Cheating Yourself for a Lifetime

Gary North

I assume that you have a lifetime goal — something you would like to be remembered for.

Maybe you don’t. If you don’t, you’re an exception.

The goal may be vague, such as “See my children happy.” Or it may be specific: “Accumulate a million dollars to leave to charity when I die.” But it is enough of a goal that you think about it occasionally.

If you have a step-by-step plan to achieve your goal, you’re an exception.

This is why most people cheat themselves. They have a lifetime goal, and they spend the bulk of their lifetime ignoring it.

By “ignoring,” I mean: (1) not thinking about it systematically; (2) not devising a plan to achieve it; (3) not budgeting time and money to achieve it; (4) not reviewing their progress at least twice a year.

Specific goals do not take care of themselves. They must be attended to. They are like a garden. Weeds will get the upper hand unless you take steps to care for the plants that you want to see flourish. Yet most people act as though their life’s main goal will take care of itself.

This is what I call cheating yourself.

It is possible to pick a goal and fail to achieve it. But in such cases, the person on his deathbed can honestly reflect: “I gave it my best shot. It just did not work out as I had hoped and planned.” That is a source of regret, but not despair. Such a person leaves behind an example worth imitating.

What is not worth imitating is a life lived without attention to major goals and the steps necessary to achieve them. Even if a person stumbles into outward success, his life isn’t worth imitating.

I strongly suggest that you take the time to identify your primary lifetime goal. Then lay out a program with chronological benchmarks to achieve this goal. You will find that attention to details and regular review will produce visible, measurable results over time.

Don’t micro-manage yourself. But you should allocate time each week to work on the program. Even if it’s only an hour a week, it will add up if it’s focused time.

View this 100-second video by Brian Tracy. It will help you.




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