Don’t Just Set Goals, Set Aspirational Goals!
Goal setting, an illustrious subject.
In this post I’m going to tell you my story of how I learnt to not only set goals, but to set aspirational goals. But first of all I want to focus on what research eludes to, it’s said that:
Only 14% of people have a goal
Only 3% of people write their goals down
I truly hope that this is not the case but I see it brandished around regularly so there much be some substance to these statistics.
So before I tell my story, if you’re reading this and you don’t
- Have a goal
- Haven’t written your goals down
Then stop reading this article now (momentarily), set at least one goal and write it down!
So my story. It’s all about setting aspirational goals, it something that lives with me which I have never forgotten from a young age.
I was just starting out my career, I had graduated from university with a degree in mathematics. I was feeling on top of the world, on a complete high believing somewhat arrogantly that I’d effortlessly have a great career of my choosing as I had so much to give (sounds familiar to most graduates).
Oh how wrong I was, looking back I applaud my confidence, but I can see now how truly naïve I was. After I graduated I had an experience which made matters worse as it added to my ego. I successfully passed through a graduate programme whereby there was an intensive selection process of which only the top twenty percent of graduates made it through. The company that ran this selection process subsequently set me up with a number of promising interviews with businesses for varying sales roles.
It was in one of these interviews when it happened, and I can remember vividly as if I was there today. I was interviewing for a young and upcoming IT firm in central London, they were a small business then, but their growth and expansion plans were formidable. They were, on all accounts, a great business that was going a long way! I met with one of their managing directors a man named Russell, he was a captivating individual, the type of person whom speaks with such control and passion that you can’t help but be spellbound by every word that he spoke.
It was one of my first interviews, I was nervous obviously, but it went ok as first interviews go. The part that I will never forget is when he asked me the following question “tell me what your aspirations are?” Now at this point I was on a bit of a back foot, I had never been asked this question before, not formally at least. More importantly not only had I never been asked the question but I had never asked the question of myself. I paused for a moment and thought to myself what do I want. A few seconds passed and then I said, “I’d like to be a director one day, make a good bit of money, maybe have a house abroad, oh and a mustang, I’d love to own a red mustang.” He said ok, “when do you want this?” I replied “erm, probably by the time I’m forty.”
Now if you can’t guess the outcome yet then I should say I didn’t get the job, and unsurprisingly, I wouldn’t employ someone whom gave me this answer. The part that hit home with me was what he said next. He said “Simon, you’re going to do well for yourself in life, you’re a smart lad with your head screwed on. What I’m going to share with you is a small bit of advice, take it or leave it, but take it and you’ll achieve more than you ever thought possible. The advice…be more ambitious! None of this by the time I’m forty or wishy-washy goals like maybe owning a house abroad. Set your goals in life and make them as ambitious as can be and if you truly believe in yourself and them goals then they will become a reality. You’re the creator of your own destiny!”
Now despite me not getting the job this interview was one of the biggest life lessons I could have, and it happened in the space of a few minutes. I sat in front of a very successful young individual and he told me his secret for success, and the best thing of all was that I was starting out in my career. So if I could take on board what he told me and apply it then I would be as, if not more, successful than he was.
It’s taken me some time in my career, but I’ve come to realise that
If our actions and desires are harmonious, then life will reward us with what we crave!
So focus on aspirational goals. Build not just an appetite for their attainment, but a burning desire. Live and breathe your goals, write them down every day, visualise them, create scrap books, share then with loved ones, do all that you can to make them become a reality. The more congruency we can establish between our aspirational goals and actions, the closer we will come to achieving them.
Life will give us what we ask of it!