Why we don’t achieve goals and what to do about it

Why we don't achieve goals - and what to do about it

Look in the mirror and you will see, at the same time, your best friend and your greatest enemy. For me, it’s me. No surprise there.

When I see me in that mirror, I shake my head in dismay, wonderment, bemusement at what an oddity I am. Strong, decisive, able in many ways… weak, flawed, broken in so many others. What baffles me most about me is how it is that I can be so goal-driven, and achieve goals so often, and yet, at the same time, fail so miserably on others, even though I try multiple ways of tackling them.

I am baffled no more, because I have discovered the answer to why I achieve goals, and fail. Napoleon Hill and others contributed to this discovery.

But first, take a look in the mirror. If today your image is your best friend, then it will encourage you to get absolutely focussed for the next 90 seconds as you read this post. What it contains is absolute gold. If you want to achieve your goals more often, the answer is here.

You see, goals are achieved when we have two forces at play: Desire and Willpower.

When properly combined, they make an irresistible pair.
  • Desire: You have to really, really want something.
  • Willpower: You have to have self-discipline. That’s the key. Self-discipline comes through self-control. You must first control yourself. And self-mastery is the hardest job you will ever tackle.

Here’s a superb definition of Self-Discipline: Doing what you need to do, when you need to do it, even when you don’t want to. Pause. Reflect. Read that again.

Self-discipline leads to habits. Habits lead to persistence (persistence is a direct result of habit). Persistence leads to results (and lack of persistence is one of the major causes of failure – usually the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.)

The key to achieving goals

I have always put my focus on the willpower bit. The self-discipline, built on self-control, that leads to habits, that leads to persistence, and results. The ‘how.’

But when I fail to achieve goals, I have just realised, it’s not because of the willpower. Sure, the willpower fails. But that’s a symptom. Not the cause. The cause of failure in willpower is because of the lack of a powerful ‘why.’

It’s all about the desire. I simply have not ‘wanted it enough’.

The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE.

We have to focus all our energies up front, on the intensity of the desire. Weak desires bring weak results.

It’s kind of as simple as that.

If you want to achieve your goals, spend more time on the WHY… the DESIRE you have for achieving that goal. Make sure you have a very clear vision of what success looks like and feels like. And as you push hard along the path of willpower towards delivering on that goal, check in regularly on the DESIRE. Savour victory. Imagine it. Feel it. Taste it. Bathe in it. Suck it in.

Then get back on the willpower trip > self-discipline delivering habits delivering persistence delivering results.

Print out this post. Laminate it. Stick it in your shower. Read it every day. DESIRE. It’s – quite simply – the starting point of all achievement.

More reading:

One thing you need to achieve your goals, every time
Achieve your goals without fail by following one habit
The answer to achieving success at work and in life


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