I have a big, hairy, audacious goal.
"By 2023, Executive Performance will be recognised by leaders, CEOs and high-performing men as the mecca of physical and mental performance in Sydney."
You might be thinking, "Good luck with that, champ."
Or, "Damn, that's impressive."
Either way, it doesn't affect me. This is what I want and this goal will provide the structural support of every early morning, decisive moment and late night.
An audacious goal provides you with the meaning of life.
Some believe the meaning of life is happiness.
I believe different.
The meaning of life is purpose.
See, if you strive to fulfil your purpose, you might do so and, sometimes, be happy too. If you strive for happiness, you are unlikely to ever reach your purpose and you will rarely be happy, either.
Purpose is the highest tier in Robert Dilts' Logical Levels model, which describes how the mind works.
Everything, from identity and values to behaviours and environment, cascades down from purpose.
When you have an audacious goal you have clarity on your purpose.
You don't rely on motivation, it gets done.
You don't act against your purpose, it's who you are.
You don't have to ponder decisions, you act.
Setting the right audacious goal is one of the most important things you can do in life. It brings order to the chaos.
How To Set An Audacious Goal
An audacious goal must come from within.
When your audacious goal is lined up correctly with your 'why' it provides a certain identity shift.
Your own personal why is hidden beneath layers of experiences and influences.
There's no easy way to tease out your why. It takes extreme responsibility and for you to take a brutally honest review of your life, position and environment.
Some thoughts to consider:
Am I where I thought I would be? Why or why not?
What are the three biggest events which happened in my past and shaped who I am today?
What makes me forget to eat?
What do I want them to say about me at my funeral?
How do I measure my life?
What are my innate strengths?
What is true about myself which would make my 8-year-old-self cry?
Am I making excuses?
Your why is your identity. Now let's create a purpose for your identity to fulfil.
You will set an audacious goal for five years time.
Short enough to feel it's within reach, but far enough that you'll have to work hard consistently for a stretch of time to make it happen.
Next, answer these in writing.
Brutal honesty required.
Now, review what you wrote. Let the words sink in.
Do you feel they are true?
Or are you trying to impress others?
Remember, this is your audacious goal.
You're the one who will be devoting their life to make it happen. It should resonate with you. You shouldn't give a single thought as to what others will think.
Spend time on this.
It's the meaning of your life.
How To Achieve Your Audacious Goal
Break it down into it's smallest achievable parts.
I first saw this framework done by Mark Fisher (markfisherfitness.com) and it has proved the best I've ever used.
Step 1: Imagine your life in five years time.
What does your day look like? How much money is in the bank? Any assets owned? Are you in a relationship? Kids? What's your job? What is your health like?
Take 15-30 minutes and write this is immense detail. The more vivid your imagination, the more likely it will become true.
Now, break it down into a few key statements, such as mine at the beginning of this article. Be specific.
"Most people underestimate what they can achieve in five years, and overestimate what can be done in one."
Step 2: What needs to happen in one year for the five-year goal to be on track?
Imagine your life in one year and follow the same as above, taking 15 minutes to write out the details of your vision.
Don't just think of one-fifth of your five-year goals.
Break it down into the specifics and set some tangible targets which light a fire in your belly when you imagine completing them.
Step 3: What skills and expertise will you need to master to improve the odds of achieving your one-year goals?
- Public speaking?
Write them all down.
Step 4: Start improving those skills right now.
Go to the gym and sign up.
Go online and buy a book on sales techniques.
Start recording yourself presenting 2-minute speeches on random topics.
You have to start somewhere.
Take action and be consistent in your action. Even the smallest step forward is better than nothing.
If you've set the right audacious goals and can feel passion shoot fire through your veins when you think about them, you won't have trouble sticking to the task.
Step 5: Review your progress every month.
Take the time every month to look at what you've done
By doing all of the above, you've created a GPS for yourself to get from where you are to where you want to be. You have everything you need to get there.
It pays to make sure you're still on the right path, and if not steer back towards your destination.
"A life without cause is a life without effect."
- Paulo Coelho
Drifting aimlessly through life will never get you anywhere. You'll never achieve anything of magnitude or ever be truly happy.
We strive off of goals and ambition. We enjoy success and triumphs. We search our whole lives for a sense of purpose.
Here it is in front of you.