One of my favorite audios that I listen to weekly is “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale.
Part of it is because I love his classic voice. When I listen to him I am taken the era of the 1950’s where films like On the Waterfront, and Sunset Blvd illustrated popular culture with the classic feel of film noir and mystery. Their rich cinematic voices resonated on such a deep level with clean, crisp language. Black and white film was filled with depth, shadows and their movements were poetic. This feel also carried into television and radio. Most importantly when Earl speaks he uncovers something that every successful person on the planet practices.
Every seminar I have ever been too also addresses this key to happiness and success.
Leaders like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Anthony Robbins and Oprah also know this secret.
Let me use this analogy so eloquently told from Earl to help you get a better picture.
“Think of a ship leaving a harbor and think of it with a complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where it’s going and how long it will take. It has a definite goal. 9,999 times out of 10,000 it will get to where it started out to get.
Now let’s take another ship, just like the first, only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go. I think you’ll agree with me that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach, a derelict. It can’t go any place because it has no destination and no guidance. It’s the same with a human being.”
Seems simple right? Having a goal = results & success.
I confess that I was a skeptic with the entire ‘goal’ thing. I mean logically I understood it. I recognized that many successful people talked about goal setting and yet on some level I thought, “Well that works for them but not for me”. Yikes!!! Talk about a limiting decision that blocked me from achieving goals. Good thing that I finally learned how to release that one!
Well after all my NLP training and constantly correcting my path along the way I started to realize something profound: writing down goals in specific manner while using the tools of NLP, MER® Therapy and Hypnosis work! It was a big goal, not an attracting a cup of coffee type of request! Goal setting works, when you do it correctly. I used to set big goals in the past (before I knew these tools) that were unable to come to full fruition because I needed the other elements integrated. Worst of all I used to give up on my big goals. Now I get it, and course correct. Aha!
You see your conscious mind represents the captain of the ship and is only 10-15% of who you are. The other 90-95% is your unconscious mind which is the crew. What do you think happens when the crew goes against the captain? Mutiny of course! The key is to control your internal compass so that you get to your destination. NLP is a great tool to get your compass clear.
Here are some tips to get you started with writing down your goals.
Ask yourself “What do I want?” Yes, you have to be clear. Clarity creates direction. Remember you don’t want to be that ship that has no destination mapped out. Choose where you want to go.
What we teach are called smart goals. S.M.A.R.T.
S- Specific & Specific. Your unconscious mind which is 95% of who you are and your goal getter is like a 5-7 child. Keeping it specific and simple allows for clarity.
M– Measurable and Meaningful to you. While your goal might affect others in a great way, it has to be meaningful for you to want to take action to move towards it. How will this goal affect you? What does it mean to you?
A – As if now & Achievable. It must be written as if now, so for example: “ It is now December 31, 2012 I have now______, and _______. And remember it has to be achievable.
R– Realistic, Responsible & Ecological. The goal has to be realistic; I mean if you want to fly to the moon without even figuring out ways how, your unconscious mind might shake its head at you and say “whatever”. So be realistic. With responsible and Ecological it has to be good for self, good for others (community & planet). There are laws like the laws of gravity that are in effect no matter what, and this applies with regards to being responsible and ecological.
T– Timed and toward. Timed means putting a date of completion because lets face it, if we had no time limit nothing would get done right? So pick a date of completion and make sure it is towards what you want. An example of towards would be something like a health goal. When there is movement towards a healthy lifestyle this creates more vitality, vibrancy, happiness and energy the motivation is much more powerful then getting in shape just for a specific event because you don’t want to look bad in a certain outfit. After the event in question what usually happens to motivation? It usually disappears. So make sure it is towards what you want, instead of away from what you don’t want.
Focus on what you want and remember to celebrate your accomplishments! Most importantly you must take action. Nothing is ever accomplished by wishing it to happen (yes I tried that too and realized it did not work). The reason why we use a towards in the goal is so you move towards it. Take action.
When I used to take lessons as a student pilot we learned about course correcting. Just like success there is no solid straight line and you have to keep adjusting due to wind, temperature and everyday life. Another thing is to let go and surrender to what the exact path will look like, this keeps you open to possibilities. Additionally it helps you keep focused on the end result. Remember, keep your compass pointed in the destination you want to go. At times the compass might need some realignment, refrain from being discouraged it could be something as simple as cleaning the lens. I speak from my heart regarding instances where I used to give up, not anymore though!
Also stuff comes up when you set goals which is normal and actually is a good thing. By stuff I mean challenges, emotional bubbles and things of that nature. The solution is to address those things when they come up, because when you do it starts to clear the path. We get more into detail about this at our trainings, and there are still some things you can do right now to move towards your desired future. Start with setting S.M.A.R.T. goals; it is a smart and useful technique!
“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going… it’s as simple as that.” (Earl Nightengale).
“You are the agent of change in your own life. That authority and responsibility does not rest outside yourself with a teacher or guru or seminar leader. Once you have rediscovered your own intrinsic power and understand how consciousness works, life itself becomes your workshop, your training.” (Dr. Matthew B. James)
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”(Anthony Robbins)