You can’t control future events … you can only control present circumstances.

A new thing I’m learning is to stop worrying about future events. Neither should you.

Yes, it is hard when you know that in X days, something may happen. It is harder when you know that it must happen, as there is a deadline set, no matter what that may be.

But in the same time, it is a waste of time.

There is the circle of influence and circle of worry (according to Stephen Covey). In the circle of influence you can actually do something. In the circle of worry you can only hope that some things will turn alright.

Well, the truth is that no matter if you worry or if you worry, the things will turn exactly the same. Your worries are not influencing the outcome.

So instead of being worried of what will happen in the future, about your future battles, fight on the current ones. In a war, you focus on your next battle, not on what will happen in two years. And so many things can change that your worry may be for nothing.

So, relax and stop living in the future. Or in the past. Live in the present. One task at a time. One step at a time towards your goal.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

Psychological repression and self-disowning in the pursuit of success.

Reality check.

Powerful = Ruthless?
Cool = cold?
Better, superior = emotionless?
Funny = submissive?
Glamorous = sterile beauty?

These are some of the associations we are making in our lives once we reach a certain level of success. At some point, when you’ve got both the money, the power and the charisma to influence with ease, these became the status quo.

Yet, I wonder how true they are.

A few days I saw Fifty Shades of Grey. I’ve also read the books, the first two. And yes, Christian Grey is a fictional character I look up too. Rich, in control, charismatic, controlled movement and hypnotic.

Like it or not, for most people in business, he is the new Gordon Gecko. Yet, is it practical to aim to be that way? Because in the end … we are humans.

I admit, people like people who are cold and reserved. I know this because this is how I’ve been for a long, long time. I want to correct that – I am. It started when I’ve first read Atlas Shrugged, a book that has been condemned for promoting extreme emotional restrain. Yet, I don’t know how useful is that anymore.

Yes, you make money. Yes, you are powerful. Yes, you get a lot of sex.

But at the end of the day, you don’t laugh. You don’t cry. You don’t enjoy. You don’t find yourself singing in the shower. You don’t enjoy yourself like a little kid when the time comes.

Is this the price you must pay for being successful – canceling emotions? This is because, positive and negative emotions are not divided. You can’t cancel negative and keep the positive. If you feel, you feel. It comes as a package.

I don’t believe so. I think that there is a better way. I think that people like Gordon Gecko and more recently Christian Grey are not really the best examples to follow in life if you want to be happy. People like Gregory House (I know that I’m using fictional examples but you are more likely to know them than any business leaders I may mention – but for example, Steve Jobs) or the guy from House of Cards – Frank Underwood.

Because we are slowly turning into a society of sociopaths.

Every person that is goal focused will eventually have to make this choice – do I want to be a sociopath or not? Do I want to see people just as tools, everything like a game of chess, or not?

I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. I don’t know what is better. I don’t consider myself a sociopath but I am emotionally withdrawn. On one side, no emotions = more power. On the other side emotions = happiness.

And what is more important in life, happiness or power (power meaning money, power over others and to some degree, power over yourself).

It is a hard question, one that I don’t know how to answer.

But here’s the thing – maybe they are not mutually exclusive. Power is about playing nice with others so you can use your combined efforts to achieve a goal. Happiness is enjoying the process of living. It is true, a tendency towards sociopathy makes gaining power a lot easier and it may be required if you want to reach the very top but it is worth it?

Again, I don’t know. This is not a cautionary tale of “don’t sell your soul for money”. I know many moments in my life when I would have sold my soul for many things. It is instead a question that I’m asking myself and that I provoke you, the reader, to ask too …

The question being …

“Can I achieve the heights of success while still retaining my humanity, my emotions, my joys and my love for other people and for people in general … while knowing that this world is sometimes a heaven and sometimes hell?”

And maybe you can.

Maybe you don’t need to be too cool for school and cold like ice in order to succeed. Maybe it is OK to laugh. Maybe it is OK to be fine with being human. Maybe it is not required to transform you, your body, your life in just a mechanism to accomplishing a goal and to remember that the only purpose of the goal is to increase your happiness, therefore, sacrificing your happiness to accomplish your goal is kind of a negation in terms.

But I don’t know yet. This is a question that most people never ask and that was just raised for me. But I think there is a better way. I think that we don’t need to glamorize not being human so much.

I think that we can stop acting like models on a stage, beautiful, interesting, the height of perfection but who are empty inside and are just a nice package. I think that in this world, especially for us, people who are trying hard to succeed and people who are successful, we can remember from time to time or even, all the time that what’s inside the package is just as important as the package itself.

That your new BMW is not really relevant if you can’t enjoy driving …
That your new trophy wife is not relevant if you don’t love her …
That your $100.000 bank account is not relevant if you are not finding happiness or safety in them …

… and that even if you need to be a great package outside (I’ve never said that this was not required, I know in what world we live in) we need to tend to our inner substance too. Both what’s inside and what’s outside.

Not to be yourself but to be your best self and to enjoy this.

Not to just look good but to feel beautiful and cherished in the same time.

Not to just be rich but to actually feel rich.

NOT JUST TO BE SUCCESSFUL BUT TO USE YOUR SUCCESS TO BE HAPPY.

Because … this is the essence of true fulfillment.

Giving it your best in life … and enjoying every moment of happiness that this brings you.

I don’t know how …

But I’m starting to understand the why.

That if you go through the process of self-disowning, you are like a general, fighting a war, fighting like a pro, but when he gets home, there is no kingdom to have. It is fighting while sacrificing what you are fighting for.

It is glamarous to be a winner, to be the gladiator. But it may be more interesting, more beautiful to be happy. It is not as seductive since we live in a society where the quiet, strong, emotioneless figure is at the top of the food chain and it gains respect, every single time but … the price may not be worth it.

I’ll update in the future with a new post about this process of transformation for me.

I’ll leave you with a description of two key concepts:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Disowned_Self

The Disowned Self explores, “…the problem of self-alienation – a condition in which the individual is out of contact with his own needs, feelings, emotions, frustrations and longings, so that he is largely oblivious to his actual self and his life is the reflection of an unreal self, of a role he has adopted. The problem of obliviousness to self, the causes and consequences of such obliviousness, and its treatment psychotherapeutically – is the theme of this book.”[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_repression

Psychological repression, or simply repression, is the psychological attempt made by an individual to repel one’s own desires and impulses toward pleasurable instincts by excluding the desire from one’s consciousness and holding or subduing it in the unconscious. Repression plays a major role in many mental illnesses, and in the psyche of the average person.[1]

Repression (German: Verdrängung), ‘a key concept of psychoanalysis, is a defense mechanism, but it pre-exists the ego, e.g., ‘Primal Repression’. It ensures that what is unacceptable to the conscious mind, and would, if recalled, arouse anxiety, is prevented from entering into it';[2] and is generally accepted as such by psychoanalytic psychologists.[3]

However, regarding the distinct subject of repressed memory, there is debate as to whether (or how often) memory repression really happens[4] and mainstream psychology holds that true memory repression occurs only very rarely.[5]

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

My experience with waking up at 05:50 daily

My wake up hour fluctuated A LOT through my life. I’ve had periods in my life when I woke up at 07:00 and periods when I woke up at 11:00 AM. Generally, actually, always, waking up earlier was a better thing for me, for my projects and for my general state.

About two weeks ago, I’ve decided to create a new habit and wake up daily at 05:50. This was the absolute minimum I’ve found manageable while still getting at least seven hours of sleep.

And guess what? I’ve did it. While my actual wake-up hour oscillated a bit, I’ve always been out of bed by 6:15. And thanks to this, here are how it improved my life:

  • I start my day full of energy and I actually have time for myself. Almost the first thing I do every morning is going up for a 5000 steps (about 4 km) walk or run outside. The fresh morning air helps me get balanced FAST for the day.
  • I actually have time to drink coffee and have breakfast. Instead of jumping to work, I can invest 30 – 45 minutes for myself and I enjoy every single one of them.
  • I get more work done by 12:00 than I usually got in an entire day before I’ve started this routine.
  • My general psychological and emotional state is improved. I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore. I do sometimes feel depleted and frustrated at the end of the day but up to 16:00, my state from 1 to 10 is a solid 9 or 10.
  • I have a lot of free time now. Since I finish work at about 15:00, I can spend the rest of the day doing whatever the hell I want.

So far, this habit is the best investment I’ve made in myself in a long, long time. How can I manage this though?

  • It is very important to get at least seven hours of solid sleep. Anything under this will lead to a sleep loss and this will affect your state and energy.
  • I get to sleep at about 22:00. Sometimes I fall asleep at 23:00 but ideally is that at 22:00 to shut everything down and get to sleep.
  • The morning walk is very important – since without it, I would simply go back to sleep. After walking 4 km, I feel refreshed. This is especially true now, with -5 Celsius temperatures outside.
  • In order to prevent myself from getting back to sleep first thing in the morning, I fire up YouTube and listen to motivational materials.

Conclusion – if you are serious about your success, get up earlier. One hour in the morning is better, energy, focus and willpower wise than 3 hours after 16:00.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

The what-if exercise and why plans don’t generally work.

  • What if tomorrow I would wake up at 05:00 and run for 3 miles?
  • What if just after that (and a shower) I would invest two hours of focused efforts into my most important project?
  • What if I would suspend all my emotional needs and focus 100% on what I need to do, knowing that once I’ve achieved this, I could enjoy those results tenfold?
  • What if I would stop smoking right now (speaking of which, I’m smoking in this exact smoking) knowing that I will win from all points of view?
  • What if I would consistently go to the gym and this would compound into an amazing psychological state?
  • What if I could leave the past behind and not take decisions influenced by it, instead, looking at the future?

Everything would be better. Everything would move faster and easier. Yet, I won’t do that. I will wake up at 10:00 or so. I will start work and then get distracted. I will sabotage myself in the pursuit of my goal. Why? Because I’m human and no matter how well organized my to-do list is, it won’t actually reflect the territory (the to-do list being the map, the old NLP saying – the map is not the territory).

Yet, I succeed. How? Through brute force. Doing more than anyone else in the right direction. In an not so efficient way, yet I do it.

And the main idea of this article is that it is not about how good your plan is. Good plans can always be created. It is simply. It is simply your ability to execute. You are limited not by your plan but by yourself, a concept that only successful people understand.

It is like trying to race a car at 300 km/h when that car only goes at 100. If you try to push it to 150, it will break. This is called burnout in psychology.

The sweet spot is doing exactly how much you can. Without burning yourself out. Preserving your energy. And the best way to do this is to aim to do as little things as possible but the right things.

If you have 24 hours in a day, it is better to have 3 productive hours, three hours advancing towards what you need to do and do nothing in the rest. It is better to be a goal oriented person for 3 hours and a hermit for the rest of 21.

Yet, you also need to create the PC (production capabilities) for those three hours. To work, you need to eat. To have a clear mind, you need to exercise. So it all comes down to a pyramid. In the top, it is your top goal, your top activities that lead you towards that goal. Yet every level down are the required functions, required conditions for you to execute those activities.

So in theory, you need to balance your life in order to provide you with the resources to EXECUTE your MVPs (your most vital priorities). In theory. In practice, we’ll discuss it another time.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

 

My first goal on this year – FAILED.

People fail. I’ve failed too.

And I’ve learned some lessons from this. This goal was not a NY resolution. It was a measurable one. It had the deadline of 1st of February 2015.

While I must keep my goals private, I can say what I’ve learned from it and what I’m going to do different.

Reasons why I’ve failed:
1. Lack of focus. I’ve had some really good periods but eventually, I’ve burnt out and I’ve lost my focus.
2. Ignoring PC (production capability). You can be single minded on a goal only for so long. Eventually, you’ll burn out because you’ve ignored everything that gave you that energy.
3. Distractions. Due to emotional needs not being met (read that as insecurity) I’ve made compromises that slowed down my progress. None proved fruitful.
4. Lack of a well defined procedure. Using brute force in pursuit of my goal and abandoning what worked.
5. Ignoring physical dimension – not exercising, not having enough energy, going borderline depression due to single focus.

Tweaks:
1. I’ve decided to do the goal again. I have about twice the time to achieve it and the goal is about 50% bigger than the first time.

Improvements I’m making:
1. Checklist approach. Checklist for morning routine, for appearance and for evening routine.
2. Process metric approach – I know that I must do X in order to achieve Y. I’ve quantified X. In other words, I’m not focusing only on the result but on the process that leads to that result too. A good analogy would be not focusing on muscle growth but on how many reps you make.
3. Physical routine – Aiming again to walk 10.000 steps. Should keep me out of the house for a few hours. Going to the gym, while may be a good idea, is very time consuming at this moment.
4. Eliminating all major decisions for this month. To make this simple, I’m eliminating as many moving pieces as possible.
5. Ignoring all non goal related opportunities. Everything that falls into the category of “but this may make me feel better and therefore be more productive” is BS. Ignored.

So, here we go again. Lucky number two.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

On production and production capabilities (PPC).

Five years or so, I’ve read “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.

One important concept from there was PPC. No, not pay per click like Adwords from Google but Production & Production Capabilities.

Do you remember the old “golden goose fable”?

If you don’t, I’ll write here a quick synopsis. A poor man discovers that one of his gooses laid golden eggs. One per day. This improves his circumstances dramatically, almost overnight. In a very short period, he becomes one of the richest people in the kingdom.

Yet, he becomes greedy. He wants more than one egg per day. Therefore, he kills the goose in order to take all the eggs from the inside. He finds none. He killed the “golden goose”.

The real life analogy is that people sacrifice their production capabilities in order to increase on a temporary basis production. This never works. When you cut the tree, the tree won’t be capable of producing any more apples. It is as simple as that.

Production is always based on production capabilities. A product is not created by itself, it is created by a factory. Without that factory, the product can not exist. I know, it sounds logical and you may wonder by now, where’s my point.

It is simple. PPC works in life too. Production capabilities are the parts of our life that allows us to execute. Our health, fitness, focus, knowledge, social capital, etc. Production are those things that consume these resources in order to get something of a different value – like money.

In the last two weeks, I’ve tried an experiment. I’ve suspended PC (production capabilities) maintenance in order to focus all my energy on P (production). And it worked, up to a point. The point where my PC were depleted. I’ve consumed more resources than I’ve replaced. And this lead to emotional, mental burnout and a pesky cold.

This was because I wanted to focus all my resources on a single goal. I’ve accomplished part of my goal but as I’ve said, I’ve depleted my resources. So based on this experiment, I’ve drawn the following conclusions:

  • The desire to do something is not enough. You need the resources to back it up, from willpower to energy to focus and many others. Those limited are limited. They may last one day or six months but they are limited.
  • You can’t consume more than you produce. Keep this in mind. If you have energy for ten hours, you’ll get ten hours. You can’t get 12 no matter how much you want it. If you try, you’ll pay a big price for this through burnout. Yes, your body can be pushed to the absolute limit but unless it is a critical situation, there isn’t any reason to actually do this.
  • If you want to keep your production consistent (which is required, especially for long term goals), you need to renew your resources. In other words, you need to plant the garden, take care of it and eat from it too. If you create the resources but you’re not using them, you’re under achieving. If you are creating less resources than you are using, then you will eventually burnout and crash. If you are consuming about the same as you are creating, you will be in the optimum zone – where you are moving steadily towards your goal.

So it is time to change my approach. My one goal at a time focus remains. However, I am investing an equal amount of time in PC too. 50% in production, 50% in production capabilities.

Theoretically, this will balance things and will prevent burnout in the near future. In practice, we will see. All life is an experiment.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

Hustling 101

“Get Rich Or Dye Trying” – 50 Cent

When you start an article with a quote from 50 Cent, you don’t expect much. You expect that some “nigga” wrote it because his entire business education comes from music and movies.

When you think about business, success, you think about people in black or navy suits, with firm handshakes and which will inject the words “synergy, projection and win-win” every three sentences.

Yet, 50 Cent knows more about business than most C-Level execs out there. How do I know that?

I’ve read his biography and I’ve studied his life (a kind of biography, it was “The 50th law by Robert Greene and 50 Cent”.

And Fifty is best known for hustling. But what does that even mean?

Well, based on Webster (yes, hustle is found in Webster), hustle or hustling means:

: to quickly move or push (someone) often in a rough way

: to move or work in a quick and energetic way

: to play a sport with a lot of energy and effort

Or to put it simply, in a more suitable context, to move with force, energy, focus, towards a given goal. To get what you need and in a manner that compares you with a train.

Not slow and steady but as your life depends on it. Because in many ways, it does. It is not a life or death decision but if you treat it as nothing else matters, you’ll usually find the focus and the energy to succeed.

That’s being said, here are my ten rules for hustling.

  1. Know what you want. It is rather hard to pursuit a goal if you don’t know where you are heading. Set a goal, formally or less formally and make it your center of existence.
  2. Understand that with every opportunity, comes a dozen obstacles. Accept them as a fact of life, take them one at a time and crush them. Nobody said that it is going to be easy.
  3. Nothing can replace hard work. Yes, there are people making $5.000.000 in a single deal but before they’ve got there, they’ve invested thousands or tens of thousands of hours. The more you are in, the higher the rewards but hard work is a must and it is a constant. Usually millionaires work harder than poor people.
  4. Want security? Forget about it. Life is about managing risk, not eliminating it. Some ways to manage it are common sense (don’t drive drunk). Yet, you can’t eliminate all risk in life. You can act knowing that there is a slim chance of everything going to hell.
  5. Have a back-up plan. Some people say that it is not a good idea to have plan B because it distracts you from plan A. Yet, plan A may fail and you need to fall back on something.
  6. Opportunities exist everywhere. They may not fit your initial plan because that was formed on your prior assumptions but they exist. When a door opens, integrate it into your goal.
  7. Few if none people will support you in your pursuit. Get used to it. Your goals and your execution are personal matters. If you want to be sabotaged, share them with other people. They’ll find very creative ways of making you take more time in accomplishing what you want.
  8. Goals rarely get accomplished in a linear manner. It is not like you have 10 days and every single day you’ll get 10% done. Instead, you’ll get 20% done in the first 8 days and 80% in the last two. It takes time for your effort to reach a critical point.
  9. You may fail. So what? Get back to the drawing board and start again. Chances are that if you do this, the second time it will be far easier. You’ll have insight on what works and what doesn’t and you’ll have almost all the progress from your last goal.
  10. Never, ever give up. If a goal is worthy, move earth and heaven to accomplish it. Go through hell if required. Faith, even if I don’t believe in such a concept has the habit of rewarding only those who hustle, hard.

That’s being said, I would like to leave you with a part from the poem Ulysses by Lord Tennyson.

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

 

Every single little thing matters.

Mission accomplished.

These are the two most beautiful words you can say when it comes to a goal. To reach the end. To reach your metric.

Yet, in your pursuit, you’ll encounter obstacles. In other words, things, circumstances, people, that will make you feel like accomplishing your goal is impossible.

For example, I’m at such a stage right now. With days to goal until the hard deadline on my goal, I am only about 40% in. Things are not looking good. There are many approaches to accomplish this goal but most do not seem very effective right now.

It is stressful, I admit it.

But you know what else I admit? That every step taken towards the right destination, even writing this blog post, will improve the odds. Not by much but it will improve it.

Consider your goal a numbers game. If you do nothing, you have 0% chance of accomplishing. But with every single task you take towards the completion of your goal, that chance increases. It will never be 100% but you can get it to 30% … 50% … 70% … or even 90%. You can get it as close as possible to certainty.

Not even there you are not 100% sure that you can do it, that you can say “mission accomplished” but 90% chances of success are far better than 25%.

Nothing gives you full certainty that you’re going to win. No matter how much you train, work, try, nothing is 100% safe. However, it is usually enough to tip the balance.

There is also a theory that by not focusing on balance in other areas of your life, you will get stuck in others. This may be true but I don’t see a real causal relationship between these two. I’ve won while ignoring important areas of my life in the process. I can’t say that it was a smart decision but I don’t really see how fixing something unrelated will help me advance this goal.

Maybe I will discover eventually.

That being said, the lesson today is – do anything that gets you closer to your goal. Any productive action will tip the scale in your balance. It is not about the big event, the big process, at least not always. Sometimes it is about a small thing that proves actually huge leverage.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

 

Start it. Work on it. Complete it.

Yesterday, when I’ve checked GoodReads, I’ve had nine books started.

Almost all of them were 30 – 40% in but I haven’t completed any. I’ve lost my interest with most of them at some point, which is natural.

So I’ve eliminated all the books from the “currently reading” tab and left only one. And this made me realize something.

The one goal approach works. The one focus, one project, one task approach works too, even if it needs to be more flexible.

Instead of focusing on getting 100 things done every single day, focus on starting one and getting it to completion. One project completed is better than ten projects which you’ve took to 10% completion.

I’m not saying that you can live a practical life by focusing 100% on only one thing. Life doesn’t work in this way. You have to juggle some things from time to time. Actually, you have to juggle every single day.

But here’s the thing – it is far better to focus on getting things done than to progress on several things at once. When you progress, the return is marginal. When you complete something, you are getting a far higher ROI by taking that thing to completion.

This approach to life and to your day is not easy. But it works. It works to focus not on starting but on completing. Yes, something things get boring. Yes, there will always be a shiny toy to attract and capture your attention. Yet, movement is not always equal to productivity. You may move on a road but this doesn’t mean you are getting closer to your desired goals.

Start something and get it to completion. That’s the main point when you want to be an achiever. I don’t know when this common sense concept was lost.

Everyone today puts the focus on work. I’m hard working. I’m putting in the hours and the effort. Praise me for that. But that’s hardly relevant. There is a link between work and ROI but in the end, the only thing that matters is getting the end goal done – to get the end result.

For example, right now, I have six tasks on my to-do list on www.any.do (which is a brilliant to-do manager and no, I’m not an affiliate). I’ve started a Pomodoro timer and I’m working on them until I get the list done. Could I do other things that are productive?

Yes, of course. I could sit back and read a book or I could network or I could do 50 more interesting things than what today brings to me. But if I do that, I’ll never get anything done.

So it is far more important for me to focus on the hard to do or at least boring to do tasks, get them done and benefit from it. Nobody said that work needs to be interesting and glamorous. It it a good thing to find some degree of interest and passion in your work, but work must be done, no matter if it is exciting or not.

The lesson? Do the work, start something, take it to completion, no matter if you are pumped up by what you are doing or not. You are doing it for the results, not for the process itself.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

Ten rules for living a goal focused life …

You know what is the fastest way to annoy an average or sub-average person?

Tell him that you have a goal in your life. That you are heading somewhere. That every single day you wake up with one question.

“What can I do today to get closer to the accomplishment of my goal?”

That when you shower you create your to-do list in your mind and that all or almost all day you focus on accomplishing it.

That on your birthday you’ve worked towards accomplishing your goal, on Christmas, on the NYE day. That you don’t have time to go out to drink a beer or to chat or to watch a movie. You are busy. You are hustling getting closer to what you want.

Trust me, it will piss him off. This is because you create a cognitive dissonance in him (hmm, I should focus on a goal too) and because you are making him feel guilty for wasting time.

But this post is not about pissing people off (even if this is funny sometimes). This post is a partial status report on my goals and a set of random thoughts about goal setting and goal accomplishing.

Let’s back a bit though – what is a goal? A goal is a destination. It is something you want to be or to have or to reach. Reaching a BFI (body fat index) or 11% is a goal just as owning a big plasma TV is another goal. Well, some are better than others but by definition, a goal is something specific you want to accomplish that is defined by at least three factors:

  • What you want to accomplish.
  • Why you want to accomplish it.
  • By when you want to accomplish it.

And why is a goal focused life better than simply going with the flow? Well, I’m not saying it is better. It is a choice. There are some people who make every single day a blank canvas and paint it with experiences, emotions and memories. Good for them. I appreciate them for what they are doing.

But for me life is not so much about living in the moment as in building castles, building support structures that have only one purpose – to create new favorable circumstances for me.

In other words, I’m more interested in creating the playing field before playing in it. This is a personal bias, it works for me and it is not right for everyone. I consider that when I look back into my life, I see the goals I’ve accomplished, not so much the beautiful moments. The things that shaped me and my life most were, as you may have guessed, accomplished goals.

That being said, here’s the thing – if this way of life works for you, embrace it. If not, don’t. Being always in a race, always towards a finish line, is not for everyone. It is not the fastest way towards happiness. I consider that it is worth it but it is not an absolute truth. So embrace it or not, but make sure it fits your own paradigm of life.

Here are ten rules that you need to keep in mind about goals.

  1. The more goals you have, the less likely you are to accomplish any one of them. Here’s something you should know about goals – they require huge effort and energy to get to completion. In other words, a goal is something that you can’t really do by default, you need to focus your energy. It is like a marathon. And if you set many goals, you will simply divide your energy. The most goals I suggest you do at any given time are three. I personally do one at a time and it works for me. Yes, I could do two at a minimum but I want to give myself the best odds for accomplishing at least one.
  2. Goals need to have a deadline. Without a deadline, a goal is simply a wish. And wishes do sometimes come true but most of the time, they do not. I’ve wished for a date with Monica Belluci since I saw her in a movie in 1999. I still haven’t got it. When you set a deadline, you realize that you need to make choices. Should you do this or that? Should you go out or stay home and work in order to meet your deadline? A deadline gives you real urgency and the most likely you are to reinforce your deadlines, the more disciplined you’ll become.
  3.  Goals should not take more than a month. My wishes kind of changed in time. What I wanted four years ago is not true now anymore, at least in some nuances. So if I’ve kept my goal list from then, 80% would have not been relevant anymore. That’s why you need to keep your goals in the near future, otherwise you risk making them obsolete. There are very few things that can become obsolete in one month but there are enough that can become in one year. If your goal is bigger than a month, break it down in smaller, 31 days goals.
  4. Goals should mean something to you. Don’t focus on goals that don’t drive you. You’ll burnout and you’ll never find the energy required to accomplish them again. In order to work hard, in order to work exhausted, in order to think about every possible way to accomplish your goal, try it, fail at it and try again you need to get closer to something you care about. Something that moves you emotionally.
  5. Focusing on a goal does not mean that you’ll become a hermit or doing nothing else. Your goal should take priority over everything else in your life but not replace it. This means that if you have a goal of writing a book, this doesn’t mean you’ll quit your job and family and focus on writing that book for the next three months. It just means that every single day you’ll ask yourself “what are the top six things I can do today to get closer to my goal” and get to work on them while doing everything else is required.
  6. Every single time you accomplish a major goal (since goals by definition should take at least seven days and at most 31 all goals are major goals), celebrate. You’ll once celebrate by getting the outcome offered by the goal, the reward and second, pop a bottle of champagne, bring your best crystal glass and drink in your honor. Don’t do this with someone else unless that person is close to you as focusing, working and accomplishing goals is a very personal thing and nobody else will understand why you are happy. They don’t know that there are many more reasons to celebrate life apart your birthday and NYE.
  7. Goals have the nasty habit of throwing you in the dirt as often as possible. This means that 90% of the goal you’ll be off track. You’ll be under performing or you’ll have made little progress at all and then, all your effort, all your hard work will pay off and you’ll accomplish 80% of your goal in a day. Of course, it depends on what your goal is this happens rather often. Remember the old saying “It is not over until the fat lady sings”. You may be 25% or 50% into your goal and you’ve made far less progress than you’ve planned. That’s alright. You’ve got 50% more. Keep working on it. Change your approach. Find a way to make it work. When you put in the work and the focus, rational miracles happen.
  8. If you are not feeling scared in the pursuit of your goal, you are doing something wrong. Anxiety, stress, fear are all normal things when you try to accomplish something worthwhile. This is because your goal is outside of your comfort zone and these are the things you feel when you try to get out there. So if you feel like throwing up or if you can’t sleep at night anxious about your goal, you are on the right path. It will get easier with time. Eventually, all of these things will go away. But use this as a motivational memento, since it shows you that your goal is worthy enough to be scary.
  9. When life gets in the way, aim to compartmentalize and focus back on your goal. Look, bad things happen. Disruptive ones. I understand that. But this doesn’t mean you should give up on your goal. Unless what happened makes the goal 100% obsolete and not necessary anymore, then see how you can limit damage from that event and get back to work on your goal. Take it in a logical manner. If your life is at -1, accomplishing your goal will bring it at 0. If you give up on your goal, you’ll not only remain at -1 but also go further down since you’ll also lose any ROI.
  10. Goals exists to prove us what is possible. Do you sometimes wonder if you could accomplish X or Y? Yes, you can. As long as something is humanly possible, it is within your reach. But it may take new ways of looking at things. A new way of thinking. Of acting. Of using your time. It may take building a new way. It may take 3 days or 3 years to get there. But yes, you can accomplish it. It is not that complicated. It is hard to execute, as it requires discipline and focus so you can move towards the right goal every single day but it is rather simple to get there.

Now it’s time to get back and focus on accomplishing my own goal. The same goal that I could live without it, as it is not a life or death choice yet, it keeps me awake at night. That every single day I wonder and try a lot of different things to accomplish. Why?

To see that I can do it. To prove to myself that I am the creator of my life and that I don’t need anything or anyone but my own focused efforts and hard work to get where I want.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz