There is only one thing worse than not achieving a goal and that is achieving it.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Are you a goal-driven individual?

First, do you regularly set goals for yourself?

Do you then plan just how you’ll achieve them… and once having planned your work you work your plan?

If this is you, congratulate yourself. You are literally one in a million and the world is your oyster.

In theory.

People who set goals… people who achieve goals are a precious minority of any community, for-profit, or not-for- profit organization.

They are the people who live the celebrated epigram, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”  When they lead, they perform the leader’s task with efficiency, organization, and, yes, joy.

When they follow, they listen to the designated leaders, making sure they know their task, then doing it.

It is a thrill and a privilege to know such people, not least because they create an environment conducive to success.

Why then have I said that there is only one thing worse than not achieving a goal… and that is achieving it?

In this article I shall make clear the problems that afflict the special people, the performance oriented people, the movers and shakers. Keeping successes coming, greater successes, important successes, more magnificent successes is never inevitable. And here’s the rub, just because you were successful today, by no means ensures you will be successful tomorrow.

Indeed, the world is awash in one-time successes who once were the center of attention, the golden boy or girl. They had what everyone else wanted… but having didn’t mean keeping. That proved to be not only elusive… but, after a time, impossible.

There is nothing sadder than listening to an individual once undeniably successful… now talk and live exclusively in that  past; the success they had was fleeting and its continuing absence noticeable and glaring.

I am here to ensure that you do not become that sad individual, the person for whom the calendar always says yesterday.

1) Successful people aim for a sequence of successes, not just successful episodes and incidents.

Review the history of the prevalent “once-upon-a-time” successes and you will see that their success was limited to a particular time, place, and thing. It was isolated, unique in their experience, non-recurring. The situations of successful people are radically different.

They do not succeed one or twice and live off their decaying laurels forever; instead, they aim to have success after success after success, until the very idea of failure is unthinkable.

2) Successful people see life as a gigantic planning opportunity; an unequalled opportunity to bring home the bacon time after time after time.

The successful lead lives where what they do and how they do it is always linked to the master plan that they have worked on for their entire lives. No incident can be viewed in isolation, because every incident is a step towards larger goals and greater successes. For such people any success is nothing more than a step to ever greater success.

3) Successful people analyze what went right and what went wrong in each success they attain. Every success is not  a conclusion, but a necessary learning opportunity.

By definition successful people place each and every success under a microscope giving it a full and complete scrutiny. Successful people study success; it is in fact their constant endeavor to turn each success into a learning laboratory.

4) Successful people have a succession of goals. Moreover these sequential goals are written down, regularly reviewed and updated… and always represent more challenge and responsibility. For the successful, life is a step ladder, never a sofa and easy chair.

Do you have such goals? Are they written down? Do you constantly consider just what goals achieved today mean in terms of more substantial goals and achievements tomorrow? As successful people grow and mature they become masters of such questions and answers.

More things successful people do.

5) Successful people are all about the future. They focus is on now, of course, because it is in this now they must learn the essentials of success and achieve each individual success.

But successful people always keep an eye on the future. They focus on what they want in that future, vividly aware that what they do today and how well they do guarantees the future of their desire.

6) Successful people make mistakes.

There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t make errors of commission and omission. Successful people know that reviewing today’s errors ensures tomorrow’s victories. And as it is victory they want and insist upon above all, each error is analyzed, understood, turned into part of the primer on success.

7) Successful people are not defensive.

The characteristic response of the unsuccessful to areas where they have erred and need a different, improved response is defensive. Such responses will be of the “no one told me. I’m innocent. It’s her fault, it’s her fault” variety. These responses are a clear indication that the person in question has little or no idea what successful people say in such circumstances.

“Thank you for pointing this out to me. I have made written notation of what you want.”

Bingo, with such a response you are no longer defending the indefensible, you are instead turning an error, a misunderstanding, a questionable act into a valuable learning experience.  8) Successful people keep journals, diaries, etc.

So long as you live you can become a success story all your own. One thing you need is the most detailed and thorough notes about yourself. Remember, every single thing you do either assists success… or retards, even destroys it. That is where detailed personal journals are mandatory.

In such documents, you put yourself under a keen scrutiny which never ends and which must be both complete and honest.

The extent to which you fail to have and keep such personal information is the extent to which you are prepared to jettison intensely valuable information… and all the successes which might have hinged on their existence and use.

9) Successful people thank the people who helped them.

Successful people are people who are beneficiaries of constant assistance from parents, other family members, teachers, clergy, coaches, etc., a process that only ends with death.

Successful people feel privileged to acknowledge and recognize the hard work and sincere assistance provided by many, many others. Unsuccessful people feel diminished by such help; not enhanced by it.

The avoidable tragedy of The Void where there are no new goals to take the place of old goals achieved.

The worst thing that can happen to a person who wants true, continual success is to finish a goal… and not know what he/she should be doing next. As indicated above you must always have goals that go beyond even the most major goals you are working on now. There must never, ever be a gap… for that is an opportunity for losing track of your objectives and becoming directionless.

Now that you have read this article with its admonitions and recommendations, you will never have this problem. With clockwork regularity you will always conclude a goal, knowing just what major goal follows.

Your job is to turn the achievement of success into an unrelenting, never ending system. And now you know how to do it.


About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books.

Republished with author’s permission by Graham Lee – The Income Zone

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