Do your goals pass the ultimate test?
Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been bashing my head against the wall. I set huge, awesome goals for the year, and unlike usual, I was completely following through. In fact I was driving the bus all the way to the station.
However, then it all stalled up on me. I could blame many things. This damn Coronavirus for one. However, all the excuses in the book aren’t going to get me off the hook on this one. No, I dropped the ball. I was powering on, learning so many secrets to this craft of online writing, achieving daily limits, the numbers all spiking, and then I smashed into the wall and just dropped it all.
To tell you the truth, I’m glad.
The truth is I didn’t have the right goals. I thought I did. I mean I spent hours writing my way through all the lessons and trying to work out what I should do. And everything inside said, ‘yes, let’s do this’, an article a day, study the craft, deliver value, you know all the tricks.
I was even making reasonable progress. However, it was not sustainable.
Since then I heard one piece of great advice, a test, from an old pro. which has changed my whole outlook.
The piece of advice: You must consider your goals carefully, you basically give up your life for them. (Bob Proctor)
Are you ready to give up your life for your goals?
When I heard this, I won’t lie, I thought what a load of rubbish.
However, as I allowed the thought to sink in, I realized it’s kind of really true. If you set powerful goals, they are what you want your life to be. And the life I was chasing, was not what I want my life to be. I had worked myself into it, the glamour of fighting to be a writer and an influencer; sparking people up with the wise thoughts I’d learned.
That all sounds great, right? Doing the blogging thing.
However, it turns out that there’s a lot to doing the blogging thing. It’s not just the writing and learning interesting stuff and passing it on. It’s an actual business, with marketing and all that stuff.
So, while I had these great goals all worked out, it lead to me grinding myself into the ground. Writing like crazy, writing whatever, just to pump it out and publish. Then posting it here, there, everywhere, just to get it out. After that was the ‘networking’ of read for read, and like for like, and all that jazz.
Well, that’s not the image of life I had. Sorry to all of you loving the hustle, I’m happy for you, but I tried it, it’s not for me.
So, how do we decide the goals worth giving up our lives?
Now, obviously I am full of it, as in I’m still here blogging after just saying I’m not chasing the whole blogging thing. However, my goal is still to write and still to teach people how to be empowered, though the goals of write daily, network like crazy, marketing for hours on Facebook, that’s just not my game.
So, I have to find a new way to go about it.
How do we do that?
Well to find our calling, the thing we’re supposed to do, according to world acclaimed productivity expert Stephen Covey is: find the intersection of what you like, what you are good at, and what the world needs from you.
That’s how I got to blogging. I figured, I’m good at writing and teaching, I love writing, and the world needs a positive voice promoting good vibrations.
However, it turns out there’s a whole lot of people doing the same.
That didn’t turn me off. I knew if I could play long enough I’d work out the secret and gain my little slice.
However, as I battled on, I realized, I’m not the expert. What does the world need from you? It doesn’t need me to blog the same message as hundreds of others. That’s not important. So, that path is going to be years of beating my head against the wall trying to win over other people’s clients — people who know more than me.
So that’s not a smart goal for me to give up my life for.
If I’m going to give up my life, it needs to be for something that will give my life absolute meaning — I know that sounds ‘wanky’ and a bit entitled. But I’m feeling I’m at that point.
So what is your superpower?
What is the one thing that you can do that no one else can?
That’s the question that should be most important. For example: Bill Gates was able to go days straight coding. There were not many people who could do that. That one superpower opened up his whole life to do everything he ever dreamed of. JK Rowling, children’s books; she claimed the whole story just came to her. Warren Buffett, hours each day looking at stock numbers, but freely admits he would be useless in the wild. Tony Robbins … hey, you name it, all those successful people knew what their one superpower was/is and they maximized on it.
What is my superpower?
My superpower is not blogging the same message as a million other Tony Robbins wanabes. So what is the one, unique thing that I can do?
For me, I need to ask what can I do that no one else can:
There’s not much!
That’s a sad revelation. However, the things I’ve done fairly well are write and teach. And I wouldn’t say I was awesome at either.
However, if I have to pick one thing that I can do, that no one else can do, which would absolutely define my life. It would be to write my novels. My stories are my unique take on the world. They are my informed message to the whole world based on a life time of observing, thinking and questioning.
Maybe no one will like them
Now maybe no one will like my novels or my writing. However, now that I’ve thought about it, I realize, that even if people say they are the worst thing ever written, I will fight back. People may not like what I wrote, but I know literature and I know my work has value.
I don’t know that I can say that about my blogging.
Beyond that, if I was to spend the next 10 years writing novels and not make a dollar, I would still have the reward of having created something so totally unique and meaningful to me. Hopefully, I can find the story that becomes totally meaningful and magical to others too.
So, long story short, even if I fail at novel writing I will have lived my most creative and empowered life. I would have used my gifts to create something that no one else can.
If I succeed at blogging, I see a lifetime of writing the same message. I see networking and marketing. I see … well I actually see a lot of good stuff as well. Which is why I’m still blogging, but I’m not being ‘that’ blogger who’s driven to grab attention, use magnets, drive traffic, funnel, and all that stuff.
I’m going to chase my success as a novelist and write my blog to share my overflowing thoughts with the world.
As Napoleon Hill claims in his seminal book Think and Grow Rich — when riches come, it is never the result of hard work. At the moment all my goals feel like hard work — my novel writing feels like a gift from the universe and like it came all to easily.
Who knows it might be crap. But let’s see, it could be the thing that lets me blog about success for years to come.
Thanks for reading. I doubt anyone made it this far.
This has been a far too personal story about how I changed my whole list of goals.
I no longer care if I’m doing the blogging right. I’m just sharing my journey. If it grabs your attention then great. But I have to put more focus on the work that will truly have an impact.
All this boils down to the one rule I started with:
Are you ready to give up your life for your goals?
If yes, best of luck to you.
If no, take your time to work it all out now.
All the best, and hope to catch you reading one of my novels in the near future.