It's the Goals that Really Matter

By: Hatem Dhiab

As we start a new year, many of us have aspirations and desires, things that we would like to accomplish and things that we must achieve to further progress. There’s nothing more important to being successful than writing down your personal and professional goals. There’s not one successful organization or individual that doesn’t do this. Goals matter because they give us long-term vision and short-term motivation. This process allows us to focus our acquisition of knowledge, and helps us to organize our time and our resources so that you can make the very most of your life.

Every year, I read a few books and in 2017, “Principles” written by Ray Dalio, who’s arguably one of the most successful investors in a generation has been my favorite. In it, Ray defines some of his main drivers for success. While there’s a lot of wisdom to be derived from the book, his goal setting techniques have stayed with me. This is why I wanted to summarize it and share it in the beginning of 2018 so we may all benefit from such a refined and proven process for success.

Here’s some steps to having Clear goals and being successful at achieving them:

    Prioritize: While you can virtually have anything you want, you can’t have everything. Life is full of choices and distractions. Choosing a goal often means rejecting things you want in favor of things you want even more. So don’t get discouraged about all the choices and really figure out what’s most important, once you do that, get on with it.

    Don’t confuse goals with desires: A proper goal is something that you really need to achieve. Desires are things that you want that can prevent you from reaching your goals. Typically, desires are first-order consequences. For example, your goal may be physical fitness, while your desire may be to eat good-tasting but unhealthy food. You have to make a choice as to which is more important.

    Reconcile your goals and your desires: Take passion for example. Without passion, life would be dull, you wouldn’t want to live without it. What’s key is what you do with that passion. Do you let it consume you and drive you to irrational acts, or do you harness it to motivate and drive you while you pursue your real goals? What will ultimately fulfill you are the things that feel right at both levels.

    Don’t mistake the trappings of success for success itself: Having a fancy car, expensive clothes or material things is nice, however that should never be your goal. These trappings are temporary and elusive; real success is lasting and fulfilling.

    Never rule out a goal because you think it’s unattainable: Be audacious. There’s always a best possible path, your job is to find it and have the courage to follow it. What you think is unattainable is just a function of what you know at the moment. Once you start your pursuit you will learn a lot, especially if you triangulate with others, paths you never saw will emerge. There’s many examples of this in society, Elon Musk being one- with his many seemingly unattainable pursuits that are becoming realities.

    Great expectations create great capabilities: If you limit your goals to what you know you can achieve, you are most certainly setting the bar too low. Dream big and large.

    Nothing can stop you from succeeding if you have flexibility and self-accountability: Flexibility is what allows you to accept what reality (or knowledgeable people) teaches you. Self-accountability is essential because if you believe that failing to achieve a goal is a personal failure, then you will get motivated to be more creative and determined to find a new path to success.

    Knowing how to deal with your setbacks is as important as knowing how to move forward: Sometimes you know that you are going over a waterfall and there is no way to avoid it. life will throw you such challenges, some of which will seem devastating at the time. In rough times, your goal might be to keep what you have, to minimize your rate of loss or pain or simply to deal with a loss that is irrevocable. Your mission is always to make the best possible and right choice no matter what the circumstances, knowing that you will be rewarded if you do.

    We all have different lives, aspirations, needs and wants. Our goals may all be different, however the mere fact of setting goals and achieving them give us all the ability to build our character. While the process of goal setting is important because it helps unearth and identify what’s important to you. Pursuing your goals is the real money-maker (literally and figuratively) because it builds confidence; it develops yourself as the type of person who can have a plan and execute for future success.

    Happy goal setting and cheers to a successful 2018.

    Exceprt from Principle by Ray Dalio which i highly recommend you to read and apply.

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