• Michael Baffuto

Set a goal SO BIG that you can't achieve it until YOU GROW INTO THE PERSON THAT CAN.

Updated: Mar 12, 2018

In the past few years I’ve been captivated by the essence of success and abundance. I became so interested that I set out to study wealth and success just like one would study chemistry. Just like chemistry success has multiple formulas, equations, and elements. When I refer to success, I’m referring to success as ‘the achievement of desired visions and planned goals’. If this definition were true, as it is, that would imply that it would be impossible to be successful without ‘planned goals’. This brings me to the topic at hand, goal setting, and one major element in the art of success. Out of everything that really helped transform my life goal setting really did wonders for me. If you’re already setting goals use this article as a reminder as to why they’re so critical, and reiteration as to why you should keep up with them. If you’re not setting goals, please keep an open mind when reading the rest of this article, and my goal (no pun intended) is that you’ll take out a pen and begin your journey with goal setting.

When I first began studying success about five years ago, one common element would continually appear, and that was goal setting. It was in, and continues to appear in every talk, book, and tape that I come in contact with. At first, I just skimmed over goal setting and considered it something extra, something that just sounded like a good idea. I did not think goal setting could drastically help shape my life. After I came to the realization that the substance of goal setting could be deeper than I thought I decided I would give it a go. After giving it a shot for a while I was astonished at my findings, goal setting really worked! Now, writing down goals wasn't the hard part, the difficulty was keeping up with my goals every morning and every night, checking off goals when I've accomplished them, measuring my progress and rewarding myself for those small and large achievements. The primary reason people lack enthusiasm around goal setting is because they lack faith in goal setting. In the beginning, I had my own doubts. I did not believe that writing down goals would help me in any way, shape, or form. Regardless of how I originally felt I couldn’t deny the fact that the moment I started setting goals my life began to change. After a few major successes in life, which I would not have otherwise achieved, I was sold. The more I kept up with my goals the more my faith grew, the more my faith grew the more I kept up with goals.

When we are uncertain about something, especially the direction of our lives, we become stagnant and we become stuck. On the other hand, having a clear mental picture through the use of well-defined goals is the key to striving forward. One of the tremendous benefits you receive by having well-defined goals is a great deal of energy, passion, hope, joy, and confidence. Most of the time people become stuck in life because they’re either trapped by the routine of the present, or they’re trapped by the past. The routine of the present is our daily lives; we become so busy with our daily routines of work, family, and other obligations that we do not have time to plan for the future. Now, I’m not saying these things are bad, I’m saying if you don’t take time to set goals when will you have time to achieve them. The old saying goes “If nothing changes, nothing changes”. Goals help us paint a picture of tomorrow so we can pull from today. Goals become a magnet, the bigger and stronger the stronger they pull.

To drive home the drama of how powerful goals are lets have a look at Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish-American industrialist who led the enormous expansions of the American steel industry in the late 19th century. When Carnegie died, they went into his office and began to clear his things out. In one of his desk drawers they found a little yellow piece of paper with a HUGE goal written. Carnegie wrote the following goal in his early twenties and it read: “I am going to spend the first half of my life accumulating money, and I am going to spend the second half giving it all away.” Could you imagine, during Carnegie’s life he accumulated over four hundred million dollars, which would be equal to four billion dollars today. Remember, the second part of his goal was to give it all away, and he did exactly that. Carnegie’s philanthropy goes well beyond many; one of the greatest and most well known contributions was when he founded the Carnegie Institution, which funded scientific research. He set up a pension fund for educators, which was sparked by his $10 million dollar donation. This one little Scotsman donated enough money to build more than 2,000 public libraries. Now that alone was monumental. Carnegie didn’t stop there; later he donated over $100 million to the “Carnegie Corporation” which aided many schools and colleges. This man had no idea the impact he had on so many people around the world! Could you imagine the happiness and joy you would receive if you were responsible for 2,000 public libraries. Carnegie’s goal was so large that it pulled him through all the trials and tribulations that he faced. Andrew’s goal provided him with the clarity he needed in order to accomplish greatness! In one of the greatest books ever written, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, the author writes “Dominating thoughts of our mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action and gradually transform themselves into physical reality”. If we have well defined, clear and positive goals that we reread each and everyday, those goals will become dominating though of our mind, eventually becoming reality.

An interesting survey conducted around Harvard’s MBA Program took a close look at graduates who set goals and those who did not. The interesting fact is that the top 3% of the graduate program, in terms of earnings, all had clear written goals and plans to accomplish those goals. 13% of the graduates had goals but they were not committed to paper and 84% had no specific goals at all. Now what’s staggering is the top 3%, the ones who set clear goals and wrote them out, made more than ten times as much as the other 97%. This is one more demonstration of how goals will dramatically change your life. Setting goals, even if the goal seems so far out of reach, enable us to grow into the person who can achieve those goals. It was once said “Set a goal to earn a million dollars, not for the money, but for what you will become in order to earn the million dollars”. Could you imagine the type of person you’d become in order to accomplish your list of goals.

If you want to achieve results like Napoleon Hill and 3% of the Harvard MBA Program then I suggest give goal setting a go. Do not let any old ideas or preconceived notions on goal setting deter you. When setting goals separate them into 3 columns: Personal Development Goals, Economic, and Lifestyle. Your Personal Development goals are going to include leadership skills, language, books you want to read, communication skills, relationship skills, career skills, etc. Your Economic goals are going to include your meticulous financial goals; how much do you want to earn, how much do you want to save, what percentage of your income will go towards investments, what investments would you like in your portfolio, how much would you like to earn each year in royalties, etc. Your Lifestyle goals are going to include everything; possessions, homes, cars, vacations, quality time, etc. Start by listing 20 goals in each one of these categories. Whether you believe you could achieve a specific goal or not write it down. This exercise should be fun and exciting.

There are many elements to living a successful and abundant life. In Chemistry, some chemists say the major building block of the universe is hydrogen because it’s the most plentiful element. In success, goal setting is the major building block in how successful your life turns out. The only limitations in life are the ones we set ourselves. I hope by now you have agreed to get on board and start setting goals. If so, I wish you well on this journey of a life changing experience. I know you will not regret it. 

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