An ancient Indian sage was teaching his students the art of archery. One day the sage wanted to test the skills of the students in archery. So, he called all of them.
He put a wooden bird as the target and asked them to aim at the eye of the bird. The first student came. He was asked to describe what he saw.
He said, “I see the trees, the branches, the leaves, the sky, the bird and its eye…”
The sage asked the student to wait. Then, he asked the second student the same question.
The second student replied, “I only see the eye of the bird.”
The sage asked him to release the boy. The arrow went straight and hit the eye of the bird.
(Story from https://www.inspirationalstories.eu/stories-about-goal-setting/)
Have A Target
“It’s important that you don’t set goals that are too easy to obtain. At the same time, you shouldn’t set goals that are out of your control without first setting short-term goals that are reachable.” – USC Sports Mental Edge
The easiest way to make your life harder than necessary is to build a business without first defining your target. I know it may sound like a good idea to just do it and see what happens. In theory, it works if you’re the type that procrastinates a lot. There are three problems with this theory:
1. When life smacks you in the face, you’re probably going to question why you’re putting yourself through the struggle. A goal gives you a reason to persist.
2. It’s going to take you longer to make progress when you’re walking in circles. Research has shown that people with no target tend to walk in circles. Don’t make yourself dizzy with activity and no progress.
3. Having a target increases life satisfaction. You’re wired to go after and accomplish goals. Wandering aimlessly is only fun for so long before you either go crazy or do something different.
This article isn’t for the uninspired or those that are not seeking inspiration. People with goals are inspired. They are ambitious (to varying degrees, of course). Your best goals stretch you to attain them. Think about the Goldilocks story. She was hungry when she walked into the three little bear’s home. The porridge looked appetizing. She tastes the first one. It’s too hot. The second is to cold. The third is just right. She goes through the same with the chairs and the bed.
Take the framework of the story and use it to craft your ideal goal. You want a one that is neither too easy or too hard. It will require you to focus, grow, and work at it to achieve.
Sometimes that means you pick one that is too hard. Sometimes that means you pick ones that are too easy. Eventually, you learn how to choose stretch goals that are just right. Like trying to hit the eye of a bird with an arrow. That goal is a stretch and possible when you have the right skills.
Had this been the first day of training then it would have been too hard. How long would you have lasted with no training and your teacher staring at you? Pretty discouraging, right? On the other end of the spectrum, hitting the bird – not the eye of the bird – would be nothing for advanced students. It would be less a goal and more like something you had to do because your teacher told you to do it.
Great coaches guide their clients towards aiming at the eye of the bird. And, when the client becomes distracted by everything else…
Handle Your Distractions
“You can always find a distraction if you’re looking for one.” – Tom Kite
Even with a target defined, it can be difficult to hit your target. Often my clients are looking at “all that heavenly glory” when they should be focused on the path to the moon. Let me explain…
In a famous scene from “Enter the Dragon”, Bruce Lee slaps a young student on the head as he tries to think of the answer to Bruce’s question about how it felt to kick with “emotional content” and not anger. “Don’t think. Feeeel.” Bruce extends his index finger towards the sky. “It is like a finger pointing a way to the moon.” Slap! The student takes another hit to the head when he looks up to the sky. “Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”
There is a time to look at the heavenly glory and a time to focus on the moon. When it’s time to work, look at the moon. That’s the direction that you are going. Distractions are everywhere. Literally. This hi-tech world makes it easy to lose yourself in social media, streaming videos and music, games, or just mindlessly talking to friends and family. These distractions make it difficult to get started on your work.
Then, you have the different ads and courses and free this and that pulling your attention away from what you have decided you’re going to do. Your mind is racing because you haven’t taken hold of the wheel to steer it in the direction that you want. (Ask me how I know this.) Shiny object syndrome is alive and well! As a marketer, you will become another shiny object, too, if you’re not careful.
What makes the disciplined person disciplined? Three things that tend to work:
1. ABC method from Harvard. “Become Aware of your options: you can stop what you are doing and address the distraction, or you can let it go. Breathe deeply and consider your options. Then Choose thoughtfully: Stop? or Go?” (I believe this is called thinking before you act. My mom taught me that one. Thank you Harvard for doing that research.)
2. Regular meditation practice. Each time you practice meditating, you risk chasing a thought and losing that delicate and intimate time with Universal Intelligence. It’s then that you have let go of the ‘rabbit’ you’re chasing and return to your breath or mantra or whatever you’re focusing on during your meditation. This ebb and flow helps to tame your monkey mind during the times when you most need to control it.
3. Out of sight; out of mind. Remove the distraction. Get rid of them. Put them up. Close them down. Unsubscribe. Log out. Leave the room. Turn it off. Create a space for your deep work. I call mine The Lab. It’s something I picked up in my 90’s hip-hop days. Rappers talked about getting in the lab to create write their lyrics. Do you have a lab? Where is your lab? What do you have in it?
Now that you have a stretch goal and you have some ways to keep focused, what are you missing? Accountability!
Have A Wise Sage
“I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum potential.” – Bob Nardelli
I admit that I thought I could do it all on my own. Although I have a history of working with coaches and mentors, I thought this coaching thing was an area that I could do myself. Sure, I’d need some help with creating websites, learning how to market, and how to create content. The coaching and business stuff couldn’t be that hard, right? I was already coaching people without getting paid for it.
Ha! That was the thing. People were willing to ask questions and be guided through their own breakthroughs as long as I didn’t ask them for anything in return. Who’d have thought that people would want help with making life transformations without having to pay someone for that help?
It made perfect sense to me. When someone provides me with a service, I provide them with some form of compensation in return for said service. Wasn’t everyone taught this same basic principle capitalism?
I used to think the answer to that question was no. Yet, time revealed that people definitely understand capitalism. If you want something, you either take it or trade something for it. While taking it was a lifestyle for me at one point in my life, it was not a path I enjoyed. I was constantly looking over my shoulder and watching over my stuff so that no one would take my stuff. That’s not a fun way to live.
What was my problem, then? Why weren’t people willing to pay me?
Simple answer: positioning.
I had positioned myself in their minds as the free guy – the guy who just loved people and wanted to make everybody feel special. Hugs and kisses. Hugs and kisses. OMG
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still that guy. I’m a hugger and I’ll kiss you on the forehead if I see an opportunity. AND…
I’ll ask you to pay me for my services. It took a coach telling me that I was worth every penny that I charged before I really understood that I could charge what I wanted. It took a coach telling me that I could do it before I really understood that I could do it. Sure, I knew that you could do it. I figured that I would get there one day when I’d done enough good to deserve it.
Do you see yourself in that story? Here’s what I want you to grasp: your growth up to this point and your genuine desire to be of service is all that you need to have in order to ask to be paid for your service (provided you can deliver what you say you can deliver). Most of us need a coach in our corner to remind us of our own ability and to push us to our next level even when we cannot see it…
You’ll See It When You Believe It
When Daymond John sold his first FUBU hat, he didn’t wait for anyone to say that he could be a designer. In fact, he took someone else’s product, put his logo on it, and sold them. He wanted to serve his community something that they didn’t have. So, he set a price and asked for the money. You can do the same. You have to see it first. Or do you…
On the 4th of July in 1952, Florence Chadwick set out to be the first woman to swim from Catalina Island to Palos Verde on the California coast. She was already the first woman to swim the English channel in both directions. She was 34 years old and on national TV. The sea tormented her every stroke. It was so cold and, to top it all off, a fog hung over preventing her from seeing where she was going.
She was about a half mile from the coast when she gave up despite the urging of my mother and her coach to keep going. But, it wasn’t the weather, the icy water, or physical exhaustion that caused her to stop. Later, she would tell a reporter, “Look, I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen land I might have made it.”
That’s all it took to stop her. She couldn’t see the goal. How many times has that stopped you from hitting your goal?
Will that continue to be your story?
While everyone else relies on their physical senses because they’ll ‘believe it when they see it’, you’ll have to rely on your spiritual senses that say, “you’ll see it when you believe it.” That’s a challenge that’s worth undertaking. Oftentimes, people stop when things get really tough.
I tell my clients that it’s when things get really tough that life is testing your desire. How badly do you want it? It says. Will you persist when things don’t look like the perfect plan you concocted while on a high from a conference or after watching that inspirational YouTube video? Will you push through when life lays its demands on you?
Quickest Path To Profits
Momentum is on the side of the person that does not stop. Inertia is more than a section from you high school Physics class. It’s a real world concept that you must overcome anytime you try to move a resting object. In this example, the resting object is you business. In Florence Chadwick’s case, it was swimming the route she’d set her sights on. She had to start over if she was going to hit her goal.
What about you… Aren’t you tired of starting over? It’s time you finished something that is important to you, right?
Two months later, Florence hit the water. Half a day into her swim, the fog rolled across the sea again. This time, she pushed on. She kept with plan moving forward in faith, trust in her coach, and confident in her ability to do what she’d come to do. She completed that swim in a record time just as she’d done in her swim across the English channel.
The shortest route to your goal is to not give up. Of course, you know that already, right?
Every time that you start and stop you push your goal further away. I know life is going to show up. There are going to be times when your eyes on the target, your focus is on point, and you’re listening to your coaches and you’re still going to feel like giving up. It’s in those moments that you activate your fail-safe mechanism: uncompromising faith. It’s your quickest path to profits.
CALL TO ACTION:
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