Principle 3. Do you want to achieve something? Formulate your goal clearly and correctly
When you’re hurtling off somewhere on some urgent business, stop for a minute and think: why the hell are you doing this?
Let’s suppose that you’ve taken the decision to become Master of your life and create it virtually from scratch.
Why might this be necessary? Probably to bring about changes which in the past you haven’t even attempted, because you felt yourself to be a victim.
But the changes have to be purposeful and not random, otherwise it’ll be a pointless expenditure of time and energy with pointless results.
How do you get started?
We define what we want to free ourselves of
You have to start with what precisely it is you want to achieve. Or what precisely you want to change in your life.
Of course, you want everything straightaway and to perfection. And free of charge. And of course something reliable and not dependent on circumstance.
That might really happen, but not straightaway of course. You see, at present you are just an apprentice magician and if you rush things, you’ll get the same result as in the famous song “I wanted to make a wasp, but got a goat with a pink stripe”.
In other words, if you want a wasp, then you have to start by describing it in all its details. This is called the “formula for the goal”.
In a decent business it’s normal practice to clearly formulate an essential outcome; no one would talk to you if you didn’t have a business-plan and a description of the intended final result.
But what happens in your personal life? Do you also construct a business-plan for getting married or losing the 15 kilos of excess bodily fat?
Hardly, you probably just muddle through.
One’s personal life is organised on the lines of a flea-market: grab what you can before it’s all gone. In a flea-market, not many people worry about a clear formulation of the desired result, they just grab at any opportunity to get a good deal and hope for the best.
Probably your personal life is like a flea-market (or a farmers’ market).
In other words, you grab anything you can get your hands on. You might be striving to build up a personal life, but then you get totally side-tracked by the first chance to make a bit of extra money. Or you might occupy yourself every now and then with health problems or struggle with your weight. This is the chaotic way we live our lives.
Of course, sometimes you manage to achieve something decent, but usually just for a time, and then it peters out (love, sex, money or how you want to look).
Now’s the time to break away from this way of life.
It’s time to set up goals in your personal life, clearly formulate them, and then gradually move towards their realization.
And if you’re thinking about starting up a business, or you already have, doing this is absolutely essential.
So let’s start with the choice of your goals.
How do you decide on your goals?
How is it possible to decide on them?
Naturally, by looking what you don’t like about your life. This is the most pressing thing in your life and any advances you make in regard to it will give you immense joy and a feeling of freedom.
Let’s start moving in that direction.
In other words, take a notebook and write down all the things which bother you at the moment. To begin with make notes as you go along.
Naturally, when you start, you’ll write down that nearly all the people around you and their attendant circumstances bother you:
- the head of department is a prat and bastard.
- my husband is a skinflint and an idler
- my kid’s an idler, all he knows about is computer games
- my sister’s a pain in the neck, all she can do is whinge and cadge money.
- my parents are always trying to sort something out, but haven’t succeeded in thirty years of life together.
- my flat is cramped and old, I want to live comfortably.
- my salary – it makes me ill just thinking about it.
- my cat fouls wherever it feels like it, it’s a pest.
And so on.
For some reason you usually forget about yourself. Although you might boldly write:
”I don’t like being too fat”, for example.
Let’s accept responsibility for our situation
All this is fine, but there’s no sign of the Master in this list; in other words, you’ve broken the Second Principle of a successful life.
That means that you have to rewrite everything whilst accepting responsibility for the mess you’ve made of your life.
It’ll look something like this:
I find it unacceptable that:
- I haven’t been able establish normal relations with my manager and he vents his anger on me (I’m not taking into account my other colleagues; they’re also playing the role of Victim, and the boss has to make a special effort to satisfy their demand to be victim)
- I relate to my husband in such a way that he doesn’t want to give me money. I’ve been brilliant at squashing any motive he might have to achieve anything.
- I relate to my child in such a way that he doesn’t want to learn and he’s permanently in conflict with me.
- I’m not able to defend my interests against my sister’s advances, so I’m forced to keep paying her off. She’s turned me into a soft touch (even though I’m hard up) and herself into a professional scrounger.
- I’m always poking my nose into my parents’ personal life and trying to teach them how to live properly (even though I’m a total flop at that myself…).
- I’ve been so distracted by my conflicts that I haven’t found the time and energyto improve the state of my accommodation.
- I’ve chosen to accept a job with a low salary and love moaning about so I can extract sympathy from losers like myself.
- I couldn’t even train my dog properly, he just runs amok.
- I’m always overeating and then I pretend to be the victim of the excess fat I put on (and I can’t stop gorging because I’m feeling nervous all the time)
Did you write something like this? Excellent. At this point it’s important not to think you’ve turned into a saint, but to write everything down as it is.
Now you can turn to your concrete goals. They’ll be obvious from the above list.
Another consideration is that you need to formulate the goals according to special rules, otherwise your Subconscious will avoid taking part in their realization. Or do so in such a way that you formally achieve the goal without it bringing any more joy to your life (remember the film “Bedazzled”, which depicts such a situation – in a way the goal is achieved, but it doesn’t bring any happiness).
Rules for the formulation of a goal
These rules are similar to those used in business, but there are certain peculiarities.
An event from real life
Someone I knew at school said she’d only marry a prince on a white horse… “She did get married, but now she’s Mrs. Whitehorse”
We need to formulate our goals in such a way that our Subconscious perceives them as an order to act and sets about realizing them.
So start from the following rules:
- The formulation of the goal (FG) should be as concrete as possible, that is, indicate a concrete result, which should be achieved as a result of investing a certain amount of effort.
- The FG must contain a result which can be achieved in a finite amount of time. It’s desirable to indicate a deadline, planned by you, for the achievement of the goal.
- In the FG you should indicate criteria by which to judge when the goal has been achieved and further work with the FG no longer has any point.
- It is essential that one constructs the FG as a process to achieve a desired goal, not to avoid an undesired situation.
- The FG is constructed so that it is obvious that ALL the actions required to achieve the final result will be carried out ONLY BY THAT PERSON, who wrote the FG for himself.
- The stated goal should be in principle achievable and within the realm of your possibilities.
- The stated goal should be “yours” and arouse in you a passionate desire to achieve it.
Starting from these rules, we can formulate goals which will solve the problems described above:
- Within six months I will establish relations with my boss which I feel comfortable with.
- Within a year I will establish relations with my husband which will motivate him to gladly share his income with me and strive to increase it.
- Within a year I will gladly end the conflict with my son and establish trusting relations with him.
- I will develop an inner toughness and enable myself to defend my financial interests against my sister.
- I will completely forgive my parents and allow them to live their lives as they see fit.
- Over the course of three years I will look for and find a way of getting a flat with one more room.
- Within a year I will improve my self-image and find interesting work with a net salary of the order of at least £28,000 per annum.
- I will find and use a way of forcing my cat only to use a place allocated by me as a toilet.
- I will consciously establish a way of life which will enable me to keep my weight consistently below 55 kg.
This is roughly what your goals might look like. Where possible, concrete quantitative values have been indicated for the goals cited above (enlarge our flat by one room, with a salary of the order of at least £28,000 per annum, keeping my weight below 55 kg.).
In almost all of the formulations, time-periods are indicated for the planned achievement of the goals. The deadlines should be such that they force you to start doing something, but at the same time don’t make you fearful that you won’t keep to the allocated time-limit.
What about other goals?
Above we examined how to identify goals which remove unpleasantness from your life. As a result you’ll square your shoulders and realize that life, if you make a bit of effort and deal with the results of your “creation”, isn’t so bad.
But you know there are other goals which are not responses to some unpleasant feature of you life: starting your business, buying a new car, going on a cruise, learning to sing or something else – a goal which you’d like to achieve, but which is only conditioned by your desire to have (achieve) it.
What should we do with such goals?
Nothing in particular. Simply formulate them correctly and include them in the general list of your goals.
What difficulties might there be?
Quite a lot.
The new goals might result from the strangest of motives. For example, to prove to someone that you are a successful person, as a result of which you might allow yourself to drive a very expensive car. So you set yourself the goal of buying such a car. Were it not for this motive, you’d buy yourself something cheaper. But surely you’ve got something to prove!
Or your parents still think you’re a daft kid and you try everything in your power to prove to them that you’re a mature, very successful and well-to-do person. So you set yourself goals which will put a lot of pressure on you and prevent you from doing things which in fact you want to do.
And so on.
Is it possible to set yourself such goals?
It’s possible, but it’s not necessary.
Listen to your body
Before you embark on the realization of your next goal, check what your Subconscious tells you on the matter.
Possibly it will approve your goal and so help you find the necessary ideas and connections.
But it’s possible it’ll show you that a multitude of problems await you and that it’d be better if you didn’t get involved. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you mustn’t decide on such goals – you are Master of your life and your decisions. But when you undertake such a thing, you have to understand that probably serious problems lie ahead of you and that the result you end up achieving might differ markedly from the result you imagine today.
For example, you wish to take up a post which seems to you highly desirable. But your work-experience has shown you that it’d be better not to get involved. But you’ve ignored the hint, taken the bull by the horns and waded in; in other words, you’ve accepted the post. But very quickly it has become apparent that it involves several very unpleasant features which you weren’t aware of before (you have to work nights or get involved in quasi-criminal activity, etc.).
How do you recognize your Subconsciousness’s attitude to your choice of goal? It’s very simple.
Use the method of “Mental Simulation”
That is, sit in an armchair, disconnect any telephones, and for 10 minutes imagine yourself to have achieved the result which the realization of the goal is supposed to bring about: in every detail, with all the accompanying benefits, new responsibilities or changes.
In parallel, pay heed to your body and the signals it’s sending you.
If you feel physically well and comfortable, and are having pleasant sensations in your body – that means your Subconscious is sending you a signal that you have set yourself an appropriate goal and that it’s worth pursuing it.
If on the contrary you feel a chill, an unpleasant sensation or alarm, then you should understand that your Subconscious is sending you a signal that it would be a good idea abandoning this goal.
And having done this, you yourself will decide what to do. And you will take full responsibility for the consequences of this choice.
And that’s it.
With that we complete the description of the Third principle of a successful and comfortable life. The gist of it simple – don’t do anything blindly. Clearly identify your goal and everything else will fall into place automatically.
Well, not quite automatically, you have to work for it, nothing happens on its own. It’s just that your efforts will be conscious and effective.
I’d like to believe in this.