“I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.” — Venus Williams
“The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.” — Seth Godin
“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” — Earl Nightingale
“I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.” — Michael Phelps
Recently, somebody didn’t like the concepts I was sharing online.
It was the usual message.
Strive for self-reliance.
Figure out where you want to go and then focus on achieving it.
Don’t pay attention to other people.
Figure out what you want and go after it with all of your might.
And, somebody didn’t like that message.
They started spouting off, saying that it was a mistake to encourage people to give their full effort all the time.
They think that, instead, I should be talking much more about how you need to relax, and how you need to just settle down.
They think that it doesn’t really matter what you do, that there’s more important things to life than just getting ahead or achieving a goal.
It threw me off.
I just don’t understand people who think this way.
First of all, why can’t you have both?
Why can’t you set goals and achieve them, as well as take the time to relax?
It’s totally okay to find times to relax and rest.
However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t set goals.
It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t clear a path for yourself and aim for somewhere new, somewhere that is a significant challenge for you.
It doesn’t mean that you should stop exposing yourself to conflict to do something big.
Why Setting Big Goals Is Good For Your Health
Most people will agree that setting goals is a good thing.
No one wants to just flounder around in their life without any direction.
But, there are tangible positive effects to goal-setting.
A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that when undergraduate students were asked to write about their “best possible selves” (a.k.a. goal setting), they experienced fewer illnesses at the 5-month follow-up than the control group.
Writing down what their ideal self looks like actually made the participants healthier.
And, the difficulty of your goals matters.
Big, tough, difficult goals are the best kind to set for yourself.
Although you might think that a more difficult goal — which you are less likely to achieve and would require more work — would mean lower satisfaction, a study reported in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology found the opposite to be true.
Individuals who set difficult work goals for themselves showed a stronger link between goal progress and well-being than individuals who set less difficult goals.
By setting big goals, the study participants took greater satisfaction from any progress that they made towards the goal.
If you don’t set big enough goals — goals that scare you — then you won’t be able to enjoy the progress you make.
If a goal is too easy, then of course you can get there — so, what was even the point of setting the goal?
3 Worst Pieces Of Advice That Will Keep You From Achieving Your Goals
So many people think they know what’s best for you.
But, this doesn’t mean you should listen to what they have to say.
And, some people might even be actively trying to keep you from achieving your goals.
Stop listening to other people.
Here are 3 of the worst pieces of advice people will try to give you…
1. Do less because working so hard is stressing you out and going to make you sick.
People will tell you, “If you don’t do less, you’re gonna get sick. You’re pushing too hard.”
“The chronic stress is not good for you,” they’ll say.
Stress is great for you.
Stress is one of the best things to sharpen you, and to make you better.
Just think about your muscles.
The only way muscles get stronger and grow is by being put under stress.
If you just leave your muscles alone, and don’t put any stress on them, they will atrophy.
Your muscles need stress to stay strong and to grow — and, so do you.
The stress just has to come from the right things.
For stress to be good for you, it has to come from the challenges that you choose.
If you don’t choose a challenge, life’s gonna throw challenges at you.
That’s when the bad stress happens.
But, when you choose what conflict to expose yourself to, when you choose what challenge you want to face, that’s when you will experience good stress and be able to grow.
Stress is what sharpens people and keeps them growing.
2. A mindset shift alone is enough to achieve success.
The best athletes, Olympians, visualize themselves winning.
They believe they will win, they tell themselves they will win, they visualize winning over and over again.
But, you know what else they do?
They put in the work.
Top athletes practice for several hours a day, every day, for decades.
They don’t just visualize something and then go sit on the couch.
That’s not how it works.
Yes, you have to have the right mindset to achieve your biggest wins.
So, if you want to say mantras, or visualize, or have positive energy… that is great.
Those things are important.
Your optimism, your gratefulness… these are important.
But, there’d better be work behind that mindset.
You’d better be working your tail off to get things done.
You’d better be measuring your progress.
You’d better be taking steps towards your goals.
Action is the limiting factor to your success.
3. You should just calm down.
Do you want something intensely?
Then, be intense in your pursuit of that goal.
Don’t be confused, don’t let people online (or wherever else), try to tell you not to go after what you want with all of your energy.
Or, that somehow sitting back and doing nothing, taking no action, is going to bring you what you want.
The joke will be on you.
You cannot let yourself sit back and let other people convince you that trying less, or caring less, is the ticket to getting where you want.
You want something intensely? Good.
You want it? Great — go after it.
Don’t let anybody tell you to tone yourself down, and to have less energy around your goals.
You have to very carefully evaluate the advice people give you. It won’t all be good advice. Much of it could even end up sabotaging you. Don’t let people like this throw you off of your game. Ignore their advice. Never listen to people who tell you to do less because working so hard is stressing you out and going to make you sick, that a mindset shift alone is enough to achieve success, and that you should just calm down. That is terrible advice. If you want something, then get focused and go get it.
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