Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, is quoted as having said,
“The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.”
I hadn’t realized the significance of this quote at first but came to understand that the key is “Desire.” If you want to win, if you want to achieve your goals, you have to have the desire. And not just any amount but a strong, burning desire for what you want.
However, what I see from most business owners are goals based on achieving things. They always seem to be around more sales, more profits, and sometimes more time off, but they don’t or can’t articulate a strong emotional reason why!
The problem is that it’s difficult to have a strong emotional connection with a thing. And if they do manage to have some feelings, from what I’ve experienced, it won’t last for an extended period of time.
However, we can have a strong emotional connection with what we would do with those things because then we would know how that would make us feel. In my experience, this is key to achieving success.
For example, you might want to achieve your goal to:
Make a profit next year of one million dollars!
Great, but why? What would you do with the money? How would you reinvest in your business? Who would you help with it, what people or organizations in your life? And even more important, how would all that make you feel?
Another important aspect of getting down to an emotional connection is that it will help you to do the difficult tasks you need to do, even when you don’t want to do them. A former colleague of mine liked to say, “Will it make you eat your spinach?”
Can you see how over time it would be easy to lose sight of this type of goal? Soon you’d be telling yourself, “I’ve got enough. I really don’t want to do that tough task right now. It’s time I took it easy and begin to enjoy what I already have.” These plus every other excuse under the sun could keep you from doing the difficult tasks that would be necessary to achieve your goals.
But … what if your goal instead was:
Make a profit next year of one million dollars and begin to fund a family foundation so that my children, my grandchildren, and my great grandchildren will never have to worry about how they are going to pay for their college education.
Can you feel the difference in this goal? Can you see how it might be more inspiring and help you to “eat your spinach” when you don’t want to?
This could be a great personal goal but obviously if achieving your goals means organizational goals, this won’t be very inspiring or motivational for your team.
Or … what if you changed it slightly to be:
Make a profit next year of one million dollars and begin to fund a foundation to help current employees, their children, their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren pay for their college education.
Do you think that might create a more motivated, loyal, and results-oriented team than your current stated company goals? Do you think that also might help you to achieve and realize your vision for the company? I bet it would!
The Bottom Line: Don’t be afraid to put some emotion into your business and personal goals. “Feeling” isn’t a four letter word to be avoided, but rather should be embraced in your organization in order to get better results from yourself and your people!
Having a few concerns about including emotion in your goals? If you are, please post your concerns below in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer.