What gets you going, I mean really going? Something that makes you want to put in more effort, fight harder and give more?
We all have those things and this post is about the thing that works best for me. I grew up with an alcoholic father and a lot of disruption in my life but whenever I was looking to do something in my life my mum would always give me this advice
"If you aim for the stars then you might just hit the top of the lamp post but if you aim for the top of the lamp post you might just shoot yourself in the foot."
Aim for the stars and you might hit the top of the lamppost, aim for the top of the lamppost and you might shoot yourself in the foot
I am not sure it is an official quote or where she got it from but it has become a bit of a mantra for my life and has seen me achieve more than I ever thought was possible.
I have found myself telling people this quote and they tend to look at me like I’m a bit mad but it makes perfect sense to me. I want to share with you exactly what it means to me and how you can apply it to your life to achieve more.
The basic idea of this saying for me is that the maximum you can achieve is what you aim for, so your outcome is limited only by your expectations.
It all comes down to your goal setting and what you want to achieve from life.
You will hear so many people tell you to "be realistic” or they will go on about how only a few people can achieve something so it is unlikely to be you. The thing you need to think is “why not you?”.
This idea really came to life for me when I went to university to study maths (I know geeky right!). My mum had been to university as a mature student five years previously and she often told me about the cleverest person in the year and how she had done in her exams. I clearly remember her telling me before I went that I could come top and I looked at her and said “It’s not likely”. Her only response was no, not with that attitude but why not aim for it and then the quote came out (cue me rolling my eyes which was my usually reaction to this quote).
So I went to university with that attitude and actually came top in my first year and over the full four year degree I was in the top 3 of all students. I had actually managed to achieve something I did not think was not possible before I aimed for it.
I still think about that now and realise that I learned a valuable lesson that I try to apply whenever I want to do something.
Always raise the bar and aim for the seemingly impossible.
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That is of course assuming you want to be a high achiever! It is all very well quoting something like this but without understanding how to really apply it to your life then it can be a bit pointless. That being said I have put together a basic list of steps I would recommend taking to put aiming for the stars into action:
1. Where are the Stars?
Start by considering what you are doing and where the stars actually are. This is basically the best possible outcome, imagine there were no restrictions and you could just have anything and this is where the stars are.
So in my example above it was coming top of my year at university. If you are a footballer it might be playing in a Premier League winning team or playing for your national team. For other athletes it might be winning a gold medal or winning Wimbledon if you play tennis. It doesn’t matter what you think you are capable of, only what the best possibility is for anyone.
2. Imagine the Achievement
I never realised when I used these techniques as a kid how effective they are but you will now see them practised by anyone offering NLP. It is simple really, just imagine yourself actually reaching the stars or achieving the best outcome that you worked out in the previous step.
The real trick here though is to imagine it from your perspective, so rather than watching yourself achieve something actually imagine yourself achieving it. This will allow you to see the reactions of others all from your perspective, technically it allows you to associate with the thing you are imagining and make it more likely to happen.
3. What do You Need to Change?
However much we might like it to be the case, things don’t just happen without effort. This is where you need to think about what you need to do to be the best you can and let go of expectations, yours or anyone else’s.
All you need to think is "what do I need to do to be the best that I am capable of?". So for me and my degree it was about the hours of studying that I needed to put in to be my best. If you play a sport it might be the hours of training and it can include assessing your life and working out what you can let go to get more training in plus increase your health.
4. Start Doing It
Obvious really but this is the most important step of all because you can do all the theory in the world but if you do not actually put it into practice it is just a waste of energy. From the previous steps you know what you want to achieve and you know what you need to do. The bravest thing to do is just get on and do it.
These 4 steps are simple yet powerful steps that could see you achieving higher than you initially thought and higher than others think too.
Whether you do them is up to you but imagine that you just aim to be in the bunch, the average, then there is a good chance your going to be languishing down near the bottom. I am not saying that by doing these things you will be the best in the world at what you are aiming for but what I am saying is that it is only possible to be the best if you aim for it. You'll hear people tell you that life is about luck and you just need to be in the right place at the right time, honestly that is complete crap. You need to work for success and you need to put yourself in the right place, you are in control of your life and what you achieve with it.
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