Goals are a very common topic in dealing with personal growth, sales, leadership, and sports management; well really any area that you want to achieve in.
Goals are always talked about and there’s a statistic I’ve read that only 2% of people actually write down their goals and they do more than the other 98% combined in achievements. Goals are part of all the success that happens in the world today.
But the real question is, if you only could have one goal – one goal and only one goal – what would be that goal? One lifetime goal.
Back in the mid-seventies when I was a swimmer that set personal goals. I was one of those guys that would take 3 x 5 cards and write out my goals. Then I would stick them on my mirror in the bathroom.
I remember one year in high school, writing down goals for my best events. That year I also figured out that it was a 9 month season. We started swimming in September and our state-meet was in May. We averaged about 10 workouts a week. I think we had Wednesday morning off, but then we did a Sunday workout also, unless we did a two-a-day or a Saturday that week.
I told myself, “Okay, if I want to improve one or two or three seconds in this one minute race – it was one of my best races – how much did I have to improve every single workout?”
I don’t remember the exact number, but I remember it was like a point zero zero zero something and I thought to myself, “I can do that. I can prove 3/1000th of a second off every workout; that I can do”. And, I did hit those goals. Then, in 1978, I had the opportunity to go to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. I learned how to keep going even when I didn’t feel like it.
Even when you don’t feel like it you can keep going, whether it is mental or physical or spiritual. Keep going!
Did you notice that I said “feel”?
That’s an important piece of the puzzle, but that is for another podcast.
The next thing step for me started in the mid ’80s, I started setting goals in sales and business. I started listening to all the tapes, recordings, and books that I could. With such titles as, “How To Win Friends and Influence People” . I realized that, what I really struggled the most was the concept of self-talk. You know the one, where you repeat over and over your goals, so it becomes internalized?
I realized that the self-talk was not effective for me. The real reason it wasn’t effective for me was that there was a huge difference in my heart and mind; between faith, hope, and belief.
And, that is again, for a future podcast. It’s important stuff.
What we’re going to talk about today is, ‘THE ONE GOAL’ Commitment, which will be solidified in these future podcasts.
This was imperative to what I started learning in business in the late 1980s:
I learned that the most important thing was who before why… Just like we heard in the last podcast – Who Before Why, Who Before What, Who Before Where, When, And How.
Who are you? Or even more important – who are you going to be? Who do you want to be? Can you fake it till make it? Can a person change for the good? Or is the old adage, that people never change, a tiger doesn’t change their stripes – Is that all true? Is it true for you? Is it true for others?
I remember back in my college swimming that at the very end of my career, after having trained for 13 years in my main stroke style, they started changing the strokes.
My coach actually changed my stroke and it completely dumbfounded me. After 13 years of doing it one way, learning to be stronger and faster in that stroke, he completely changed the stroke.
You know what happened?
Everything I did from that point on in swimming went to the next level. I went to the top.
So sometimes it’s not about the effort. Sometimes you can only get there by change. And that’s something we’re going to talk about today. Change is what you are going to need to take to get you to the top of where you want to be.
Changes you have to take to be mentally & physically disciplined & focused.
This is what we’re going to talk about about. Who you are.
In 1991 I sat down and spent, on and off, about six months putting together two main pieces of lifetime material for myself.
The first one I called a character commitment trait list. This was comprised of 21 statements regarding the person who I wanted to become before I died.
Soon I became aware that, if setting goals in athletic education was tough, I had yet to realize how tough changing who you are would be. Yet, by the same token, it was the most important thing I did. It’s not about who you were when you were born, it’s not how you start the race, it’s how you end the race. It’s the finish that people remember it’s not the start.
So before we really get into how you do this. How you get these sentences & phrases to become who you are. I want you consider this:
Colossians 3:12 to 3:17 ~ The character of a new man.
The first thing you have to do is believe that you can change. If you’re one of those people that say, “Hey, I’ve always been this way. I’m this nationality, or I’m this way
you’re going to change that”, I can tell you that these are not obstacles. There can be change.
There’s a thing I used to say, “fake it til you make”. I always wondered if that was true.
I kept trying to do just that and it did work.
I but recently I heard a great story from a Harvard psychologist named Amy Cuddy: ~ You can get her story on TED talk if you look it up ~ It’s an unbelievable story. It’s her personal story. She doesn’t say fake it to make it. Her statement is, “fake it til you become it”. Once you hear her story, you’ll see that she gives you the steps on exactly what she did to do that. It is an inspiring story. I would suggest looking it up.
Now let’s get into the meat of the subject. But I warn you again, setting goals for who you are is a lot harder than setting goals for what you want to do & accomplish.
Character changing, destiny changing, and legacy changing is much more difficult.
More difficult than a sales call, a business school undertaking, an athletic goal, that you focus on for the short term. We’re talking about a lifetime of becoming the person you want to be.
And like I’ve said, “You got to be careful what you ask for”.
Do you really want to be that extremely successful athlete, the businessman, the famous country music singer, or the good person? Because, I promise you, there’s always a price to pay.
Kind of like Joseph in the jail. He told all of his older brothers how he was better than them. How he was going to rise above them. While he was right, it was only after over two decades in jail, that he had figured out the person he had to be. He had to become that person of integrity to get to that number two spot in the world.
Are you willing to do that?
Are you willing to do that? To do what it takes to be that world class athlete or that business owner? The focus & the desire, the time, the effort? Be careful what you ask for. But, if there’s anything that’s worth asking for, it’s who you’re going to be.
I know that every once in a while we see someone out there and it seems like they have it so easy. It all just seems to come easy to them. Everything. I’ve never personally talked to anybody or know of a story where it just came easy. Sometimes there are other people that helping them. Sometimes with sacrifice. We’ve all heard the stories of famous actors and athletes that sacrifice and sacrifice to get there. That’s most of us.
Occasionally, with the 7 billion people on earth, it may seem that there are a few people that get there without the pain and suffering the rest of us go through. But, I expect that might not be you. It isn’t me either. If it is, you should feel blessed that you’re getting a break.
But, realize that faith and hard work are what typically produces all the successes out there.
Now how do you become your future self? Who is that vision for you? Who & how do you get this vision? It’s actually much simpler than you think.
As you are doing each step of the following steps you must promise me that will turn off this podcast, stop, and think about your answers. Really think about them.
What happens if you don’t do this? If you don’t stop the podcast and think about it and write them down? You know what’s going to happen? I can tell you what’s going to happen. The worst thing that will ever happen….. Nothing.
Nothing will change because you will consider this just another piece of information you’re going to stick in your head to work on and maybe do one day. If you’re in any form of agreement with me, that the most important thing in your life is who you are & who you’re going to become, you’re going to need to play this podcast and write down your answers to the questions I give you. If that’s important to you. Get ready. Find that pause button. Don’t let it become another piece of information that you’re just going to stow away to do “someday”.
Here’s the piece of information that you need. It’s going to change you. It is going to put that piece of puzzle you need in your life to change for the better.
Part one step one:
I want you to think of the 3 people in the world alive or dead that you admire most. The only person not to name is your significant other. Absolutely anyone else.
There are a few rules to this game.
- You are not allowed to tell anybody who these 3 people are
(this is so you can choose freely)
- You can’t ask anybody else who theirs are.
- Do not write them down.
- Your spouse cannot be one of them (this is to take out any pressure to “have” to put them on your list).
Part one step two:
I want you to think of 3 words or phrases to describe what admire most about each of these people. You should have a total of 9 phrases or words when your done. If there’s some of them the same words/phrases for a different person that is fine too.
Pause the podcast again and write those word/phrases down.
Part one step three:
Look at these 9 words and phrases. We’re going to put them into 3 categories.
Pause the podcast and place each word or phrase into one of the above categories. If you think that a particular attribute has more than one combination feel free to put it into as many categories as you see fit.
What do you notice about what you wrote down? What are your observations?
I have learned two main things while doing this exercise with others:
- 80% are in the form of spiritual, being kind loving, sweet and patient.
These are the things that people want.
- The second major thing I learned is that no matter what the number of people in the room. After about forty plus phrases, give or take it, it all became the same similar words and phrases. Love, kindness, patience and peace. Occasionally, somebody admires a person in great shape or with lots of money, but the high majority of them were all spiritual.
You can be admired, liked, and leave a legacy for others. Is that who you want to become? If so, today is your lucky day. I say you can become that person.
You have to believe that you can become this person. That you’re not one of those people that say, “Hey, I am this way and I’ll always be this way”.
Now you know the perfect type of person you want to become.
These words and phrases that you’ve written down are the beginning of realizing that you can change and be who you want to be.
This part is simple but is hard to fulfill. It’s a lifetime to get there if yours is anywhere near like my twenty one words and phrases.
Part two: Priorities :
We all have our goals and our priorities. When we think about setting goals, whether it’s a lifetime goal, a business goal, a sales goal, an athletic goal or any goal, we have to set priorities of what’s the most important within those goals. What the goal is that are most for you.
This obviously is critical and if you’ve never stopped to think about your priorities in life this is going to be life changing.
What are your priorities?
Where do you start?
- What’s the most important thing to you?
- What do you want to be known for?
- What are you willing to die for?
- Who you willing to help no matter what?
- What are you willing to fight for?
Those will decide what your priorities are and the sacrifices for who you will be will to do. What ideas you are willing to sacrifice for?
Part two step one: Priorities.
My priorities and your priorities might be different. Each person’s party is different.
What are yours?
Let me give you an example of a priority. Very simple.
So easy to say.
But, we get 40, 50, 60 hours a week to the company we work for. We then say,
“Oh, the reason we’re doing this is to provide for our family, our wife, children or provide tithing and giving to churches. And that’s true. But a lot of it is dependent on where your mind is. Where you’re focused. Where your heart is. This is the key.
Now how to figure that out. It might be a good time to turn off the podcast and spend some time thinking about where your priorities lie. Write down just what comes to your head what’s the most important to you. It might not be anything near that, but maybe it needs to. You need to figure out where your heart is. You need to know what it is.
Maybe your priorities are messed up today. Maybe they’re nowhere near what you know they need to be. You need to figure that out. Stop the podcast now and write down your priorities in a macro view.
Part two step two:
This is a difficult one. This is the most difficult piece of the entire Character Commitment Trait goal setting system, because it starts with the parts of you you can’t see. Your “blind spot”.
What are your blind spots? What is it that people say behind you? What is it that you can’t see about you? Well I get it. How do you fix that is something you can’t see right?
That’s is the question.
Everybody has blind spots. You’ve got to be open to finding out what your blind spot is. You can see other peoples blind spots. Have you ever thought, “I can’t believe they did that” or “Said that”? You are seeing something in them they might not know is there.
You might think someone is doing, acting, or saying something about you and not know why. They may be reacting to your blind spot. Do you have the strength of character to ask yourself those questions on a daily or weekly basis?
Finding that blind spot.
How do you find that blind spot? Well you first must find some people that you love and trust to help guide you.
When I was a young man in my mid 20s I was reading and learning all these positive mental attitude thoughts. Reading such books as, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Stephen Covey’s, Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, all the books by Zig Ziglar and Tom Hopkins, etc. I was that guy. Everything was perfect. Everything was awesome.
Finally my brother, in all his wisdom, one day looked at me and said, “You know, I never really know how you’re doing, because you always answer like those books. So I never know what to say to you. You’re always upbeat and happy. What’s really going on?”
I didn’t answer. I did not answer because I had been programming myself to be upbeat and positive. Now, there’s something good about that, but there’s something really good about being authentic and real.
Can you be authentic and real and upbeat and positive?
If you can do that then, and only then, can you find the people that you love and trust to help guide you in the things that you are blind in. Maybe it’s your mother, maybe it’s your father, maybe it’s your uncle, maybe it’s your brothers or sisters, your best friend.
Can you open yourself up to the people that you trust? Find a few and ask what you need to work on? Where are my worst traits? Maybe it’s patience, maybe it’s forgiveness, maybe it’s love, maybe it’s exercise, maybe it’s physical, maybe it’s mental.
Can you do that? That’s the hardest part, because to become the best you that you can be you have to change things that you don’t even know need changed. Things that people aren’t even telling you. That’s what you need to do. That’s the big piece. The piece that nobody tells you about. It’s about getting into trusting relationships.
I would have been smart in my twenty’s to do what I’m telling you to do. Find good people, someone you admire. A person you look at their life and think, I want to be like them. Maybe not completely, maybe just some parts, but and I would find people you trust and I would ask them,
How do I get there?
What do I do?
What do you see in me?
What do I need to change?
Had I done this then I would have gotten an older and wiser gentlemen to guide me. I did have a few people there listen to. Unfortunately, I wasn’t smart enough to take their advice, so I had to do the road less traveled in a negative way. I had to learn it through, as my dad called it, “The School of Hard Knocks”.
In that school and with my brother’s help in noticing what I needed to work on I developed my personal list of my desired Character Commitment Traits. I did made this list in my 20s. To fix that part of my life. It’s pretty simple:
I keep joy, humor and a positive outlook in balance with reality at all times.
I almost never tell people what I’m trying to do. Balancing a positive outlook, humor, and joy with reality. You do need to know what is reality, speak in positive way, and be careful about what comes out of your mouth.
Knowing it and speaking it are two different things, Mentally, physically and definitely spiritually. I was trying to balance the power of being positive with the humility of the truth. I’m still working on that. I can only hope that that improves to a level where people can see that in me.
I have a great relationship with my brother now, so I know these steps are working.
This was really hard for me back then. Looking at my faults, my issues. I could find some of them, but the others I didn’t want to believe were there. It was difficult to see my selfishness, lack of patience, and arrogant pride.
I think that, for me personally, most of that was coming through self esteem issues for one reason or another. I didn’t think I was good enough or worth it.
But it really doesn’t matter where it’s coming from. It’s how it’s perceived to others. Because your legacy, who you are, who you’re going to end up being, who you will be remembered as, is not about how you feel. It’s about the perception of others. What have you done for them and how can you help them?
In that vein, I’ve tried to find some areas that I could give examples for in my 21 sentence & phrases. Other areas that I looked at were, my outlook in life, time management, my growth in the learning curve, my risk assessment, what am I willing to risk, counsel, who was in my life, and life balance.
My lifetime goals in my Character Commitment Traits include things like:
These were topics that I had to define.
I didn’t set out to have 21. I set out to get the right balance for Doug. What did I need to do to be the man I wanted to be remembered for? Be it in 5 sentences or 105 sentences or a million and 5. But I found it twenty one.
I’ve done almost no changes to those very few sentences. A little word here and there, that I decided weren’t quite perfect. I’ve changed less than five words in those 21 sentences in the last 24 years.
You need to find your blind spots. Write them down. Place them into priorities. Whatever is your top priority, make that your first statement, on your Character Commitment Trait List. Then the next important one to you and so on.
Part three three step one:
- Write them all down and keep them in one place.
- Write them down in a way that makes sense to you.
- Don’t write them down for other people.
- Write them down in a way that make sense to your heart & mind.
- Keep taking time to talk to those you love and trust and asking their views.
- Of your positive the negatives.
- Spend some time in prayer & meditation ~ thinking on the good things to come when you become this person.
That’s the only way you can become this new person. Have it come into your heart & mind. This is for you, this is not for anybody else. I have probably shown my personal Character Commitment Trait List of 21 to less than ten people, maybe even less than five. It’s not for anybody else. Your list is for you. Be free to write your faults, your positives, your negatives, and your desires!!
Part three step two:
The universal principles and scriptures focusing on your beliefs of what you want to become. What is the legacy you want to leave? What are the principles that you believe in? What is your definition of love? Does patience make you a perfect person? Are you lacking and wanting nothing? If so that needs to be in there.
Who do you want to be when you pass away? Who the person that your children are going to remember? That’s the person that you’re. Do you want to be a person that after your children pass, after your grandchildren pass, people will still know of you, because of who you were? Because of how you lived? And, what you did that you became who you were?
If so, then this is for you. Your future world matters. It makes a difference. You make a difference on who you are in the world.
Two final notes:
Can you become the person you want? To be full of mercy, kindness, and humility. Are you willing to suffer to be that person? Are you willing to sacrifice? What are you willing to give to be forgiving to others? Can you do that for yourself too? Can you sacrifice and forgive yourself? Can you suffer to become the person that you are destined to be? The person that will leave a legacy of who you are? Can you love as you need to? Can you let peace rule your heart? Can the counsel of the wise make you smart and strong? Can you put these things together to make you want to sing all the good stuff that you feel with humility and giving thanks?
When you do that to become that person, maybe, just maybe, that’s who you will become. And, maybe just maybe, you can change other people’s lives and make them sing. Make them smart. Make them loving and forgiving. Doing this based on who you are.
A final note: You must realize that this is a process.
It is not a one day, one week or even one month assignment. As I mentioned, I spent six months working on my personal list back in 1991. My life’s mission statement is that this is the concrete of your life, your foundation, your basis. Who you are and who you want to be.
Break it down, write it down, memorize it, meditate on it, pray about it, walk away from it for a while, come back to it with a fresh look. Do these steps until you come up with the sentences & phrases that you can say to yourself, “Yep, this is who I want to be. If I can be this person before I die then I’ve done something”.
I can promise you this… It’s life changing.
It puts you in directions that you can’t even imagine.
I read recently, on another podcast, that people that write down their goals ~ actually write them down ~ are 42% more likely to achieve their goals. People that write them down & actually think about them, focus on them.