Today’s episode is a little different. It’s a very popular topic, but it’s also one that very often doesn’t work for people. It is the area of looking for your goals, defining your goals, and reaching your goals. Sometimes these are called your purpose, your goals, or in some businesses they call it “your why,” that is why are you doing it; what’s going to make you or motivate you to attain something? That is, what is the purpose for you to drive to success, and whatever you call success?
We’re not talking about something small, like your next house or completing something, but rather something that really is your dream and your future that brings you to a new or different life. We’re talking about not just buying a car. We want to talk about defining your future and dreams that you really want to consider, without any restrictions on your dreams or your thoughts.
This is not something that you are forced, or coerced, or motivated by some other outside force. It’s not your parents, it’s not your wife or husband, it’s not your family. It’s something deep down inside you. You know that you want to drive and you know you want to go for it. It must be what you want for yourself.
Sometimes I say this is talked about and thought of as: why? Why is the very existence of purpose that you want to go forth, and it has to drive you. Why I say that it has to be something that you want to do for yourself? It has to be something that when all odds are against you, when things are going down and things are going wrong, you’re still going to make it happen and make it work. That can be defined in terms of a combination of family, financial, location, your reputation, many other things, but it is something you have inside of you, not that somebody’s pushing you into.
Your dream also may change over time. Actually, it probably will. That doesn’t mean you don’t strive for it and shoot for it. For example, when you’re younger, you’re going to have certain dreams as a teen or early 20’s while you’re in college. You still don’t even know what’s out there. As you have those dreams and aspirations, and you start shooting for them as you acquire more information, you may adapt/adopt new ones, change them. There’s nothing wrong with that, because as you learn, you will make changes. There’s nothing that is not only wrong with it, but it’s part of the process of growing up older, etc.
An example: when I was younger I always wanted a huge house, and all sorts of things. Then as I got a little older, I started thinking: “Wait a minute. I really don’t want all those people that I would have to have in that house. I want privacy.” So obviously that dream didn’t fit as I learned more about what was nice for me.
I also used to think about having that house that was way out in the boonies, etc. and trees around and everything else. Then later on, I thought: “Gee, that’s a little too far from all the things I really want.”
You may change them, but that’s okay because in the process you’re learning new things and you might adapt plans. I still may have that big house or nice house, but it’s not the same kind of house that I dreamt of when I was younger. With the skills and things I learned along my path, while I may have changed my dream, I was able to still move very comfortably into the next stage of life.
One way of thinking about this is what is very often talked about as creating a vision board or an idea of a concept as to what you want. You take pictures, and phrases, and other things. There’s different degrees of how wonderful this could be. By “wonderful,” I mean the picture is right and everything is symmetric or whatever. I’m not a designer. At the same time, what is going to have that for you? That will give you something to look at as a reminder of the goals on what you want. At the same time, how many people attain it with that concept or that idea? It is a reminder, it is a motivator, but you need a little bit more than just that. You need to bring it to life.
One way you can bring it to life is, let’s say part of your dream included certain houses, certain cars, certain other things such as lifestyles, etc. – bring them out. First of all, you know you’re going to change them over time anyway. Stop by and go to car dealerships once in a while, look at those nice cars. Stop by and go to open houses in new neighborhoods, etc. By the way, dress up so that they think one day you might belong there, but at the same time you go and try those things out. In a sense, try them on.
Now let’s say you have that house that you have in mind, you’ve gone through, you’ve looked at it, etc. You have other things that you want. Get some of the magazines. Have them in the house, have them lying down, just like at the doctor’s office, except this is your office, this is your house. In a sense, in your place you have the things.
I used to like looking at boat magazines, etc. and I would have them around. Never did get a boat more than just a small one, but I had that and that was part of the dream. Actually had my dream change. Later on, I did the crazy calculation while I was at Michigan, because a lot of people were going out and buying these really nice boats, which are 30- to 45-foot or so. The amount of time they could actually use it, because it was Michigan after all and it’s kind of cold most of the year, was really a small season. Then on top of that, they could only go on weekends. Most of them had to go a four-hour drive each way, so it was a big ordeal.
All of a sudden I realized: between the payments for the boat, the costs of the upkeep, the storage over the weekend, seasons that you had to take care of it to get it ready for winter, get it ready for summer, you could actually rent one of these fancy boats two or three times a month and you’d spend less, so you could pick a different one every time; never have to worry about anything about all the other things and all the other problems, and whether there’s a storm and it hurts your boat, or anything else. It didn’t make sense, but that was just me. That’s probably a little more logical, in a sense, than the emotional side. That’s my dream.
You see what’s really underneath all of these, whether it’s your house, your boat, your vacations or anything that you’re dreaming about – you may change and adapt them, but it’s not just getting them, it’s the path to get them that you’re on is really about more success, better careers, jobs, or businesses in order to be able to make your choices. Whatever you’re searching for, it’s helping you to drive to the success. You may change your mind as to what you buy or what you invest in, but at the same time, you’re still making it along the path of life as you will eventually desire it.
I just want to get into one other area. At the same time, remember the definition of success is a personal one. Just like I no longer see some things that makes sense for me, that doesn’t mean that they’re wrong for somebody else. Everybody has their own personal satisfaction. Economists, we talk about you can’t really compare people’s preferences. Whatever you prefer, if it makes you happy, that’s fine. What I do may be different, that’s okay too.
Whatever you’re doing, if you’re moving forward, to be successful and to gain or attain the things that you want, you’re going to be able to even change your mind. It may be something else you eventually buy, but you’ll be able to get it. You don’t wait around until you’ve got a final decision, then you’re not able to afford it.
Part of what I’m saying is set goals that may not even be attainable as far as you can see right now. They seem to be beyond what you may think is attainable. Make them visible, make them something you could almost touch, feel in your heart, and drive towards them. Your vision board, in a sense, combines the many facets of your life; your family, your health, where you live, what you’re going to do, what your career is going to be.
Make your dreams real. You make them real by not just having the pictures. Have the magazines. As I say, visit the places that you may or think that you want to be. By doing all these, this becomes something that becomes an active part of your life.
What we’re really talking about is helping to create your motivation for success. Yes, all of these things that are driving that you’re saying: “This is what I want,” you’re putting it up, whether it be pictures and vision boards, the magazines, whatever you’re doing to do it, visiting places, the idea is that it’s helping to motivate you to attain success.
For someone else, some of the things that you have may seem silly or irrelevant. For example, I happen to like cooking. I wanted a great kitchen. Selling the rest of the house, I wouldn’t care what it looked like. Don’t even use three-quarters of my house, but I have a great kitchen. That may be silly to somebody else. I don’t really care. It’s my house. As I said, the house had to have certain things for me.
What’s important in this whole concept is we’re trying to build up this, as we say and as I say, the purpose, the goals, and the why. You’re trying to build that up. Why? In order to drive your own motivation towards your own success. Don’t worry about the fact that it might change. Yes, you want to think about it thoroughly, and it may change, but you’ll adapt over time. The important part is you will be successful.
Thank you very much for listening. I hope to hear you in the next episode. If you have any questions at all, send them to me. The SpeakPipe on the website, www.LifeUnsettled.com, you can send me a voice message or put a comment.