You must have heard of goal setting. I think it is boring and I hate it when books and seminars ask me to do so. Do you like it?
In a short seminar, the speaker ask us to bring out a paper and write down 10 things that we want in life, in 1 minute. So I just pretend I write something but actually I wrote nothing. Because in my mind, I am thinking, “Oh come on, don’t make me do this stupid goal setting again”.
He didn’t ask us what goals we set, nor did he motivate us get it … He just say this,
“Look at what you have written, many people don’t get want they want in life because they don’t know what the want!”
It’s like a smack on my head. This is not a goal setting session. Instead, he is trying to point out the fact that most of us doesn’t know what we want in our life. How can you get want you want if you don’t know what you want in life? Now to be honest, do you know what you want in your life?
Michael Dell knows he want to beat IBM in the PC market.
Bill Gates knows he want to dominate the software for PC.
Warren Buffet told his neighbor he will be a millionaire by 30. He is now the 2nd richest man in the world.
A goal is nothing but a decision. The 2nd chapter of Anthony Robbins’ Awaken The Giant Within talks about DECISION.
- You set a goal to visit Japan in 2007. Isn’t that you have made a decision to go to Japan in 2007?
- You set a goal to buy a new house in 2007. Isn’t that you have made a decision to buy a new house in 2007?
Now in 2006, I got pretty tired for my routine works for 3 years after graduation. I make a decision to actually rest for 1 year. (You can say I set a goal to rest for 1 year). And know what? I did rested the whole 2006 doing nothing productive at all!
What you decide for is what you get! I make a stupid decision to rest for 1 year and I really ended up doing nothing for 1 year. I did accomplished my goal – rest 1 year. But at the same time, I also wasted 1 year. And god, 1 year is a very very long time. If you make your girl friend pregnant, it only takes 10 months to see your baby. So you got marry her and prepare your wedding in the first few months, before her tummy come out. Wahahahaha.
- Make a good decision, you get a good result
- Make a bad decision, you get a bad result
The reason I pointed out that a goal is nothing but a decision is because, you might think that goal setting is unrelated to you. But you are WRONG! Every second in your life, you are making decisions. You are actually setting goals for yourself without realizing it!
What if you don’t want to make a decision? That actually means you have make a decision not to make a decision! Instead of leading your life with decision, you have decide to lead your life by conditions. So at the end, you have also make a decision. And that’s a BAD decision (like my 2006 decision to do nothing). You will get what you decide for!
This is what differentiate achiever (successfully people) and ordinary people (losers). Achievers make decisions every moment to lead their life. They decide what they are going to eat, what book to read, what job to get, what friends to make, what *NOT* to eat, what time to sleep, etc.
Ordinary people make a decision not to make a decision but let the conditions and circumstances lead them. So they go to the university that seems like destiny (命运） want them to go , they take the course that seems like destiny want them take, they meet friends that seems like destiny want them to meet, they have living style and eating habits that seems like destiny want them to have … Their job, their relationship, their health, their financial condition, their time … all are lead by life conditions.
A good metaphor for this is that if you are rowing a boat in the river. If you don’t decide where you want to go, you have actually decided to let the condition lead you. So the condition here is the flowing water. Most people don’t realize about this, until one day, they saw a waterfall coming 100m from them! And that is a personal disaster.
In real life, it can be losing your job at 40 with a wife and 4 children with $0.35 in your bank account and owning your bank $328,888 for the loan for your bungalow and big car. It can also be that your doctor told you, “I am sorry that you are diagnosed with lung cancer and you will only be living for another year”. Or maybe, I say to you “Congratulation, you are HIV positive!” (because you told yourself that you are a sales engineer, you have no choice but to ‘call chicken’ （叫鸡） along with your clients).
Friend, when you see the waterfall, it is already too late! At that time you can either blame (still doesn’t admit it is your fault) or learn something, but still it is too late!
You might hope that you had make a decision not to smoke even all your colleagues do. Instead of saying, “All my friends are smokers, so I have to smoke too” (lead by conditions). Or even better, decide to stay away from friends that have bad habits such as drinking and smoking.
You may wish that you have decided to eat differently, instead of thinking at that time, “My grandfather, my mother-in-law, my colleague, my friends, all people in Malaysia also eat like that!” (lead by conditions). Remember most of them had or will be meeting the waterfall! You can decide if you want to be like them or not like them.
You can decide not to have sex with the hooker. Just pay the bill for your client and wait outside (or pretend inside). Instead of saying, “I have no choice, that’s my job”. (lead by conditions). Or even better, decide to get another job!
You can decide in everything! What friends you want to make, what job you want to pursue, how you spend your time, how to spend your money, what hobbies to have, to smoke or not to smoke, 2 wifes or 20 wifes (joking, but still what you decide is what you get) … You can always say NO to something (your decisions), instead of thinking that you have no choice (the conditions).
If you really read my post until here, make decisions yourself and lead your life by your own decisions. Don’t let the conditions lead your life! Don’t say the phase, “I have no choice”! You always have a choice to decide what you want to do about something.