Listen to the audio version read by Philip Frey:
What is holding you back from reaching your success goals?
I recently wrote myself a list of things that I see as major obstacles to reaching my success goals.
- Not enough time
- Not enough money
- Bad habits
- Bad health
- Unproductive Mindset
- Limiting Beliefs
- Physical problems
I was pretty amazed at how quickly I was able to come up with three or more possible ideas for strategies to combat or overcome each of the obstacles on the first list. Here is an example of some ideas I had for the first item on the list. Just off the top of my head.
Not enough time:
- stay up later
- get up earlier
- stacking-do two things at once
- help from friend or family member
- sacrifice something
- change job
- less TV or social media
- quit a project or postpone
The huge realization I had as soon as I started the lists was that my success goal was not all that clearly defined. I wonder how often that is the case with folks who struggle to set and meet personal goals.
Ask yourself right now, do you have a clear vision of exactly what your success goal is? What does success mean to you? I also had to ask myself what type of success goals I am talking about. There are long term life goals and then there are short term goals and everything in between. Where to start?
When I was about 10 years old my dad found out that I had been totally slacking off in school, not doing any of my homework. I got in big trouble one day in class for not bringing in some paperwork and a variety of other infractions that added up to five or six checks next to my name on the chalkboard which meant that I had to go to the principle’s office. This was pretty scary at the time for me because although I was often in slight trouble before, but this was like going big time and becoming a full on “bad kid”. It all kind of worked out well though, because my dad took the bull by the horns and decided it was time to really make a difference in my life and his relationship with me.
My dad wrote up this two page long “punishment” explanation which included a period of time where I was grounded from fun stuff like playing outside and watching TV. I remember that part of it as being really horrible. The rest of the program he came up with consisted of us getting together once a week for breakfast, and me writing reports on a daily and weekly basis.
Looking back, I realize that his purpose in all this was to get me to really think about what mattered to me in life and to begin to be a conscious thinking individual as well as build our father and son bond.
He gave me these three important questions to answer on my daily “blog” style writings which was part of the program he created for me. After taking a ten or fifteen minute thinking “meditation”, I was supposed to write answers to these questions:
1. Who am I?
2. What am I doing with my life/time? or What do I want to do with my life/time?
3. Why am I doing these things? or What is the purpose or reason for my decisions?
I remember being so frustrated at first, not understanding even what the heck he meant by these questions. Many days I just wrote humorous answers or silly stuff. The fact that I still remember this all so well just goes to show what an impression he made on me through this process. I really began to enjoy meeting with him every week, and I think over time I did gain an ability to think more introspectively about the things that matter to me and why.
The reason I told you this whole story is to highlight the importance of understanding what really matters and why. With the fundamental questions in place it becomes easier to approach the goals and your personal vision for success.
My journey has taught me that I feel best in life when I am serving a purpose that gives me a feeling of pride and satisfaction. In other words, its important to me that I am not wasting my time.
What type of long term goal would satisfy my deeper need to feel a sense of meaning in life?
It makes a lot of sense to start with a long term goal. If I were hiking towards a far off mountain I could use that huge landmark as a guide, looking up from time to time. So lets call the long term goal the distant mountain. In the meantime, the shorter goals would be the nearby hillside or getting across this stream or whatever was in the path to the big mountain. The long term goal helps to define the short term goal. I want to hike to that big mountain. I want to feel that sense of pride and achievement that comes with reaching a goal. For me, helping others is creating an environment where others can better help themselves. So my distant mountain consists of being able to spend most of my time helping other people reach their goals. The hard part is figuring out how to make a living doing that and paying the bills, supporting the household and having some free time to relax or go on a trip with the family from time to time.
I think I had some of this figured out when I was younger. Somewhere on my personal path as I grew up and became an adult I reached a point where I felt very confused and lost. It took me a while to remember where I was going and why. I think most people reach a point like this in life sometimes. Many times. Sometimes the fog is thick or the hillside is blocking the view of that far off mountain. At times like this, it makes sense to stop and “meditate”. To try and remember the reason for traveling. Sometimes it takes a little backtracking or even starting over.
What is really hard to remember in the low points is that there is a solution to every problem and a way around every obstacle. Sometimes we need help from a friend or a tool to climb or a boat to cross a river. There is a solution.
Here is my list of obstacles to reaching goals and some of the ideas I came up with in my brainstorming session to conquer the obstacles. I recommend doing some “meditation”, making some lists, and overcoming some obstacles. I will keep providing every tool and idea I can come up with to help you. For more ideas and suggestions, check out the link to my podcast where I share personal stories and give more tips to improve your life and achieve your dreams.