The Study Dude—Achieve Your Goals

I offer you four lessons to help achieve your goals.  First, don’t give up.  Second, get resourceful.  Third, find the sweet spot.  And lastly, focus on the positive.

Let’s break these down further.

First, when we strive for goals, what first seems fun grows difficult.  Don’t give up.

When I held a gala for charity, I felt hardship.  My business partner at the time screamed at me daily.  He funded the initial down payment with the expectation I’d pay it back through ticket sales.  Not only did I undergo daily scream sessions, but the animators for a PSA I produced threatened to sue me, an artist  threatened to sue me when his cheap art frame cracked, an artist demanded I allow unlimited art pieces into my art auction (although I didn’t have insurance), the charity I represented threatened to withdraw their ties to my event midway through, and a guest speaker encouraged someone to sneak in (without a ticket) to protest my not giving free tickets to her circle.

I held the event to raise funds and awareness for charity.  And I didn’t pay myself a penny.

Most people would have given up.  But the show went on.  The night of the event, an artist asked me why I was crying.  I told her, “You don’t know what it took to get here.”  She looked puzzled, “What did it take?”

Whatever you strive to do, you’ll face challenges, says author Tommy Baker.  So, keep-at-it to claim the pay-off.

Second, don’t get derailed from your dreams.  Get Resourceful.

I used to rationalize that if I didn’t have the right tools, I couldn’t proceed with a task.  But entrepreneurs who make billion-dollar empires often start with very little.  In other words, they get resourceful.  In other words, use a broken wrench if that’s all you got.

Third, discover your dream’s sweet spot.

There is a sweet spot with any goal you chase.  When you hit the sweet spot, your dream morphs into pure fun.

For instance, fitness freaks preach how easy it is to get in shape.  Well, it’s not only easy, it’s fun—once you hit the sweet spot.  But you need to do it daily.  Make your goal as big a priority as showering, going to work, or eating dinner.  Once you hit the sweet spot, the fun mounts.  First your mood lifts.  Then your face glows.  Then your energy spikes.  Then your body gets shapely.  In other words, the more you put in, the more you get out.

Same goes with studying hard.  Studies, like muscles, require daily grooming.  Go one week without studying, and you fall behind.   Study all day every day, and you hit a sweet spot come exam time.

Tommy Baker writes about motivation in his book The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love with the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams:

  • Seek out the state of not just knowing or doing, but being: “Any process of learning can be separated into three buckets: knowing, doing, and being” (4 hrs 30 mins left in book, 15%).
  • Here’s a breakdown of the stages of doing, knowing, and being: “If you’re accumulating endless information, you’re clearly in the knowing phase. If you’ve paired it with practice and daily reps, you’re in the doing phase.  If you’ve put in the work for years and have become it, you’re in the being phase” (4 hrs 30 mins left in book, 15%).
  • The five rules for progress? “1.  Fall in love with the process.    Do it every single day.  3.  Celebrate your commitment.  4.  Track your metrics and data.  5.  Master your craft.” (4 hrs 29 mins left in book, 16%).
  • If you really want a goal, you’ll commit to daily practice: “Most days you probably won’t feel like it. You’ll want to sleep in a little longer, slack off on your fitness, and wait to launch your business project until tomorrow ….  However, if it’s truly important to you, you’ll do it every single day” (4 hrs 23 mins left in book, 18%).
  • Persist even with small things (like making your bed): “If you can’t build the muscle of persistence during low-stakes situations, it’ll become incredibly difficult to show up when the stakes are high” (2 hrs 57 mins left in book, 40%).
  • Here’s how to focus on your goal: “If you want to harness the power of focus, you have to flex the muscle every single day …. If you’re starting out, your practice can be as simple as 20 minutes of undistracted deep work ….  Once you’ve proven you can do this for at least 45 days, add time” (3 hrs 23 mins left in book, 31%).
  • And stop settling with the rut: “We’d much rather stay in what’s known and uncomfortable—even if it’s painful” (4 hrs 16 mins left in book, 20%).
  • Don’t give up when obstacles loom: “If you stay with it when it gets hard, you can have breakthroughs to new levels in all areas of your life” (4 hrs 5 mins left in book, 23%).
  • Chase your goal even when it bores you: “It’s easy to invest time and effort in a skill when it’s new. Once you start to become decent at it, it can become boring.  Embracing this and pushing past to a place where you endure will make you invaluable to any marketplace” (3 hrs 47 mins left in book, 25%).
Fourth, focus only on what makes your goals reality.

Whatever you focus on manifests in your life.  I applied for a job with a global company.  When the company fell prey to a scandal, I saw the scandal slapped on every headline—in stock market reports, on social media, and in news media.  But if I hadn’t applied for the position, I wouldn’t have known of the scandal.

So, focus on what you want to manifest: your goals.