“If you want to keep getting what you’re getting, keep doing what you’re doing.” - Les Brown
Walk down any given street in any given city and it’s likely you’ll find most people look like their faces are being shoved into dirt.
And I think that's really, really sad. Life is FREAKING AMAZING and incredibly precious. If you're on the right side of the ground, have a little food in the cupboard, and a roof over your head, you are truly blessed.
The mere fact that we exist is astounding!
Yet most people hate their job, play mind-numbing games on their phone because they are “bored,” spend hours scrolling through Snapchats and Vines for a brief laugh, get lost in a fictitious escape that airs every Friday night at 8pm, and have the audacity to complain that "Nothing ever changes."
Reevaluate your personal belief system, the ideas and principles that undergird everything you are trying to do and become. Oftentimes, it is our limiting beliefs (the negative things we tell ourselves are true about the world) that are impeding us on our journey toward greatness, not the external factors we love to blame when we run into adversity.
Don't let your limiting beliefs KILL your super ambitious goals
Many people do not realize their goals because they use words and phrases that perpetuate their limiting beliefs…
“In the future”
“I can’t do that”
In fact, the most goal-destroying word of all is “tomorrow.” The poor, unhappy, and unhealthy people are the ones who use the word “tomorrow” the most.
“I’ll start working on my business idea tomorrow.”
“I’ll start learning to invest tomorrow.”
“I’ll start going to the gym tomorrow.”
“I’ll start reading tomorrow.”
“I’ll start improving my life tomorrow.”
No word has destroyed more lives.
Here’s the harsh reality: I’ve never seen a tomorrow. Tomorrows do not exist except in the minds of losers.
All you have are todays. “Today” is the word for winners. “Tomorrow” is the word for losers.
Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow. Is what you are doing TODAY going to get you to the financial, personal, business, relationship, and spiritual goals that you have tomorrow?
Stop setting goals for the sake of setting goals. That fleeting “sense of accomplishment” that you get from writing some half-assed goals on a piece of scrap paper only ends in more pain and suffering. I guess you’ll just have to wait for next year.
No more of that “New Year, New You” garbage. Blah! Let’s get serious now. If you cling to the false hope that one January you are finally going to create a list of goals that you stick with and create lasting change in your life, then you are kidding yourself at the expense of living far below your true potential. Don’t wait for the New Year. The time is now.
When you focus on single goals without mapping out the larger picture first, there is no cohesive strategy to effect lasting change, no driving force behind turning dreams into reality.
So what’s the solution?
The Power of Ambition Goal Achievement Framework
No sports team ever begins a game without a plan of execution. No super successful people achieved their goals without a plan either.
If you want to live unlike everyone, you can’t be like everyone. You need to spend time carefully crafting your grand ambitions and break them down into a concrete plan of action.
So, here’s a snapshot of the plan that will radically change your entire life and put you on course to achieve your greatest ambitions…
Your Ultimate Vision is a detailed description of your dream life – a grandiose “BAAAM!” that you can leverage as fuel to achieve your most audacious goals. Your Ultimate Vision is sometimes referred to as “your why” – the driving force behind your ambition.
As you can see from the diagram above, the achievement of your most audacious goals culminates in the achievement of your Ultimate Vision.
Here’s an example of one “leg” in my personal Goal Achievement Framework:
Ultimate vision: I will become a deca-millionaire entrepreneur (net worth of $20MM+) with the freedom to travel the world, unconfined by the limits of a soul-crushing 9-to-5 job.
Long-term goal: I will build an enterprise software company that achieves $50MM+ in annual revenue by the year 2021.
Short-term goal 1: My team and I will complete the alpha software development and sign on our first strategic partner by December 31st, 2016.
Habit 1: I will commit to weekly Friday morning meetings with my development team.
Habit 2: I will reach out to one prospective client each week and update all interested parties with our development progress every month.
Short-term goal 2: I will quit my 9-to-5 job and become a full-time entrepreneur by December 31st, 2016.
Habit 3: I will work on solidifying our company’s business model by committing 3 hours every Saturday morning to business model research and idea generation.
Habit 4: I will continue saving 20% of my paycheck to create a financial runway that enables me to jump from my full-time job to full-time entrepreneur without having to live in a cardboard box.
STEP 1: CREATE YOUR ULTIMATE VISION
You’ve really got to start the goal setting process with the end in mind. We need to create a life plan that ensures all of your goals are progressing your life in a direction that truly matters to you.
You can do this by creating an “Ultimate Vision” for your life that describes your grandest ambitions and dreams in incredible detail. To get you started, ask yourself:
What do I want my life to be about?
What would excite me most in life?
If money were no object, where would I live? What would my hobbies be? What would my days look like?
If there were no limits, what would be possible for my life?
Forget all your limiting beliefs about “reality” and do not question your ability to achieve any dreams that come to mind.
To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, I’m going to give you an example of an Ultimate Vision by showing you mine. Please keep in mind that I chose goals and wording that excite me. So, my Ultimate Vision probably won’t get you fired up, but it fires me up, and that’s exactly the point.
In the end, life is all about doing good for others. I realize this and center my ambitions on making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. While we all know life isn’t about material possessions, they symbolize achievement and financial freedom. And I just like nice things, what can I say?
It’s rather long and you are welcome to skip over it, but for those interested, here’s my Ultimate Vision:
I will be a driving force for good in my relationships, my community, and ultimately the world. I will help people to better themselves and create an environment of optimism everywhere I go. I will empower people to take charge of their business, health, and relationships. I will live my teachings by becoming an ambitious, engaging, passionate example of a happy, healthy life.
I will become a fit, well-dressed, accomplished entrepreneur and business coach with a beautiful wife at my side who supports my entrepreneurial endeavors, lives a compassionate vegan lifestyle, is musically and artistically inclined, eats a healthy diet, and loves to work out with me.
I will create the financial freedom to enjoy all that life has to offer and give my time to help others do the same. I will earn the freedom to travel all corners of the globe with my adventurous wife. I will become an accomplished Ironman athlete, renowned speaker, life of the party, and member of a recreational rock band who never has to worry about providing for my family.
When I am not heading to crush a workout, I will dress like I’m starring in a GQ photo shoot. I will own a modern house that is beautifully situated on a large area of land with a jaw-dropping view, all dark mahogany floors, and enough room for monthly dinner parties. My bathroom will be covered in stone, flaunting a spacious walk-in shower with a rain shower head and a cedar sauna. My walk-in closet will be spacious and constructed with glass dividers that contain rows of evenly spaced, perfectly tailored Tom Ford suits, white linen dress shirts, faux leather dress shoes, and stacks of dark wash designer jeans. My fully-equipped recording studio, which will be in a small building adjacent to my residence, will house my custom, matte black 4-piece SJC drum set. Although I do enjoy cooking occasionally, I will employ a part-time chef and house cleaner. I will own a sporty charcoal gray Tesla (with “Insane” acceleration), a Ferrari 458 Speciale with blue/white racing stripes (Ferrari red base of course), and a blue-dial Rolex Submariner.
The startup that my partners and I are working on will become a global leader in supply chain security. Our main office will be located in San Francisco in a building with a spacious, open interior and plenty of natural light. We will employ a full-time chef and keep a fully stocked menu of fresh fruits and vegetables. We will also use the world’s best water purification system. Our company gym on the ground floor will have a full-time personal trainer and an entire wall of garage doors that allow us to get fresh air and sunshine during our workouts. Our gym will be full of the basics: free weights, benches, squat racks, deadlift platforms, cable machines, pull-up bars and rings, jumping boxes, a foam pit, and large tires for flipping.
More importantly, I will make a massive impact in the lives of others through this blog, my speaking events, my coaching, my books, and my charitable contributions. I have a passion for teaching and helping people take advantage of their true potential. I will write a New York Times best seller that inspires and educates the next generation of great entrepreneurs. I believe education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. Everyone deserves access to quality education. I will do my part by traveling the world building schools and educational programs to bring education to thousands of children hungry for knowledge.
In these ways, I will strive to be a force for my Creator, who has blessed me and continues to bless me with the resources, relationships, and opportunities that allow me to pursue my Ultimate Vision and help others to do the same.
So that's my Ultimate Vision. I'm dedicating my life to achieving a massive impact in the world.
To achieve your ambitious goals, you must change your reality
Your perceptions of your current reality and future reality are vitally important to achieving your Ultimate Vision. My current reality has nothing in common with my Ultimate Vision, but I don’t care. In fact, I currently have a negative net worth in the tens of thousands of dollars because of my student loans and car loan. Although I often battle with my perception of money because of my current lack of it, I work hard to force myself to believe that money is abundant and my future net worth is in the tens of millions.
This goes back to the Law of Attraction that states: focus on the things that you want in your life and your mind will conspire to make these things a reality. Just reading my ultimate vision gets me fired up to do whatever it takes to make my Ultimate Vision become my future reality.
There is no better driving force to back your ambitions than a carefully crafted Ultimate Vision that evokes emotion behind goal achievement.
You can make your life whatever you want. Whatever! There are ZERO limitations. Nothing is holding you back besides your limiting beliefs. Break free of your limiting beliefs by crafting audacious life goals that paint a picture of a life that energizes you to take massive action.
Focus on a life far beyond your current reality. A life so far beyond your current reality that it excites you but scares the hell out of you at the same time. Visualize your Ultimate Vision and take consistent action day in and day out.
As a brief aside, by harping on the idea of creating an Ultimate Vision, I do not mean to suggest that you should solely focus on reaching the destination. Quite the opposite. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, life is a journey, NOT a destination. In other words, there really is no finish line. Honor the struggle and celebrate your progress, however small it may seem.
STEP 2: BUILD A PLAN OF ACTION AND WORK TOWARD YOUR ULTIMATE VISION
Stop following the crowd and using the same formula that hasn’t worked for the past decade. If it didn’t work last year or the year before that or the year before that, it’s time to reengineer your approach.
After you’ve had some fun crafting a vision of your life, it’s time to take a step back and build a plan of action that will be the driving force behind achieving your ideal reality.
Strategic planning and concrete action are the only forms of goal propellant that exist. Discovering new ways of staying motivated and the latest methods for “hacking” your goals are just time-consuming distractions.
You need a concrete plan with practical, measurable steps. In the 1960’s, Edwin Locke and Gary Latham (two psychologists who specialize in goal-setting theory) found that the simple act of setting goals increases performance and productivity by about 25 percent.
A) Long-term goals
When achieving goals, most people are all ramped up out of the gate. They have grand ambitions and exclaim confidently, “This time things will be different.” But they focus on many short-term goals that don’t comprise a cohesive plan.
You must begin by breaking up your Ultimate Vision into pieces. These pieces are your long-term goals. Like my long-term goal to build a $50MM+ revenue supply chain security company by 2021, they make up the fabric of your Ultimate Vision.
Notice the language I use for my goals. I could just say, “I want to own a big software company and get rich,” but such wording lacks the vital components of a serious goal. You have probably heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals, which are:
These are the 5 main components of serious goals. People who say they have a goal to “lose some weight” or “make more money” have already set themselves up for failure before even starting on their goal journey – if they begin at all.
Here are some examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals:
“I will read The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America and build a $15,000 investment portfolio by December 31, 2016.”
“I will run two 1 hour and 45 minute half-marathons by December 31, 2016.”
“I will make three public speeches about how to start your own business in front of 50+ people by December 31, 2016.”
In other words, it’s the long-term goals, carefully crafted, sincerely measured, and with heightened levels of endurance and enthusiasm that can expand your horizon and enable you to achieve your Ultimate Vision.
B) Short-term goals
After forming your long-term goals, you need to further break them down into short-term goals. You can schedule these on your own time frame. I define my short-term goals in the time frame of 3 to 12 months.
There may be many phases of short-term goals required to achieve your long-term goals.
For example, my two short-term goals I stated above…
1) I will quit my 9-to-5 job and become a full-time entrepreneur by December 31st, 2016.
2) My team and I will complete the alpha software development and sign on our first strategic partner by December 31st, 2016.
…are certainly not enough to achieve my long term goal of building a $50MM+ revenue supply chain security company by 2021.
Toward the end of 2016, I will be spending time creating the next phase of short-term goals to get me closer to my long-term goal.
So what exactly is Seth saying? To achieve greatness, you must build new habits, new thinking, and new attitudes to life.
Your daily habits are the foundation of all goal achievement.
In fact, your current life situation is the total aggregate of all the habits, either conscious or unconscious, that you have allowed or practiced into your life.
So, it stands to reason that forming new habits is the only way to achieve meaningful progress toward your goals and Ultimate Vision.
We tend to set deadlines without habits in place to ensure we achieve our goals. And that’s because it’s natural to think that we need the result, the overnight success, the deadline.
But that’s not what you need. You need better habits.
The Law of Grocery Carts
(Yes, this is actually a law…at least in my universe)
I must admit…I freaking love Clif Bars, one of my few vices.
If I am in the same area code as a Chunky Peanut Butter Clif bar, it’s only a matter of time before it ends up in my belly. Granted, Clif Bars aren’t as unhealthy as most dietary vices, but still, the first ingredient in Clif Bars is brown rice syrup! Yay sugar!
Just seeing a Clif bar triggers an immediate response of desire in my brain. I often end up with a few dozen Peanut Butter Clif Bars in my cart every time I walk through the energy bar aisle of my local grocery store.
After one particularly unhealthy week, I found myself at my desk at 2am diligently working on my tech startup with a half-eaten Peanut Butter Clif bar in my hand and a dozen wrappers littering my desk…a gruesome massacre of the half-eaten bar’s fallen brothers and sisters.
I realized in that moment that my habit of Clif Bar binging was becoming seriously detrimental to my pursuit of optimal health.
“That’s it!” I declared with newfound determination (after consuming the remaining half).
The next time I went to the grocery store, I didn’t walk through the energy bar isle. I didn’t even look down the row in staunch defiance of the peanut buttery goodness.
“No way,” I thought. “Not today!”
And then a strange thing happened. I didn’t eat a single Clif Bar that entire week.
How did that happen??
The answer was painfully obvious. I only ate Clif Bars because I put them in my grocery cart. If a Clif Bar didn’t end up in my cart, I wouldn’t eat it. And those organic Fuji apples I picked up instead did get eaten. I know it’s a pretty simple concept, but it is capable of producing incredible results. And not just for your waistline!
I realized there were certain triggers in my life, such as walking through the energy bar isle, that I could completely avoid to stop my bad habits in their tracks!
Morale of the story: don’t feed your bad habits…literally. Focus on feeding (read: encouraging) your good habits.
So what’s the takeaway here?
The Law of Grocery Carts states, “Whatever goes in your cart gets ‘eaten.’ Whatever doesn’t go in your cart will not get ‘eaten.’”
CONCLUSION: IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL I WIN
I know the process of working toward your super ambitious goals is really, really difficult, but you must commit to yourself. Nobody else is going to do it for you.
Do a little bit every day. I don’t care how little progress you make, but you MUST make progress toward your goals. A little bit every day.
I want to make it very clear that I don't always achieve my goals, and that's okay! I often fall short, but I never give up. Period.
For example, three years ago I signed up for my first marathon and wanted to complete it in 3 hours and 30 minutes. Well, I got so consumed with school that I didn't have enough time to properly train. In fact, I only ran 3 times in the last 6 weeks leading up to the race and had resigned to the fact that I wouldn't be running. But with one week left to race day, I told myself that quitting wasn't an option. So I ran the marathon without training. And it hurt. It hurt more physically than anything I've ever done, and I've always gone out of my way to do pretty challenging athletic events! Even without training, I was in pretty good shape and easily crossed the half-marathon point well under two hours. Around mile 18, all my muscles seized up and refused to function properly. I crossed the line in 4 hours, 57 minutes, and 5 seconds.
With that story in mind, here's my idea of goal endurance: I'll keep going no matter how long it takes, how slowly I go, or how many adversities I must overcome.
I will do it, or die.
TAKE MASSIVE ACTION NOW
If you have avoided action because you don’t think you know how to achieve your goals, then I’ve got news for you - “I don’t know how” is an excuse easily dismantled by discipline.
What is your Ultimate Vision?
If you are feeling confident, please share yours with the community by posting it in the comment section below.
Next, create a Goal Achievement Framework for your life. What does it look like?
Always remember – every single action we choose to take is a representation of our priorities in life. Congrats for reading this entire post, but if you do not take action and just keep doing what you’re doing, then expect to keep getting what you’ve been getting.
Thankfully, every single morning represents a new opportunity to pursue the life you have always dreamed of.
Here’s to your success,