In the coaching and development environment, it is easy to get lost in the flood of concepts, theories, and approaches that can transform your life and enable you to fly around in a private jet (which all entrepreneurs seem able to do on social media).
One constant throughout the industry (and yes that includes the 1 million new experts birthed during the global COVID lockdowns) however, is this... You must first and foremost know your desired outcome. What exactly is it that you want to achieve.
The response from most people when I ask this question is "I want to be rich", or "I want to be successful" or even "I want to be financially independent". The more difficult response is often to the question "What does that look like to you?". What does financial independence look like, how do you define wealth for yourself, or what would you consider success?
There is no one-size-fits-all definition of success. Contrary to popular belief, success for many people does not even involve money. I can sense the "looks" I am getting now, but for some, money plays a very small, or no part at all in defining their goals. "I want a warm, peaceful home filled with joy and laughter", or "I want peace in my life, and an easy 9-to-5 job with quiet evenings with that my soulmate"
The key, no matter how you define it is that there has to be a way to measure your progress, and if you have in fact achieved that goal. If you cannot define it, you will have an endless, exhausting pursuit of an ideal that can never be achieved.
Let me explain using a simple sports analogy.
With COVID restrictions easing around the world, our favourite football (soccer), and rugby teams are all back on the field ready to carry the banner for our favourite teams. My team sport of choice is rugby, and I am an avid Springbok and Sharks supporter.
Picture you favourite team running onto the field against your arch-rivals. In my case that would be the All Blacks or the Bulls. Anticipation builds as I see the Boks defend against the mighty All Blacks. With the two main goals in the game being to score as many points as possible against the opposition, and to prevent them from scoring against you, you are set for a titan clash to be recorded in the history books.
But that is only because the team knows what their goals are.
Let's run back onto the field, same teams, same game. But this time, remove the goal line, remove the goalposts, and all markings on the field. How will the players know where to score? What are they going to defend against? Even as they prepare for the game, how do they prepare? Do they work on defense? To do defend against what? Do they need big strong runners? To run where?
You simply up with a bunch of grown men tosing a ball around aimlessly, and a stadium full filled with rather weird people looking at them...
“Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.” Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
Napoleon Hill, considered one the fathers of personal development and transformation, refers to a good goal as a definite goal. Defined, clear, and measurable.
That simple formula for setting your goal, or defining your outcome, is the foundation of your future success, however you define that.
Once you have this crystal clear picture of what your outcome (your goal) looks like, you can now begin your journey to achieving it, because you know where you want to end-up, so you can decide how you are going to get there, and how you will know that you have arrived.
Incorporating this into your visualization exercises (mental or with vision boards) helps you to focus, and direct your mind and actions in support of your desired outcome. James Alan in his book As a Man Thinketh says "As a man thinketh so is he. Truly, thoughts are things." So if your thoughts, your goals are undefined, unclear, so too, will you be.