You Can’t Be Bill Gates Now But You Can Try This Better Goal

How many times have you been told to set incredible goals? How many times have you been told to set daunting goals that you are currently unable to achieve? It is a good piece of advice but it is incomplete. To achieve your goals in practice, you have to adopt a better strategy.
When we set goals, we must always know that our goals will face reality. Any goal that fails to consider the meeting point between it and reality may face its unachievable end. The most important reason to set any goal is to achieve it.

Setting incredible goals is very good but focusing on incredible goals that you can only hope to achieve in 5 or 10 years will likely lead to frustration and inability to achieve the goal. Especially when you meet obstacles.
Let us consider Alex, a young programmer. Alex has been inspired by Bill Gates since he was young. Bill Gates had a mission to provide a computer for every home and Alex believed Bill Gates has done a lot to change the world.
Bill Gates
Source: Flickr
Alex has a goal to build the next Microsoft, to introduce a ground-breaking product that will change the world. From his teens, Alex learnt all the programming languages that he thought were important.
Although some of the languages were difficult, Alex was determined to know them and he managed to be very good in most of them.
When Alex got to the University, he saw that there were many students like him who were good in programming and also wanted to change the world. In fact, many of them were better than him in programming.
When he finished school, he applied for a position at Microsoft but he was unable to get in because the competition was better than him. He decided to begin his own start-up. He thought he would have more impact than working in another company.
His first start-up failed and the second and the third. He was angry. He never knew changing the world could be this hard. One day, he met one of his professors at a conference.
“Alex,” the professor said as he patted him on the back. “You have to solve the small problems first before you look at the big ones.
“You want to be Bill Gates but you can’t be Bill Gates now. Bill Gates in 1970 is not the Bill Gates you know today. He solved the small problems first. Solve the small problems first, that’s how you begin to change the world.”
Alex learnt an important lesson, that to change the world, he first has to change the world he can see, his immediate community. It is a story of building from the small onto the bigger things. You can apply this to your goals setting when next you decide to pursue that incredible goal.
In various aspects of living, there are rules and exceptions. These rules and exceptions affect how we set our goals and it helps define what we see as reasonable and unreasonable targets.
Many times, when you are inspired, you tend to look at an incredible achievement and set your goals accordingly. It is good to be outstanding but it could be a mistake to set out to have a goal that had only been achieved by two people in your field.
It is advisable to set a goal that a thousand people have achieved. At the beginning, there is a more realistic target and you’re more likely to achieve this than looking at an achievement that had only been twice. When you reach your realistic target, you can set new higher targets.
Am I in any way saying you should not aim to be like Bill Gates or set incredible goals? No. Set incredible goals. As many as you want. But prepare your incredible goals for their meeting with reality.
How do you achieve your incredible goals when you meet with realities you never envisioned? You have to break your incredible goals down as much as you can.
If you fail to break your goal down, you may fail too many times to achieve it that you later give up on the goal altogether. But there are always smaller goals you can achieve that will move you towards the achievement of your ultimate incredible goal.
Let’s say you are a young father or you have a sibling who is a baby and has just started crawling. One of your goals for that baby may be to see him jump up one day. That’s an achievable goal for the baby but you know it will take time to see that crawling baby jump.
What can you do? Break that big goal down into smaller goals. The smaller goals include translating from crawling to taking steps, from taking steps to walking properly, from that to running, and then to your ultimate goal for the baby, jumping.
If you focus on jumping straightaway, you will get frustrated easily and it will look like you are making no progress. If you focus on taking steps however, it looks much more achievable. And it doesn’t mean you have thrown away your ultimate goal but you have prepared it better to face reality.
If you achieve that smaller goal of taking the steps, it’s still a step towards achieving the ultimate goal. The catch is that you can’t achieve your ultimate goal without going through those steps.
Source: pixabay
Or let’s consider you on a workday when you have to drive to your place of work. What is your ultimate aim when you enter your car in your house? To get to your workplace, but is that your primary focus when you switch the ignition? Probably not.
Your first point of focus is to get your car out of your house and onto the road. That is the first small goal that you must achieve if you must achieve your ultimate aim. You will agree with me that if you hit your car against a wall on your way out of your house, then that car will definitely not get you to your workplace that morning.
When you get on the road successfully, your next focus is to drive like a responsible citizen (according to the law of your country), obey traffic rules, and watch out for other drivers on the road.
If you fail at this step and you hit your car against another car, then your car will not get you to work that day and that may even be the least of your worries. If you succeed in this stage, then you will probably get to work some minutes later, in your car.
We can see that even with an event as simple as getting to your workplace, you still have to achieve some smaller goals that lead to your ultimate goal of getting to your workplace.
How many times have you seen road accidents caused by people focused on their ultimate goal rather than the current smaller goal? Many times. Many times, you have probably seen a man who was rushing to the office because he was almost late and forgot traffic rules. In these cases, we have seen accidents occur and that man is unable to achieve his ultimate goal of getting to his office. Because he neglected the current smaller goal of obeying traffic rules or looking out for other motorists.
There are four things we can bring out to learn about goal setting:
1.     Set incredible goals
Set incredible goals. We must always aim to achieve as high as we can. Steve Jobs said: ‘those who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are those who end up changing the world.’ Set your goals of changing the world.
2.     Break your incredible goals into the smallest parts possible
There are many small goals you have to achieve that will lead to your ultimate goal. List all the small goals you will have to achieve to finally achieve your big goal.
3.     Pick the small goal for today
Your small goals most probably look like a chain. Some of those small goals are prerequisite to other goals. Which goal is at the beginning of the chain? Pick that goal.
If you want to be the best furniture maker in your country and you’re just starting, what is the first small goal you have to achieve? Outline that goal.
4.     Focus on that small goal
Focus on achieving the small goal you have picked for the day or week. When you achieve this, you have a small victory and you can move on to the next small goal on the chain.
Why is this a better strategy? The small goal is just a trick to make you achieve your big goal. The small goal is easily achievable because it’s not too far from your current step.
When you fail to achieve the small goal, you’re not too frustrated because you are confident you can really achieve it. Confidence may be the last thing you have if you focus on your incredible goal that looks so far away.
The catch is that even though you are achieving the small goals, if you achieve all the small goals on the chain, then you will ultimately achieve your incredible goal. Break it down today.

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