Everyone wants to achieve their greatest goals, but few actually do. Why? Because they don’t make a big enough effort. If you want to achieve big things, you have to be willing to lay it all on the line, and push yourself. When you do, you grow. You learn how to get more done and how to make yourself more valuable. What’s more, you will pick up ideas and experiences you can use for the rest of your life. Here’s what it takes to achieve big goals:
1. Set A Really BIG Goal
You donʼt win by going for good. You win when you go for great. Thatʼs why the first and most important step in achieving big goals is, well, being bold enough to set BIG goals. Unfortunately, we often set small goals, which are killers because they prevent us from connecting with our drive to excel. We simply canʼt get fired up about them. But when you decide to go for something big, it inspires you to rise up and do more than you think is possible. The key to achieving big goals is to set them frequently—daily, weekly, monthly—to make them achievable yet significant. Each goal you achieve will give you the confidence you need to tackle the next goal tomorrow or next week or next month. And thatʼs how you make fast progress. So find the courage to go for the BIG goal today! It will create excitement and anticipation. It will bring focus, clarity, and intensity to your efforts.
2. The Rule of Three
If you want to win, you have to play the odds, and not let failure frustrate you into giving up or playing small. You do this by refusing to do “just enough.” You overdo by generating three times the opportunities you actually need. I like to use a baseball metaphor to explain the rule of three. The greatest hitters of all time, people like Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, or Lou Gehrig, only got a hit roughly one out of three times they went up to the plate. That means they failed 2 out of 3 times, but are still considered the best at what they do. Similarly, when youʼre trying to accomplish anything great, two out of three times it will likely go wrong. So make sure you have at least three rock-solid possibilities for every positive outcome youʼre trying to achieve. This way, youʼre giving yourself the best shot at succeeding by making sure the odds are in your favor.
3. Train to Failure
In order to achieve extraordinary goals, you need to grow. And the best way to grow is to borrow a concept from weightlifting: “train to failure”—push yourself until you have nothing left to give. You canʼt grow your capacity if you donʼt use up all that you have. And if you never test yourself, youʼll never improve. Winners live by the words of Airstream founder Wally Byam: “It was impossible, so it took a little longer to accomplish.” And they know that pressure is their friend: itʼs what changes coal into diamonds. If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of becoming great, you need to put yourself in situations that seem impossible. Eventually, youʼll grow through them. By training to failure, youʼll set yourself on the path to build the strength and endurance youʼll need in the long-term.
4. Do the Things Others Arenʼt Willing to Do
Everyone wants the glory, no one wants to do the grunt work. But if you want to accomplish something big, you need to make yourself do it anyway. Why? Grunt work leads to greatness. Even in pursuit of the loftiest goals, there will always be tedious things that have to be done to succeed. Winners know that doing what you have to do will allow you to do what you want to do. In the process, youʼll earn a little more experience, skill, and toughness than those who took the easier path. Of course, you shouldnʼt spend all of your time doing grunt work. Once youʼve learned what you need to know, you need to find a way to turn that grunt work over to somebody else. But every new big goal comes with a new set of grunt work. Even the extremely successful spend time every day on grunt work, because they are always at the beginning of something. And they know they have to put in the requisite time if they want to succeed.
5. The MacGyver Principle
If you want to do big things, you need adopt the “MacGyver” mentality by learning to leverage every resource available to you. While winners are “MacGyvering” their way to the top, turning a rubber band, dental floss, and some borax into a lasso to swing toward the next big goal, losers sit around whining about everything they need and donʼt have. Life is not going to hand you three or four or five times the energy and talent and resources you actually need to get things done. Youʼve got to go with what youʼve got and worry about reinforcements later. Itʼs only when you get to the furthest limit of your resources that new resources appear. This is called growth. The “MacGyver” principle is based on understanding that itʼs not what you have that matters, itʼs what you do with what you have.