From the Depths of Despair to the Height of Success

By Catherine Jeans in Success on July 14th, 2008 / No Comments

When you’ve hit the depths of despair, often you feel as though life holds nothing for you.  You’re drifting from one dead end job to the next and consumed by money worries.  Your wife may just have left you, your home is about to be repossessed and you’re scared your boss plans to fire you.

During life’s toughest moments, it’s extremely challenging to feel positive about the future, let alone next week or even tomorrow.  Yet some of the greatest visionaries hit rock bottom before finding the will and determination to climb the ladder of happiness, health, wealth and success to make their dreams become reality.  What they all had in common is the fact that they set goals for the future, helping them to create positive mental images of how life can be and give motivation to work towards it.

The Power of Goal-Setting
Research shows that when you set measurable goals you’re more likely to achieve your dreams.  Successful people also tend to be goal-orientated.  Wandering in life without a purpose or sense of direction is like trying to shoot an arrow without a target.  Success is not something you stumble upon, it doesn’t happen by accident that you make a million.  You’ve got to work at it, desire it and set goal strategies to achieve it.

By setting goals, you’re giving yourself the potential to achieve them.  Goals help keep us motivated and enthusiastic about the future.  With a target to aim at and achieve, the human psyche naturally gets excited and wants to feel the sense of pride of attaining what we set out to do.  It’s human nature to want to succeed.

Setting accomplishable goals also helps us feel positively about the future.  By regularly reviewing our goals, writing them down and positively affirming them the message gets through to our subconscious mind that this reality is going to happen.

Never Give Up
Developing the art of perseverance is one of the key steps to ensuring our goals become a reality.  In turn, the act of actually setting goals motivates us to persevere and never give up.

One of the biggest business success stories of the 1980s was that of Chris Gardner, whose true life story was made into the Hollywood blockbuster, The Pursuit of Happiness, starring Will Smith.  As a young man, Chris found himself living on the streets with his young son, washing in public toilets and sleeping in hostels or on the sidewalk.  Instead of despair and depression, he never gave up on his dreams of providing a better life for his son.  He wanted more and was determined he was going to get it.  And get it he did… he achieved his dream of being a successful stock broker and in 1987 founded Gardner Rich, his own brokerage firm in Chicago and ended up a multi-millionaire.

One of Gardner’s most famous quotes is:  “It can be done, but you have to make it happen.”  It was through his perseverance and sheer determination to manifest his dreams, even when broke and homeless that he managed to turn his life around.  For him there was no other reality than one day achieving success.

How to Set Goals

  • What are you passionate about?
    Passion gives you the drive and energy to achieve your goals.  There’s no point deciding to get a job doing something you hate because very soon you’ll lose all motivation and probably end up giving up on your goals.  Spend time thinking about what drives, motivates and gets you excited.
  • Measurable and concise goals:
    Once you know what you want to do, the next step is to formulate your goals.  It’s important to come up with goals which are concise and measurable.  There’s no point saying, “I want to be rich.”  Instead decide on a specific target that is measurable, for example, “I want to earn $35,000 this year.”
  • Set a time frame:
    Write short term and long term goals, for the next 6 months, one year, five years and 10 years.
  • Write your goals in a journal:
    This way you can read and review them regularly.
  • Don’t be overambitious:
    If you’re in debt, setting a goal to make one million dollars in 6 months whilst possible is very over-ambitious.  Ambition and setting your sights high is important but make sure you set goals which are achievable.  In the words of Chris Gardner: “Baby steps count, as long as you’re going forward.  You add them all up and one day you look back and you’ll be surprised at where you might get to.”
  • Goals are not static:
    As your life changes, circumstances change and very often your goals will change.  Make sure you keep reviewing your goals every month.

Make Your Dreams Become a Reality
All too often goals fail to become a reality because they remain just thoughts and dreams.  By writing your goals down you are making a commitment to them and reinforcing them in your subconscious mind as reality.  Read your goals out every day as positive affirmations, repeating them over and again, to ingrain them in your mind.

Make a commitment to being the best, set goals you can achieve with small targets along the way.  As you reach your first target your confidence will soar making your next target seem even more easily attainable.  By setting goals you are setting the path to unlock your true potential and create the life you’ve always dreamed of.

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