Personal Development

The Science of Getting What You Want

You have heard it all before I know, but the key to achieving anything is to set goals. What ever you want in life, be it health, wealth or happiness, it is more likely to happen if you set a goal to achieve it. I don’t know if there is any scientific basis in it, but I read somewhere that any goal you set is more likely to happen if you write it down just once and never read it again. Interestingly enough I wrote 50 goals down years ago and never looked at the list again until I found it a few years later and a number of them had been realized.

There are lots of books, audio and video courses and seminars about goal setting, so it must be something that lots of people want to know about and are willing to spend their money on. Incidentally, I think that spending your money on courses like this is a good thing because, as someone once asked me, “How much is free advice worth?” Do you take more notice of your next door neighbour who lives in the same sort of house as you and gives free advice on who to be rich or slimmer or fitter, or from the rich man or dietician or fitness coach who charge you money?
write down
Who do you think has the best advice?

So don’t be afraid to pay for advice. You can always ask for your money back! But you are more likely to follow the advice that you have had to pay for.

Back to goal setting.

If all of these people are taking all of this advice and doing it because it has cost them money, what is going wrong? Why are there not millions of millionaires and top class athletes and supermodels?

There seem to be two schools of thought on the subject; the dreamers and the planners.

Both ideas work in the right context. write down

Planning is good for the sort of goal that really needs a plan, such as I want a holiday in Tahiti this year. If you plan it and start to make steps like putting down a deposit and buying a sun hat, the rest of it usually falls into place. This school of goal setters tell you to set a date and define intermediate goals to help you on your way. Losing weight or getting fitter is often done this way.

There is also another way of doing it which involves dreaming about your idea. You use your imagination. You put everything in the present tense ie. like you have it now. You need to think about your goal morning and evening and as many times in between as you can. You have to think about it with emotion as well, because it does not work without you feeling emotional about the outcome.

You will read about this in Napoleon Hill’s books, so it is not a new idea. It is particularly useful if you have the sort of goal that seems too far away and is apparently impossible for you now such as living in that mansion across town when you actually live in a trailer.

You can not really say, and believe, that you will be living in that mansion by the 31 December in two years.

The present owners might have something to say about it for a start. But, by imagining that you live there, you will eventually live there. You have to be careful about your dreaming though, because you might be the live-in housekeeper.

I know this method works because it happened to me many years ago. I kept some livestock at a farm near the edge of town. In my head I constantly had a picture of living closer to my animals and having room to expand. A short time later we moved house: but further away from the farm where my animals were! But it worked out how I had imagined because I soon found a purpose built unit just around the corner from the new house that was available for rent. It works in a strange way, so you have to have faith and never lose sight of your goal, even when things do not seem to be going how you imagined.

Recently I read a book called .59 Seconds. It is a scientific look at self help advice. On the subject of goal setting, proper scientific evaluation suggests the first method works and the second does not. I feel inclined to question whether or not the people imagining themselves successful were actually doing it right, or just idle dreamers who found this way easy to do because it did not involve any work.

When you do it properly, with emotion, your whole being is tuned to making your goal a reality and you become highly tuned to opportunities that you would never see normally.

It is difficult to describe the feeling, and in spite of there being no scientific evidence of it (yet), I think the second method works as well.

“Success Engineering” is one of the best books I have read on the subject and would highly recommend you read it.

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