The Point Is…
Let me share two great things that happened to me recently: one, I became a bestselling author; and two, I signed an audiobook contract with a US publisher. I’ll tell you right now that these two things were never actual goals of mine. They were potential results of the writing I do. And seemingly impossible dreams too!
A few years ago, a friend of mine was inspired by Bradley Wiggins’ success to buy himself an expensive bike, all the kit, even get the same haircut, and then sign up for a hundred-mile race. But whenever I asked if he’d been out training, he always had a good excuse: it was too windy, too wet, or too hot; he was too tired, busy, etc… The thing is, what he really wanted was to feel good, and he had a belief that being like Bradley Wiggins would give him that. Let’s look at this kind of thinking: A) you can feel good instantly if you want to, because ‘feeling’ is a state. If you do NLP, you’ll learn how to be in charge of your state at all times. B) That’s the wrong order as well: in order to have something, say success, first you have to become that successful person. Let’s say you want to listen to BBC1, but you’re on the Radio 5 Live frequency; that will never happen. First, you have to match the frequency of whatever it is that you want.
I wonder if sometimes people don’t focus more on the results they want than on their goals. For me, I have a goal this year to write another book – that is totally realistic and within the realm of my influence. Of course, I hope the book becomes another bestseller and I’m excited at the thought of signing another deal… But my goal remains to write the best book I can possible write. All the rest of it: the potential results, opportunities, sales and reviews, all of that is out of my control. But if I apply myself, put in the hours, and if I am consistent, then I open myself up to greatness. If I insist on a particular result, all I do is create resistance in the process. So, whenever you have a goal, forget about the results. And I think you’ll be surprised when those turn out to be better and bigger than you could ever imagine… (I know I’m still pinching myself!)
In my friend’s case, which qualities was he seeing in Wiggins that resonated with him? Quite often we mistake the package for the actual resonance. When we admire someone else, it’s a trigger that whatever it is we think is so great in them must be in us too. And it is also a sign that we should focus on developing that quality or trait within ourselves. Last but not least, we must do so in a way that is relevant for us. Because that’s the thing with goals: we often confuse what we want with what is relevant for us to be, and have. My friend wanted to be Bradley Wiggins. Once upon a time, I wanted to be Patricia Cornwell! But we all know that wanting to be someone else never works. We must celebrate our uniqueness, and decide to be the most authentic version of ourselves.
As well as having goals now, I make sure that my focus is on always being in my flow. How will you know when you are? Because whatever field you’re in, whether you’re a business person, an athlete, or a writer, it will be easier for you, faster, smoother, and the results will be outstanding. It takes courage to follow that path. People say, ‘follow your bliss!’. This conjures up an image of an ever-smiling, never-challenged individual. That is not the case. Sure, you’ll have to make sacrifices… As in maybe giving up a well-paying job and facing financial uncertainty for a while. The thing to remember is that we never come into this life to work a job we don’t like just so we can pay bills in order to carry on being unfulfilled. So, if there is something in life you feel passionate about; if you lose track of time when you do it; if it’s the most precious thing in your universe and you would do it 24/7, without pay, for the rest of your life – I have three words for you: GO FOR IT. Because that’s the point…
“Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to ultimately be at peace with themselves. What human beings can be, they must be.” – Abraham Maslow.