I did and why I was going to the office on a Sunday. “I’m a very rare person who gets to love what I do.” my answer seemed to fall on deaf ears.
This scenario always has me counting my lucky stars, so to speak. What keeps people from doing what they love? In short, it’s limiting beliefs. Most people don’t even try simply because they cannot comprehend that another path exists than the one they are on.
There are three easy steps to accomplishing a goal.
Pick something you really like, that drives you, that gets you out of bed in the morning and that feeds you energy. The hardest part of this step is weeding out all the many things that would be fun to do, and that are fun, and narrowing it down to something that Tony Robbins would call ‘chunkable’ in his teachings. This step was the hardest for me, and I couldn’t find the answer by simply asking myself what I wanted to do, I had to flip around the question and ask “what do I know I don’t want to do.” and add a few items to that list. For me, I had a few clear things I knew that I did not want to do for a living. Spending my days in those activities would have been hell on earth. Something magical happened when I listed those items on a note card. It was like a veil was being lifted and I could see more clearly what I did want to do. From then on I frequently solve hard problems by flipping around the question. Tony Robbins is always teaching, if you want a better answer, ask a better question. Sometimes you have to ask a handful of questions to see the path of answers ahead.
Make a decision to do something towards your goal. This can be in either one of two directions. Towards your goal, or cut off something that is in the opposite direction. Best example, if your goal is to learn a new language and you sign up for a class on Wednesday evenings, then you can’t also join a Wednesday evening community club. Your options are, take the class, or better yet find a community club that is also a language class. In business we call the things we give up an ‘opportunity cost’ for making a decision. The idea here is that the decision must be ‘action’ you have to show up to the class. Whatever your goal is in #1 above, decide. Tony Robbins again points out that this word originates in Latin and French and literally means ‘to cut off’. So, you haven’t actually made your decision until you’ve done something.
Commit to outcomes, whether they are benchmarks or completion. It’s no secret that ‘big goals’ such as creating an aluminum boat building brand takes time and there are endless tasks associated in the process. So we focused on smaller goals. Ours were simple, a. finalize design into something we could build with our available tools and resources, b. collect people, tools and resources and set a ‘start date’ for physical construction. Our first model of the boat was made of cardboard. c. break things down to chunkable tasks, whether they be minute, hourly, daily, weekly etc. List them out in chronological order, and review them daily. Often I write note cards and carry them in my pocket of the big things that need to get done. Rarely are these big things urgent tasks, but when taken together day after day and week after week, they turn into months and years. Now, we’ve gone over one million in revenue, we have compiled the tools and people necessary to build a complete boat inside of 40 working day, and we have assembled a wonderful group of employees, vendors and customers.
Many philosophical ideas can become real, but they only do so when action is taken by the believing leader with a specific goal in mind. I recommend going deeper into these three steps and honing your own worthy goal, take the first action, and then commit to the outcome and keep on working until it’s accomplished. Chances are all of these steps will change your life, and day by day you will grow and those goals will continue to get bigger and bigger.
This article first appeared on GoalsOnTrack blog. It is written by Travis Brandt, owner of an innovative aluminum boat company.