Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Power of Why

In 1953, a study was performed at Yale University graduate school, just before the students embarked on their careers. The students were asked a series of questions about their careers. The most intriguing question addressed whether the students had clearly written goals, and plans for these goals. Of the entire class, 3% of the people had written goals with plans to back them up. Twenty years later, the graduate students were found and asked about their lives. Many of them lead happy, successful lives. However, an amazing fact was that the goal-oriented 3% made more money than the remaining 97% of the class. The moral of the story is that if you follow your dreams, the money will find you.
Why do people give up on their goals, or forget about their goals? Because they don't understand why they clearly want them. People don't want money for the sake of having money, what good is a green piece of paper? They want money because of the life that they think it will bring them : freedom, happiness, and many other pleasures.
Designing your goals, your reasons come first, and the answers come second.
Why do goals work? 1) Because whatever you focus on consistently, will come true in your life. 2) Because you begin to understand that where you currently are is not where you want to be. There is a sense of dissatisfaction. After all, if you were totally satisfied, there would be nothing to improve on, and you would not have any goals.

What am I not satisfied with in my life, and what types of beliefs would I have to have if I wanted to achieve my goals?
I am not satisfied with my confidence-level when it relates to speaking to others. I have a fear of approaching others, so I try extra hard to do matter how painful it may be. I know that this is a fear that many people have but I truly think that I need to get over it. In order for me to overcome this fear, I would have to not care of what other people think. I would also have to stop over-analyzing situations and blowing them up in my mind. It's easy to say but seize the day. Not sure how many people can actually say that they follow their dreams and goals.

What are you not satisfied with in life? How would you have to start thinking if you wanted to overcome this dissatisfaction?


Anonymous said...

If you do have a fear of talking to others you did not display that this weekend at Castaways. I thought you were very good this weekend when you kept me company while I worked the beer tub. You came across confident, friendly, self- assured, and you also had very good manners which is hard to find in men your age these days. I don't want you to think I am stalking you but Bill passed your email blog address along to me. I wanted to tell you that what ever you are doing to build your confidence with speaking to new people keep it up because it is working..maybe it was the beer or maybe I was not your type so you were more relaxed...:) but keep it up any ways.

Anonymous said...

More often than not, in my experience, putting yourself in an unfamiliar situation will bring on stress and anxiety. But, over time, as with any other process in our bodies(whether it be water, human, or the universe), adaption will occur and with adaption, comfort will follow. This brings ease and relaxation into any situation thereafter. Sitting in on a discussion about female orgasm's in a small room with 15 women sitting in a circle all nodding and relating is one example that pops to my mind. Uncomfortable...yes, informative...absolutely!

Ariel said...

I am certainly part of the 97%. I may set about 14 goals per day. The disconnect is that I do not write them down and I certainly do not follow up to measure my success or lack of.
I imagine the key to joining the 3% is physically writing down the goal, and then writing a measurable guideline or benchmark as well as a strategy. I think of strategy as the distance between where we are and where we want to be.
Like for you, Kamil, to say "by next summer, I'd like to be able to talk to any person with complete confidence and relaxation", is a measurable time schedule. And then to decide how you are going to become more confident and relaxed and where and when you are going to practice is creating your strategy.
I think this 3% is successful because not only have they focused on bettering themselves, but they have also created strong habits of creating measurable goals with strategy and follow through to back them up. This directly relates to any business venture.

And I'm a bag of wind. Thanks for including me! You've surprised me. You certainly seem to be confident and welcoming ALL THE TIME. I think you even make the people around you more confident, and that's inspiring.

kamilski81 said...

Ha....thanks for the toughtfuly and kind input, some is a little graphic, but what the's the web.

Viktor said...

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how. -Nietzche

I like the quote above in the context of goal setting. Your goals (concrete and measurable) become your "why". When you have a focus (focus comes from determining your goals) you know what you want and don't want and it becomes a motivating factor in surmounting obstacles.

It is lack of goals or what Napoleon Hill calls "a major definite purpose", that stops people dead in their tracks when facing an obstacle.

Below is a goal setting tip I learned from a mentor that I find helpful. It is called the SMART method:

S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Agreeable
R - Realistic
T - Time bound

Specific - means the goal is not ambiguous. Example, it’s not enough to say “I want to be a project manager”. You have to get more specific, what industry? What kind work? What kind of team would you want?

Measurable - is obvious, you should have some sort of way to validate your progress.

Agreeable - means deep down in your soul you know you can accomplish it. You are the only one that knows whether you are lying to yourself

Realistic – This one is obvious as well. You can’t say I’ll have a million dollars by next year in cash when you’ve never seen what one hundred thousand in cash looks like. Similarly, you’re not going to say, I’m going to get 10 phone numbers from the opposite sex when you can’t even approach a single person.

Time Bound – Speaks for itself. However, I will note the power in writing down the date. The date becomes physically manifested in reality and you then feel a strong need to comply with what you wrote down.

As a final note about getting out of your comfort zone as referenced by Kamil and some others who’ve posted comments. I make it a point to feel some sort of discomfort once a day and I don’t mean causing myself deliberate pain. I mean pushing myself to do positive things that I don’t usually do. If you feel that discomfort once a day it means you’re growing and pushing your boundaries. Embrace it! It’s a beautiful thing. I would not know all the wonderful people I know today if I didn’t have the guts to go and introduce myself and take an active interest in other people's lives. I don’t mean being nosey but being sincerely interested in what others are passionate about.


Anonymous said...

Many people set up their goals but get distracted after a while and never accomplish much in life.
I think the most important part is having a burning desire to get there.If it's not inherited from your parents you have to develop a mechanism which is going to help to make a steady progress in right direction.Some people set up small goals to be reached on daily bases.
You have to develop attitude of
"I MUST" otherwise you will wake up in few months to realize that you did not make any progress towards your goals.

Tony Schaboszczak z Zadu

Theresa Keane said...

What is woo?

kamilski81 said...

woo is winning others over. Which means giving off a great first impression