During my various interaction with the YOUth across the Country, I’m constantly asked this one question (in different versions); Why don’t I seem to be achieving my Goal? Why don’t I fulfill what I set out to do? Why am I not successful or words to that effect. A quick query to uncle Googs will throw up various pages with answer to the question .. 10 steps, 9 things, 7 ways to, 5 reasons why and so on. Our ancient books have spoken at length about goal setting and ways to achieve it. Arjun, and his quip about the ‘eye of the bird’ is an oft repeated story highlighting that without focus your goals are distant dreams.
Some of the reasons are pretty obvious, I suppose (or not quite obvious for those who are addicted, right?) The millennial kids were born with the ‘smart’ phone in their hands. Yes, they pretty well know how to find the location (google maps), order the food they want (swiggy), ask for the particular shade of lipstick (flipkart) but I’ve found them wanting when it comes to inter-personal communication. And yet, empirical evidence suggests that this is the same generation that is floundering … 😦
- Instant Gratification. Prof Walter Mischel, Prof Stanford University in his seminal work on delaying gratification and its effect on mind control spells out the negative effect of giving in to all our cravings instantly. Think Whatsapp. One ‘ping’ and the hand moving to slide the screen to see who pinged! Instant gratification! This is one major cause of distraction and losing focus. Delay the gratification and get a grip of your life.
- Burning Desire. The need to achieve the goal should be so strong that it is the only thing that you think all day along. Your activities revolve around this one goal. Your preparations, your studies, your actions are all driven to towards achieving it. Say you want to join the defence forces as an officer. Morning physical activity is directed towards that. The day-long preparations are for the written exam. The net is for research of related subject. Any interaction with other people must be this goal related. Parties, picnics and photo ops will happen post success. Now focus.
- Role Model. Have a role model. Speak to him (if possible). Emulate him. Read up about him. Find similar stories of success and realize that this is achievable. Go for it! Never give up. If thousands have walked the path earlier, so be it. Remember, that if they could do it, YOU too can. Have a clear road map. It should chalk out step-wise action plan. This followed by this and so on.
- Give up. A number of you give up too soon, too fast. One failure/ rejection puts the brakes on. Remember, failure is part of the process. Without failure you’ll not grow, not learn. Fail, and learn. Then be back on track. Sir Alex Ferguson (Man U coach) used to tell his team – win or lose, you get 24 hours! Celebrate or mourn … but after 24 hours be back on the training ground. Re-calibrate and be back with greater vigour.
- Feedback loop. The system of feedback has either not put in place or is faulty. Some of us deliberately, don’t set up this mechanism, as we are not comfortable with negative comments. We don’t realize that without feedback your achieving goals are tougher. Feedback help you in affecting mid-course corrections and to bash on!
- Focus. Earlier when I mentioned Arjun, it was focus that I wanted to highlight. There is too much clutter in your mind. This clutter clutters your mind. It does not quite help you to prioritize or focus. De-clutter. Delete unwanted stuff. Meditate and get your focus back.
- Check your Belief Systems. At times it is our belief systems that hold us back. We believe in talented people thus preventing us from putting in hard work. We believe in child prodigy and thus want to believe success is hereditary. We believe in a number of such ideas which prevent us putting our best foot forward. This lack of Belief hinders our growth. Prevents us from achieving our true potential.
Over the years, I’ve personally realized that, when I focus and put in the hard work, the results are there for all to see. Success is bound to happen. Things are bound to fall in place. Goals are a given. You’ll stand tall with Victory at your feet.
Wishing YOU all the success.