If there was just one chapter in my book that anyone could apply right now that I feel would have the most profound effect to better my readers’ lives, it would be Principle 3 – Ink It! Many people have big ideas and dreams, but hey just can’t seem to get the ball rolling. Many can tell me what they want, but they don’t have it written down, or they don’t have the steps and details needed to make it happen.
Thought – an electrical pulse ricocheting around in the brain. The average person has 3,000 thoughts per day. With so many sparks flying around, it is literally impossible to organize your ideas and put them in their proper order without prioritizing them or developing a plan. Consequently, the likelihood of becoming successful without written goals and plans is about as good as figuring out the next winning lotto numbers.
When you write something down, regardless if it is you’re to do list or goals, something almost magical happens. First, you showed enough interest in what you were thinking or dreaming about to write it down. Then you actually took the first step; you took action by picking up that pen and writing words; you committed your thoughts to paper. Without even realizing it, you took a big leap toward achieving your goals. This is the amazing process by which thoughts become reality. At the very instant you wrote your goal, your idea transformed into action to take place in the near future.
There are so many examples of people who, through goal-setting, have achieved all great accomplishments. There is one story that I find so compelling that I thought I would share it with you. It’s about a high school dropout whose family was so poor that they once lived out of a Volkswagen campervan. At nineteen, he packed what few belongings he had and moved on, in pursuit of his dreams. This young man wrote a $10,000,000 dollar postdated check to himself and kept it in his wallet. It became tattered from him pulling it out and looking at it every day; sometimes hours on end. Fifteen years later, and after banking tens of millions of dollars along the way, world famous comedian and actor Jim Carrey, deposited a $20,000,000 check for his performance in The Cable Guy. He was the first actor to reach the twenty-million dollar watermark.
Goals, and a plan on how to achieve them, are like a birth certificate to your new lease on life. When you write them down, they become something tangible something real that you can feel in your heart. It’s a fresh new beginning that touches your senses. You can imagine it, read it, touch it and see the paper it’s written on. But most of all – with a plan, you can live it.
People are afraid to dream big and aim high. Most people feel like there is a barrier preventing them from living their dreams, making them content with the life they know. Fear is the strongest of all emotions. If you find yourself in this situation, I want you to write this down right next to your goals and plans: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Not having goals and a plan to achieve them is like dialing a random phone number; you get whoever answers and not much else.
In researching my book “Success Against The Odds”, I came across a very interesting statistic. The Harvard MBA Program interviewed students from the 1979 class and asked if they had a clear set of written goals and plans on how to achieve them. Only 3% said yes. 13% said they had goals, though not in writing. A whopping 84% had no specific goals at all. Now here is the amazing part: The 3% who had clear written goals were earning, on an average, ten times as much as the other 97% put together.
There is so much more in life that can be achieved if you just write down your goals and plans on how to achieve them. You can live the relationship you’ve dreamed of, your children can do better in school, you can lose weight, quit smoking, live healthier and take the vacation you always wanted – all this and more – if you just write your plan down and follow it. The pen is a very powerful instrument!