Do you want to be successful in life? Do you want to be happy and be doing something you really like while still earning enough money for a living? Do you want to have time to pursue some hobbies and enjoy life?
The good news is: you can achieve this – BUT you need to have some very good reasons, some compelling goals to actually accomplish this as the path to success and happiness is not linear, straightforward or easy.
Now, you might say, ‘this doesn’t work for me, I have started many goals and never achieved them; goals don’t really help’. So why is having goals important at all?
Indeed, many people fail to reach their goals – especially their long-term goals. You have probably experienced this yourself: you start something and feel really excited about it, put in a good amount of time and effort but then things don’t work out as expected and you lose enthusiasm and your motivation to continue.
What you need to find the motivation to continue is true goals. Just wanting success is not enough. You need to have a strong motive or motivation to change your current situation, to go through pain and to overcome obstacles.
Setting powerful goals to fuel your motivation is essential
The starting point of all achievement is a powerful goal and the strong desire to achieve it.
Let’s give a simple example: Imagine it’s Friday night and you are planning to go out for a meal with some friends. Shortly before leaving it starts snowing and the roads are getting slippery. Will you go ahead with your plan? Probably not because it would be too painful to drive up to the restaurant just to meet up with your friends. And after all, you are quite comfortable at home.
Now imagine you have a job interview lined up for a position you are really excited about and it starts snowing. Will you go ahead and drive there? You most likely will as you have a very compelling reason to do so and to go through all that pain. Not going would mean putting the great opportunity at risk to improve your work life and having to continue in a job you are not happy with.
So, if people fail to be successful, be it launching a new business, losing weight or getting fit, it’s because their true goal is not to succeed with this. Someone who is just a bit frustrated with their job but doesn’t mind the situation too much, or someone who is a bit overweight without experiencing any health issues or someone who doesn’t mind not being an athlete won’t have a strong motive to pursue a goal when things are getting tough – and they will!
However, if you have a pile of debts or are stuck in a job that drains the life out of you, or if being overweight or unfit is putting your health at risk, you will be far more likely to overcome obstacles on your way to success.
The main obstacles to your goals – they are within you
When you set your goals and start pursuing them, you need to be aware of this: Even if you are very enthusiastic and optimistic setting off, it’s not as easy and plain-sailing as it seems at the beginning. Obstacles will get in the way no matter how well you plan your journey to success, and these obstacles can be external or internal ones.
External obstacles are those created by situations, events or incidents outside your control. For example, your good intention to go to the gym regularly or to learn a new skill simply can’t be put into action because the time slot you had available for it is taken up by having to work overtime or maybe by having to look after a sick family member.
Internal obstacles, on the other hand, are created inside you and can be highly self-limiting if you allow them to develop and to expand. They can be far more powerful than external obstacles and easily lead to failure if not identified and dealt with.
Identifying internal obstacles is as important as setting goals
The number one internal obstacle to achieving your goals is, no doubt, lack of motivation. Working towards your goals lacking motivation is just like trying to drive your car without any petrol in the tank. You won’t get anywhere!
Another powerful obstacle is procrastination. You can see this as some kind of bad habit that you might have developed over a long period of time. People often think it’s part of your character or personality and hard to change. However, as it is a habit and not a need or trait, the good news is: you CAN change this, you can transform from a procrastinator into a goal-getter. But you need to identify this bad habit first to be able to change it.
The third major internal obstacle on your way to success is fear of failure. You may have experienced this feeling as early as in your childhood and it may have accompanied you all along your career path. It is a kind of inner block that is holding you back or even paralyzing you telling you ‘this is not good enough’, ‘you can’t do it’ or ‘it’s out of your league’. To be able to deal with this obstacle, you need to be fully aware of it. So, identifying your fear is a vital step.
Getting back in the driver’s seat of your life
Once you have found and set some true, powerful goals and identified any obstacles that are holding you back, you can concentrate on regaining control over your motivation that will provide the fuel for you to reach your goals.
It is important to note here that motivation is a state of consciousness, just like inspiration, self-esteem, confidence, happiness and anxiety. These states are influenced by experiences – positive experiences will have a positive effect on those states whilst negative experiences will have a negative effect.
So, this means that you can actively create a positive state of consciousness and (re-)gain motivation by identifying the positive experiences that had an impact on you and your motivation. For example, going for a walk in the park or visiting a particular café may elevate your spirits or you may have pleasant memories of how you felt when finally reaching a tricky goal you set in the past.
You can make use of these positive situations and memories by instrumentalizing them as resources to re-experience happy moments. Making your mind intentionally produce certain states of consciousness, you can start to change how you feel. This way, you can make yourself feel positive and happy thus letting motivation and emotion join forces.
No pain, no gain – the way to success is through hard work and failure
To be successful, you need to be willing to endure a certain amount of pain before finally accomplishing your goal. Success without commitment is just not possible. You need to learn how to make the motivation work for you and how to control fundamental experiences of pain and pleasure. Also, you need to be able to control the fears that cause you to question your potential.
However, most essential is, no doubt, a very strong desire, a very powerful motive, to achieve that. And this is only possible when you have set a true goal that reflects your most central inner needs. Without such goal, you won’t be able to stay focussed when you experience the inevitable failure on your journey followed by self-doubt.
What you really want is the most critical prerequisite to success. Reaching your goals must be more important to you than anything else. You need to have compelling reasons to overcome your doubts and your lack of confidence that comes from past failures and to come out of your comfort zone. Otherwise you will experience procrastination – trying to put off the pain towards the future.
Simply said: the path to success is painful, and you need to be aware of that. If you accept pain, failure and disappointment as normal parts of your journey and learn how to deal with it by creating positive states of consciousness, you WILL achieve what you really want: your true goals.
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