I am going over my old posts from previous blogs and re-posting the ones that were worth something. This one is a really cheesy one on how to get yourself on the path to achieving your dreams. It is a two part post, but I am posting this one up first. Its basically a simple method for translating goals and obstacles into motivation and courses of action using two tables on opposite sides of a piece of paper.
I got a text message replying the last post on this topic from my pal, Gnucco, and it read…
“Saw your how to do what you don’t want article. Reads like a motivational book. Leads me no where near the goal, and worse, needs me to trick myself. I thought there was a name for that: ‘insane’ ‘deluded’ and other similar adjectives. lol”
My reply to him is where I take up the second part of the article, and it read…
“Gee thanks, I’d take that as a compliment! lol. I said it was about cheap psychological tricks… cos it was! I think that’s the definition of motivation? What you want is a ‘how to…’, but each man must write his!”
Motivation has everything to do with the way a person feels. Think about it, we are all
unique individuals, each with our own psychological intricacies and emotional
flux that is beyond the comprehension or explanation of any one man. The
individual has been defined as a multitude of one million divided by one
million! (Arthur Koestler) So if I dare to write an article on how to make
yourself feel like doing something you don’t want to, I must be broad so as to
reach out to as many people as possible, each of them unique while not
sacrificing the sort of specific attention to detail that would leave my
esteemed reader feeling like I wasted his time.
Consider a post by best selling author of business books, Seth Godin. He says, and rightly so, that
the difference between how-to books and business books is MOTIVATION. “The
fascinating thing is this: I spend 95% of my time persuading people to take
action and just 5% of the time on the recipes”.
The second part of this series addresses practical steps that you can take towards carrying out the actions that will help you achieve a predetermined goal. I will try to make this article specific to achieving certain categories of goals, such as my usual sort of readers are wont to face.
- consider the goal that lies ahead of you. Place a time limit on when you must have achieved the goal.
- Analyse the main reasons inhibiting you from working towards your goal. Group them in terms of the following categories:
a. Caused by you, controllable by you
b. Caused by you, uncontrollable by you
c. Caused by someone or something else, controllable by you or others
d. Caused by someone or something else, uncontrollable by you or anyone
- Analyse all the benefits, short term and long term that you stand to gain from achieving your goal. Which of these benefits can be obtained from alternative means?
- What would it take to achieve the same benefits or better through alternative means? How prepared are you to attempt at arriving at some benefit through achieving a totally different short term goal? What is the likelihood that you would follow through on a dedication to completely change your method?
If you decide on pursuing your course of action with absolute certitude,
pick a piece of paper and write down the goal. It is important that you
are as specific as possible.
Achieve a 3.9 sgpa this semester
- Below the goal, draw a table with two columns, write down all the benefits that you
stand to gain from achieving the goal on one side, and all the obstacles
before you on the other side of the table.
In the Academic Sphere, your list may look like this.
|I will have a comfortable second class upper grade||I spend a lot of time with my girlfriends and company|
|I will have peace of mind and am under less pressure next semester||I spend a lot of time hanging out and chilling with the guys|
|I can apply to Oxford, the Imperial College or an equally elite
school requiring high grade on graduation
|I cant seem to have access to school books, notes and other
|I will stand a chance of getting any of the many scholarships given
to students with good grades such as the PTDF etc
|I find it really hard to attend lectures|
|I will be eligible for several job opportunities in addition to
getting a good posting for NYSC
|I don’t understand when I read|
- Afterwards, you turn the piece of paper around. You write down your goal in bold
scripting on top of the page. Then you draw a table, only this time, you
make some adjustments.
- For the column on the left, you write down the benefits you stand to gain as if
they have already happened to you. Look at the table below to see what I
mean. Note that the tense is changed. The “I will” parts of the sentences
have been changed to “I am”.
- For the other column, you analyse each of the deterrent / inhibiting factors and
reasons. You replace each one with at least one positive and definite
course of action which you believe will help you solve the problem. The
human mind can see problem or see possibility, its all a matter of
conditioning. What this simple exercise does, is show you in which ways
you can convert restriction to empowerment.
|I have a comfortable second class upper grade||I spend a lot of time reading my books and going over course work
with my colleagues
|I have peace of mind and will be under less pressure next semester||I spend a lot of time in the library and searching for resources I
can use to aid my understanding
|I apply to Oxford, the Imperial College or an equally elite school
requiring high grade on graduation
|I make friends with course mates who I can share notes and
|I stand a chance of getting any of the many scholarships given to
students with good grades such as the PTDF etc
|I attend the important lectures where attendance is taken and for
the others, I monitor the progress made in class
|I am eligible for several job opportunities in addition to getting
a good posting for NYSC
|I start reading early enough so I can understand clearly|
- You can see from above that if you combine a line from each side of the table, you
can get positive motivation as well as definite course of action in the
same sentence. Essentially, the right side of the table is your how to!
The same principle can be applied when trying to chart a course in your career, in a
relationship, or in other matters of personal or group pursuit.
In a nutshell
I just want to say, that the ultimate responsibility lies with he who has a worthy goal to
achieve, and the ultimate prize belongs to he who has a resolve to do what he has
to do now, in order to do what he wants to do, later! The ability to
live like this is a testimony of character, and what is character but the
determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character?
(Henry James – ‘Partial Portraits’ (1888) ‘The Art of Fiction’)
is a great post on taking action.Lets continue the conversation on twitter... Follow @agogodavid