“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson
Successful people are often described as ‘lucky’. They were in the right place at the right time. They knew the right people. They had a better education, better breaks, a better start. The most successful people, however, will tell you that the difference between success and failure comes down to goals.
Career goals are imperative if you wish to be successful. Whether your benchmark for success is a specific job title, certain skills, attaining a salary, or other career related milestone, unless you set a goal, you won’t know when you’re ‘successful’.
Goals give you a purpose. No more meandering through life; goals define what you want out of life and enable you to achieve it.
Goals measure your results. When you determine an end mark, you can establish benchmarks to measure your progress. Reaching your end mark signifies success.
Goals prevent procrastination. With a deadline (end mark) looming in the distance, procrastination disappears for many people. Simply adding an end date is enough to encourage most people to push forward towards their goal.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
When you begin to prioritize your goals, everything you do is centered around reaching that goal. Every career decision, every networking opportunity, every conversation is another step in the right direction. Your brain will begin to see connections you may have previously missed, and will start to identify new opportunities, as well. In what seems like an effortless journey, you’ll start to appear ‘lucky’ as things fall into place; thanks to your tuned in mind.
Consider two students in the same college classes, working towards the same degree. One student has a goal for their future: education, family, career. Their path is set. The other has no real goal in mind, but is content to simply graduate and ‘see what happens’. In ten years, you’d expect the first student to have accomplished their list, while the second may still be floundering aimlessly. What made the difference? Their goals.
“You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet.” – Charlie Tremendous Jones
Goal setting uses the power of positive thinking to maximize results. In some ways, this can become a self-fulfilling prophesy, as you begin to envision yourself with your desired level of success. The popularity of ‘Vision Boards’ is no accident – there is power in envisioning yourself in your goals. Is your goal to take six weeks of vacation? Begin planning where you will go. Use the inspiration to help motivate you, as well as free yourself to reach for your dreams.
Goal setting isn’t just for corporations. Professional musicians, politicians, students, and athletes can all benefit from the power of effective goal setting. An anecdotal account of Kobe Bryant demonstrates how having a goal can take you to success beyond your wildest dreams. In 2012, Kobe was selected to play on the United States Olympic team.
Kobe had personal goals for his training regime, and would often start training at 4:00 AM in an effort to complete his own practice benchmarks before the team practice. When he was asked about his early practice, Kobe simply remarked that his goal was to complete 800 jump shots. He refused to quit practicing until he had done so. Kobe understood that by concentrating his activity, he was working towards the larger goal of becoming a successful basketball player. He worked relentlessly on perfecting his skill so he could attain his goal.
Don’t leave your future to chance. Establish goals – both career and personal – to help bring you to new levels of success and fulfillment.