We have already indicated elsewhere on this blog that the human being is the most invaluable, irreplaceable organism that the World has ever seen. At the heart of every Life Signature, one must come to terms with the above statement. One must realize how valuable they are, not only to their surroundings but to generations after. One must realize that we are here (to quote Erick Rees from S.H.A.P.E) “For a mission”. Realizing these facts is key, and it is the starting point of living a life on purpose, a life that creates a legacy.
What follows is perhaps one of the most important ingredients to bringing the realization to reality. You see, there are two types of people. There are those who make things happen…and there are those who report what happened. I am not talking about journalists. There are those who live their lives by DESIGN, and there are those who live their lives by DEFAULT, accepting what the ‘system’ or the ‘world’ throws at them.
There is no successful person world over who did not have an INTENTION on being successful in the first place. The power of Goal-Setting is absolutely critical to living your life signature. Darren Hardy says that there are two ingredients, two most common traits of all the successful people he has ever interviewed in his SUCCESS magazine:
a) A relentless Commitment to Constant learning and
b) Clear goals expressed in a beautifully crafted document detailing their plans to achieve them.
I am going to take the risk of sounding like a broken record and give you the following story:
Mark McCormick in his book What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School tells of a Harvard study conducted between 1979 and 1989.
In 1979, graduates of the MBA program were asked to set clear written goals for their future and their plans to accomplish them. It turned out only 3 percent of the graduates had written goals, 13 percent had goals but they were not in writing and 84 percent had no specific goals at all–aside from getting out of school and enjoying the summer.
Ten years later, in 1989, the researchers again interviewed the members of that same graduating class. They found that the 13 percent who had goals that were not in writing were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent of students who had no goals at all. Most surprisingly, they found that the 3 percent of graduates who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, 10 times more than 97 percent of their graduating class!
The only difference between the groups was the CLARITY of goals they had set (and spelled out) for themselves when they graduated. That is the power of Goal Setting. I have been asking people that I interact with this question: What’s up for 2011? For the most part, people are not clear on what they want to be, do or have in this year. That is the danger of living a life by default, because they will get exactly what they don’t know.
However, living a life by DESIGN is one of the most exciting things one can do. It is simply accepting personal RESPONSIBILITY for their success. It is determining what you will no longer stand for in your life. It is painting on your own canvas what kind of life you would like to live. I love what Ngina Otiende wrote on her blog about the canvas.
Someone said that ,goal setting is bringing the future to the present so that you can do something about it now’. Darren Hardy tells of a story of two sets of kids who wanted to reach a certain point from where they were…in a straight line. One group set off carefully crafting their feet and measuring their steps. They veered off course terribly, never mind how careful they were. The second group looked for a certain mark in the distance, kept looking at it as they moved…and they made it there on a straight path.
A goal is a dream with a deadline. It is a dream for which you can make definite strategies to achieve it. Goal setting is an absolutely critical component in our lives if we are to live a life on purpose. If we are to live to leave a legacy, then we must at least join the 3% of those who sets goals. The above is the WHY of goal-setting, we will be dealing with the HOW in later posts.
Welcome to the 3%!