I’m sitting on a plane waiting to take the return flight home to Charlotte
when I can’t help but be drawn to a conversation behind me between a little girl
and what must be her mother…

“I WANT TO BE…A Pilot!” The little girl announces loudly.
“I want to BE…a Rock Star!
I want to BE…an Artist!”
As she continues with her list of “I want to BEs,” the woman tells the little girl,
“You can BE anything you want to BE, but it will take lots of schooling, lots of practice and hard work, and …”

True enough. And good advice.
Here’s the rest of the story.
The reality of this exchange is in instruction that not only requires understanding for children, but for adults as well.
Before we can “BE” anything, we must commit to BECOMING!

Being is what many people say they want or wish for.
“I wish I could be…”
Why can’t you?
How could you?
Shakespeare’s question is one most all of us have heard, “To be or not to be…”
Better question,
“What am I prepared to commit to in BECOMING whatever it is I want to be?”

“Being” is great.
Becoming is the process that takes us there.
Fact is, most people won’t do what it takes to BE GREAT…
Even when they know what that is!

“Being” is great.
Becoming is the process that takes us there.
Fact is, most people won’t do what it takes to
Even when they know what that is!

Anyone who’s ever participated in (or even watched) sports,
knows about goals.

Hit the ball.
Throw the ball.
Catch the ball.

Most of those “goals” would be in the immediate future,
so they’re referred to as short-term goals.
And that is the most popular kind in today’s society.
Only champions think about longer-term goals.
Like winning a championship or creating a legacy or designing a life.

While wanting and wishing are common,
setting goals, I mean actually thinking about it, going through the process of writing down what you want, and continuing the process of achieving them, is most uncommon.
The evidence of history bears it out.

In 1978 I was introduced to Zig Ziglar and goal setting.
It would be 10 years later before Jim Rohn convinced me that Zig was right and I really should set goals. And that if I did, my life would dramatically change.

I knew I should probably set some goals, that it would be a good idea…
but did I really have to go to all the trouble of actually writing them down?
Couldn’t they just be something in my head?
Something I wanted to do or be or have?  Wouldn’t that be enough?
The answer?
So how can you become an uncommon individual who sets goals?
It’s easy to do…but as always, easier NOT to do.

  1. A goal isn’t really a goal unless you capture it on paper.

And even in today’s computer society, I believe it should be hand-written.
Something that you recognize as your own writing,
and that it was important enough that once upon a time you wrote it down.
Note to me, “Let’s do this.”
Now you’ve got yourself a goal.

And somehow, at that very moment, you begin to be pulled
toward that thing that you’ve now written down.
You’ll find yourself thinking about it at the oddest hours,
and all during the day.  Each time you read it, it compels you to answer
“Are we there yet?”
Or it should.

Zig’s plan for goals was simple enough.
It was really just 2 basic steps.

  1. Ask a series of questions
  2. Make a list
  1. It takes a commitment to BEGINNING.

The really big problem I saw right up front is that he told me this process of beginning to set goals would take about 10 hours.
Actually a minimum of 10 hours…and maybe as much as 20 hours!

Well, that’s it then.
I just didn’t have 20 hours I could pull out of a hat just to begin this
goal-setting thing. Then he said…
“That’s the main reason only 3% of the Population have clearly defined
their objectives in life.”

That proved my point, most everyone agreed with ME!
Is that your defense?
The court of popular opinion rarely leads to BIG LIFE or big success.

  1. In matters of top performance and high achievement,

don’t follow THE CROWD!
It was only later in life did I begin to understand that in issues involving
top performance, high achievement, getting the most out of a big life, etc.

I did not need to be running with the 97%!

Another way it’s been said is to watch what 9 of 10 people are doing,
These goal questions were questions to ask myself.
Once you put something on your goals list, then ask if that’s really your goal.
Would it be right and fair to everyone?
Can you really commit to it?
Can you see yourself reaching the goal?

Other questions were about becoming happier, healthier, more prosperous, having more friends, peace of mind, becoming more secure and improving relationships with others.
And only if I wanted all those things should I really become serious
about setting goals.

  1. Life is BIG

Goals make it bigger. And “Big” really is available.
Goals are a part of the process of Becoming.
Life is bigger than work, not everyone got the memo on that one.
Don’t just have work goals, have life goals.
And don’t let someone else set goals for you. You go first.

Want to add direction and purpose and passion to your life?
Want to think and act differently?
Here is the law of inertia that propels you in a certain direction even though there are many unknowns along the way.
It is the commitment to BECOMING that will one day allow you to BE.

What are you becoming?
And what is it you’d like to BE one day?
Make your life bigger by thinking about, and writing down your goals.

It is never too late to BE what you might have BECOME.
Why not start today?

Editor’s Note: If you’d like to get going with your new life and work goals,
email Michael and he’ll send you his short list on “Uncommon Goals”
and how they can work for you!

Michael York wrote the book on Becoming Uncommon.
He is a professional speaker and business consultant who speaks to over 60 audiences each year on Winning in the NOW Economy and Top Performance in Life and Work. His columns appear regularly in national publications and online as well as in his monthly E magazine available at www.MichaelYork.com