“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
Henry David Thoreau (Author, Walden, or Life In The Woods)
“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”
Salvador Dali Salvador Dali (Surrealist Artist, The Persistence Of Memory)
“You can’t base your life on other people’s expectations.”
Stevie Wonder (Musician, Songs In The Key of Life)
I dated a freshman in college when I was a senior.
For 2 weeks.
Then she dumped me.
It was embarrassing.
I tried to save face in front of my friends by being a jerk about it. But that didn’t work.
They just respected me less. I respected myself less too.
I was always trying to impress my friends back then.
I wanted to fit in and be loved by everyone but always felt like I was on the outside looking in.
At the same time, I wanted to stand out and be cool.
It was an impossible task.
Instead of fitting in or standing out, I ended up stuck somewhere in the middle catering to people who were never going to like me.
There were two people in particular who I called friends even though I knew they hated me.
They skipped class and wrestling practice, and threw great parties. Everyone laughed at all of their jokes.
“What I wouldn’t give for people to laugh at my jokes like that!” I’d think.
I played up to them for years without realizing how desperately I was seeking their approval.
For those same years, I failed at almost everything I did.
Instead of chasing my own goals, I chased their goals. Instead of making decisions based on my values, I made decisions based on their values.
It wasn’t until I stopped trying to be liked by these friends that I started achieving my goals.
Once I put them behind me, the world opened up in front of me.
Why You Must Avoid Weak-Minded People
What you want in life is affected by what other people want in life.
When you see someone pursuing a goal, it makes you want to pursue a similar goal.
Scientific studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology show that people who watch someone else chasing a particular goal are more likely to chase the same goal. In fact…
Just reading about someone chasing a goal made these people more likely to adopt the same goal.
One study showed that participants who read a story about someone trying to make a certain amount of money were more likely to try to make the same amount of money too.
But people who read a story that wasn’t about making money did not set a money-making goal.
Your goals are affected by other people’s goals.
If you’re surrounded by people with weak goals, you’ll end up pursuing weak goals.
If you’re not careful, everything you strive for in life will be based on what other people want, not what you want.
How To Keep Small-Minded People From Affecting You
Quit chasing other people’s shiny objects.
It’s bad enough that they’re chasing them.
A fancy new middle manager job title, a measly 3% pay raise, a bloated expensive wedding—these things will not make you happy for more than a day.
Stop chasing what other people want. Stop falling into other people’s pursuits. Instead…
Get deliberate with who you let into your life.
Actively choose your own goals and then commit and recommit to them over and over again until you achieve them. Here’s how to achieve your life’s goals…
1. Pretend You’re The Last Person On Earth
The reason you’re not achieving your goals is because you’re busy chasing other people’s goals.
You spend the majority of your day asking yourself what other people will think of you.
What will my girlfriend think? What will my husband think? What will my boss think?
What will my friend, family members, and neighbors think?
Other people’s opinions don’t matter.
When it comes to your personal goals, the only person whose opinion matters is yours.
The problem is that you’ve been bombarded with other people’s opinions since birth.
You’ve been listening to what other people think for so long that you’ve forgotten how to think for yourself.
A good strategy for getting back in touch with your innate thoughts and desires is to imagine you are the only person left on Earth.
Pretend a deadly disease or zombie apocalypse wiped out everyone in the world but you.
You wake up in the middle of Times Square alone.
Eventually you accept the fact that you’re the last person on Earth.
What would you do?
Would you build something? Would you read every book in the library? Would you write a book? Would you travel? Would you hike every mountain? Would you teach yourself to fly a helicopter?
Or, would you sit at home all day watching sad movies on Netflix and crying?
What kind of person are you?
Try to consider your desires without the pressure of impressing or living up to others.
Dig into your mind and determine what you alone want.
2. Gain Emotional Distance From Losers
There are people in your life who should not be there.
These people are keeping you from fulfilling your purpose in life.
You only get one life—one chance to achieve your biggest goals.
No one is worth sacrificing your dreams to.
It sounds harsh but it’s the truth.
The only way to move forward is by leaving your loser friends and anyone who holds you back behind.
You were meant for something more.
You just can’t see it because you’re surrounded by people with weak goals.
The only way to see your true potential again is to gain some emotional distance from these people.
You need to physically remove yourself from your current environment.
Stop going out with the same people every weekend. Stop attending the same little sad events that are demolishing your dreams one minute at a time.
Instead, get away for a few days to a few weeks.
Distance creates clarity.
Your life and everything you’re capable of achieving during it is like a long, beautiful shoreline.
Your current perspective is like a rowboat stuck on one small part of that shoreline.
All you can see is the sand in front of you. But…
By pushing the boat out into the water and rowing out to sea, you start to see the entire shoreline.
Your perspective expands and you start to see what’s really possible.
3. Surround Yourself With Winners Chasing Giant Goals
Just like weak-minded people make your goals weaker, strong-minded people make your goals stronger.
Once you get in touch with what you really want to achieve in life, surround yourself with people who want to achieve similar things.
Or better, surround yourself with people who have already achieved the things you want to achieve.
You need people to push you.
You need to be held accountable to your real goals.
Without this accountability, negative and manipulative people will slip back into your life.
Your goals will start to wander.
The only way to prevent this is to figure out what you alone want first.
You. Alone. First.
Then, surround yourself with winners chasing goals that are as big or bigger than your goals.
Don’t be confused. There are winners and losers in life.
Some people have weak minds and chase weak-minded goals. These people refuse to develop their minds or step outside of their comfort zones.
They actually enjoy being weak-minded.
They want to play the victim or pretend that having small goals or having no goals at all is noble. They like the attention it gets them.
People who spout this nonsense are indeed chasing a goal—attention.
Or, they’re chasing power—the power to hold people back, push others down, and make everyone feel bad about themselves.
Forget these people.
You were meant for something more. You were meant to achieve big goals for your life.
Remember, other people’s goals affect your life goals. The only way to prevent weak-minded people from negatively affecting your dreams is to avoid these people altogether. This means getting rid of toxic, loser friends and walking away from relationships that don’t encourage you to grow. Stay in touch with your personal goals. Pretend you’re the last person on Earth and gain some emotional distance from the negative people in your life. Surround yourself with winners who will hold you accountable for achieving great things in your life.
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