A goal is a dream with a plan. And other fairy tales.

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Here are the elements that I believe define and comprise the dream, goal, and achievement process:


Thinking. Ideas pop into your head. Write them down.

Dreaming and daydreaming. Thoughts make (let) your mind wander to desire, possibility, and “what if.” I love to daydream. Don’t confuse daydreams with pipedreams. You will never win the lottery.

Observing. Looking closely at the world and your world to see what it is that you really want to be, do, and have.

Opportunity. Recognizing it. Seizing it. And taking advantage of it.

Risk tolerance determines outcomes. If you perceive the goal is too “risky,” you’ll pass. If you wanna achieve, you gotta risk.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda. The words of people unwilling to risk. “I coulda been a contender, I coulda had class and been somebody.” Marlon Brando, in his role as Terry Mallon Playing in On The Waterfront – 1954.

Desire. Your level of desire will determine the length of time to achievement.

Want. Want it bad? Like desire, your level of “want” will determine the length of time to achievement.

Need. Need is a stronger circumstance than desire or want. Your need-reality will generate your level of achievement action.

Intention. Intentions PRECEDE actions. If you don’t intend to, you won’t achieve, even if you want to. What are your intentions?

Dedication. If it’s a business goal, you have to dedicate the time to study and prepare. If it’s a personal goal, you have to dedicate small amounts of time to steadily achieve.

Persistence. The sister of dedication, it’s the stick-to-itiveness that pushes you to achievement.

Action for the day or the moment. Plans change, actions are in the NOW. Take some. An apple a day.

Skill set. Maybe your skills are precluding you from achievement. Maybe you need to study, practice, or enlist the aid of others.

Love of what you do, or what it is. Love breeds passion. Passion breeds action. Action breeds achievement.

For who? Why? If you have a motive, it may provide additional motivation. Don’t be a martyr. Do it for yourself first. Understanding “for who” and “why” will help you achieve as much as any other aspect of this process.

Self-belief in every aspect of the process. You must believe in yourself BEFORE you can believe in the achievement of your goals. Think you can.
Mission. If your goal is different from your mission, it will lack the passion to become a reality.

Visibility. Post it where you can see it. Keep your goals top-of-mind — top-of-mind’s-eye. I have my goals on my bathroom mirror. Do you?

Support and encouragement. When others are cheering you on, and encouraging you to achieve, it’s a mental miracle.

Serendipity. I have defined it before as, “God’s way of remaining anonymous.” But it’s more than that. Serendipity is that moment when chance and opportunity collide. And it’s at that moment when you are challenged to grasp it, and make yourself and your loved ones better off. Successful. Fulfilled. You reached for the brass ring, and you caught hold.

NOTE WELL: If you get what you want, you better be ready. Ready to capitalize, ready to grow, ready to take advantage of, ready to share, and ready to enjoy — but not over-indulge.


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