“”What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” – Napoleon Hill
Welcome to 2010! Are you ready to hit your goals this year? Good. This issue will help you do that. Let’s start with a true story that reveals the power of goal-setting and the secret of intention:
The Magical Check
One lonely night in the Hollywood Hills, a struggling stand-up comedian sat in his Toyota thinking about his future. As he gazed down from Mulholland Drive onto the glittering lights below, he felt a burst of inspiration sweep over him. He pulled out his checkbook and grabbed a pen. He then wrote himself a $10,000,000 check, dated it eight years in the future (“Thanksgiving 1995”) and wrote “for acting services rendered” on the front.
It was a giant leap of faith. Why? Because this actor was no different than the millions of others who leave their homes to seek fame and fortune in Hollywood, only to end up rejected, broke and penniless. You see, he had no job. He had no connections. And after seven fruitless years of beating the pavement in Hollywood, no big breaks. In spite of that, he persevered and carried the “magical check” in his wallet everywhere he went the next few years. When things got tough, he’d pull out the tattered check and look at it to lift his spirits.
Then things began to change. His stand-up gigs started to take off. Agents started to call. He landed a small part in a TV show. And the floodgates opened. By 1995, that same actor was making a staggering $20,000,000 per film. The actor’s name? Jim Carrey. You may have heard of him.
The Day of Decision
That one day changed everything. It was a day of decision. Jim Carrey put the world on notice that he was going to be a success…one way or another! Without realizing it, he had tapped into the power of intention.
What is intention? Intention means a burning determination to reach your goals. It means you have great resolve and will accomplish your goals, no matter what obstacles block your path. When you possess intention, your actions are deliberate and purposeful. With that in mind, here are my five secrets for harnessing the power of intention – just like Jim Carrey did – and put it to work for you this year:
Step #1.) Decide What You Want
All achievement starts with a definite purpose. So start this year by mapping out a crystal clear goal. To help choose your goal, ask yourself questions such as: “What type of person do I want to be at the end of 2010? What do I want to have? What types of people do I want to be surrounded with? What type of grades will I have? What types of contributions will I have made to my community and others? What rank do I want to be?”
An effective goal is specific, realistic and time-sensitive. It’s not enough to say, “I want to be a black belt someday” because “some day” is not specific. Instead, say “I want to be a black belt by January 2011.” Jim Carrey wrote “Thanksgiving 1995” on his check. That’s specific. A goal is a dream with a deadline.
I urge you to write your goal on paper. Some people write their goals on a 3” x 5” card, laminate it and carry it with them. Others post it on their bedroom mirror or somewhere else they can see it every day. It’s up to you. Just make sure you commit it to paper. Once you do, move on to…
Step #2.) Create a Plan to Hit Your Goal
Without a plan, your goal is simply a daydream. Anybody can do that. But the secret behind winners and high achievers is their ability to plan and take action to achieve their goals. So sit down and create an “action plan” as soon as possible to help achieve your goal. You do this by writing down all the steps needed to reach your final goal.
Think of a goal as a long-term aim. But along the way, you also have many short-term milestones (I talked about these last month). The word “milestone” comes from stone markers placed next to roads in times past. These milestones reassured travelers that they were on the right track, showed the distance traveled, as well as how many miles were left until the final destination. Your milestones serve the same purpose. By writing down your milestones, you can check to make sure you’re on the right track.
For example, your plan might be to: “Upgrade to Leadership, add a day to my training schedule, start teaching lower ranks and attend more tournaments”. Once you set those major milestones, you can break them down further. What day will you upgrade to Leadership? When will you start teaching lower ranks? Which tournament are you going to attend first? Make it real. Think in terms of physical actions.
Finally, write down what you intend to trade in return for your goal. This is the price you’re willing to pay in effort, money, time and sweat! Remember that there is no such thing as something for nothing.
#3.) Stoke Your Desire
Many of us are good starters but poor finishers. Once you start working your plan, you’ll find the day-to-day grind is always the hard part. This is when it’s most important to keep the flame burning and your goal clearly in mind.
Best-selling author Napoleon Hill said, “If you find yourself lacking persistence, this weakness may be remedied by building a stronger fire under your desires.”
Jim Carrey built a strong fire under his desires by taking his check out of his pocket and looking at it when things got tough. He constantly reminded himself why he was pushing so hard, overcoming so many setbacks and confronting so many challenges in his quest.
If you have your goal on an index card, you can do the same thing. You can even do a “self-affirmation” and read your written plan at the start of each day to stay focused.
#4.) Surround Yourself With Support
When you involve others, something magical happens: synergy. This is the concept that the “total is worth more than the sum of its parts”. In other words,
1 + 1 = 3. The Beatles were a great example of synergy. Individually, they were all brilliant musicians. But on their own they could never come close to the pure magic they created together. John Lennon said, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality”.
When you make your goal public and enlist others in its attainment, doors will open for you. Things will fall into place easier. People will appear in your path to help you. Also, having role models to emulate builds your resolve because you’re surrounded by people who have achieved that goal. You can also reach out for help or ask for advice.
#5.) Stick With It
Finally, there is no substitute for perseverance and discipline. Always remember: “What one person can do, so can another”. This year, while others give up, YOU persevere. Commit to doing just that little bit extra, going the extra mile, sticking with it just that little bit longer and I promise you’ll experience a true breakthrough this year. Let’s train hard, have fun and hit our goals together in 2010! — Senior Master Babin