The first thing you need to do is to define your goals. This is very integral to your potential success as you can’t very well succeed until you know what it is that you want to achieve! The problem a lot of people have is that they start making decisions before setting goals and having a clear vision. In reality, a goal should come from a vision and you need one before you can have the other.
So what’s the difference?
A vision is a lot more abstract than a goal.
A vision is not a plan or an idea but rather it is a lifestyle, a way of life, a state of affairs… a dream. Your goal will then fill in the steps from there…
To find your vision, the simplest strategy is to try picturing your perfect life. Imagine you have been given a magic lamp and can make three wishes. Meanwhile, you also won the lottery.
What does this perfect life look like? What does it entail? Where do you see yourself? Who is there with you?
For some people, these decisions will be hard to make. Maybe that’s not you. Maybe you’re sitting in a hammock, drinking a cocktail while watching the sun set over a tropical ocean somewhere.
Or perhaps your dream is more extravagant. Maybe you imagine having a huge beautiful house, a beautiful wife/husband and great kids. Maybe you envisage being able to spend all your time with those kids and not worrying about living paycheck to paycheck.
Whatever you decide, create this vision in your mind and use this as motivation on your path to becoming a millionaire.
So now you have a vision for what you want to accomplish and you have embraced the things you really want from life, it’s time to actually start making progress. And this is where you actually start creating goals and more specifically – steps – that you want to accomplish.
So you want to become a millionaire? Get in line – so does the rest of the world, and most of them are still struggling to climb the stairs. And maybe it’s that desire to make more money, which is vague and unhelpful, which is causing the problem.
The problem you see is that ‘making more money’ is not a goal. It’s far too vague, it depends on your definition of ‘making more money’ and it’s not directly within your capabilities to control.
In order to be successful in any endeavor, you need to know how to correctly phrase what it is that you are trying to accomplish in your mind.
So how should you have gone about creating this goal?
How are you going to make the decisions necessary to make those plans happen?
What if your kids are relying on you to pay their way through school.
Can you just drop everything and go traveling around the world?
Again, this comes down to mindset. Firstly, recognize that fulfilling your dreams needs to take priority over most other things. That might sound selfish but think about what kind of father/mother your children would rather have: one who is exhausted and unfulfilled, or one who loves what they do and feel excited to go to work every day. What kind of example are you setting for them by spending your evenings in an office you hate, doing a job you hate, and still not having enough money to live comfortably?
The next thing to realize is that you can accomplish a lot of things much easier and more quickly once you stop thinking that your life should entirely revolve around your work.
Here’s the irony, a lot of people will work incredibly hard and spend extra hours in the office just so that they can have more time with their family! They dream of being retired and they work so that their family can live comfortably.
If your goal involves spending more time with family, then this is absolute nonsense. All you are accomplishing is taking yourself further away from your family and providing for them less.
Your salary is not what dictates your wealth apart from anything else. You can get a raise of 2K a year by working incredibly hard and putting in extra hours, or you could rent the spare room out to students. Or you could sell trinkets on eBay. Or you could cancel that cable TV subscription and get slower WiFi. You could stop paying for Netflix too.
What would you rather: pay for Netflix and more TV channels and take on hugely more stress at work, or just fix your budget and get more money that way while having more time to spend with family. You could move into a house and stop paying rent, or you could sell your car and get a smaller, cheaper one.
A lot of people work incredibly hard because they want to ‘save the money to go travelling’. Except, every time they get to that junction when they should just up and go, they realize that they’re doing too well at work and that they can’t leave right now…
So wouldn’t it be better to change and get a job you can do online? Then you could travel while you earned money? Or how about taking a sabbatical from your current position? Or leaving work, only to find more work when you get back?
Why spend your youth working incredibly hard and making yourself ill with stress just to travel when you’re too old to enjoy it? Why not just take long holidays now and live your life?
Why is working harder always the first answer that most of us think of?
All of this is fine and the first crucial lesson we need to learn here is that you have to be honest with yourself. You need to be 100% brutally honest with yourself. Maybe your vision is just to be a bum and lie around the house!
Too many of us feel as though we have to live the life that others set out for us. We feel as though we need to achieve what is considered the traditional view of success. We feel the urge to please our teachers, our parents.
And so when someone asks us ‘what is your goal?’, we will often say ‘to be a lawyer’.
We’re too embarrassed to say that we just want to spend more time with our kids. And we’re too embarrassed to say we want to be a successful business owner.
But what is the point of chasing someone else’s dream? Go after the things that you feel passionate about and never feel ashamed of whatever they may be!