I was struck by a story I heard the other day. I’d like to share it with you…
After her moving performance, a great soprano was approached by a woman who gushed, “I sing too, but not like you! I would give anything to sing as well as you!” The soprano graciously thanked her and replied, “If you truly wanted to sing like I do, you would have already given everything.”
Ooo, I like it! Maybe this story stood out to me because I enjoy singing and strive to improve. And yes, if you want to get technical, you could argue that some people are just gifted with beautiful voices that others will never have no matter how much they practice.
The point of this story, as I’m sure you noticed, is that to achieve a goal, you’ve got to put forth the effort, whether it is improving at singing, finances, running, push-ups, healthy eating, etc.
It starts with a strong desire to achieve a specific goal. If someone tells you to stop eating sugar, but you don’t really want to, you’re not going to achieve that goal. If you want to get a leaner body but the desire isn’t a priority, you’re probably not going to achieve that goal.
Having the desire to achieve a goal is necessary, but by itself, desire doesn’t really mean anything. Sure, the woman in the story wished she could sing as well as the soprano star, but was she willing to work for it? It’s not enough to simply dream. You’re not going to be a prima donna, marathon runner, or lean, mean, fit machine simply by dreaming. You’ve got to put that dream, that desire, into action. No one is going to achieve your goals for you. (Unless you have a magical genie. But even Aladdin had to take action!)
Taking action towards a goal requires commitment. Desire provides that spark of motivation, but commitment keeps you going when the going gets tough. Commitment prevents you from giving up and keeps you on track. Commitment doesn’t listen to excuses.
The third component to goal achievement is knowledge. It’s important to know how to achieve your goal. You’re going to have a tough time achieving that lean, mean body if you don’t have the knowledge of how to specifically do just that! (And furthermore, you might injure yourself!)
You also need to know if your goal is realistic. Not everyone is going to sing at the Met, be a billionaire, compete in triathlons, or be Mr. or Ms. World Fitness – and that’s OK! You need to know what is realistic and achievable for you! Dream big, yes! … But not so big so as to prevent you from achieving your goal.
To me, the story at the beginning of this post is a good reminder that if I want to achieve big goals, I have to put forth the effort. What do I really want to achieve? Do I know if the goal is realistic and how to go about achieving it? Am I committed to it? By answering these questions, I believe I’ll have a better chance of accomplishing my goals and even learn which goals are my priorities.
And who knows, maybe after their conversation, the wannabe star put forth the effort to become a better singer. Maybe she eventually even sang on the same stage where she once listened to that great soprano.
Your thoughts? Any tips/words of wisdom to add or change?