How to Have Long Term Goals AND Get Instant Gratification

If your only payoff for all your sacrifice and hard work is years away, you might give up.

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You understand that you have to delay gratification sometimes. You put your head down and work hard on your goals so that when you achieve them you will reap the rewards. And you have a lot of goals.

You have goals at your full time job. You have goals for a new career that you’re starting on the side. You have relationship goals, personal goals, physical goals, spiritual and financial goals.

Oh, is that all?

Do you ever get tired of working so hard for the hope of future happiness? I know I do.

If we’re not careful, and all we do is deny the now for the future, we can lose our motivation and give up on the goals we truly want.

I’ve been thinking about that as I’ve been building my professional speaking business.

I have some ambitious goals on who I want to present to, how often I want to speak, where in the world I want to speak, how much I want to earn, and more.

To achieve those goals, there is a lot of work to do. Some of it I don’t enjoy very much. I don’t really like creating my website, editing my demo video, cold calling prospects, following up on the cold calls, and tracking every contact I make.

It’s a lot of work without a quick payoff. Staying focused on my why helps. But, if I don’t get some instant gratification as I go, I might give up before I reach my ultimate goal.

I have to be more than goal destination oriented. I need to be process oriented as well.

The good news is there are a bunch of things I love about being a professional speaker. I can choose to focus more on those things, and enjoy what I’m doing now, while also continuing to pursue my long-term goals.

I love:

  • Creating presentations that positively impact people’s lives
  • Presenting to people and organizations about the importance of purpose in and out of the workplace
  • Helping businesses create more engaged employees and a better bottom line
  • Helping people find and pursue their Passionate Purpose
  • Meeting new people before and after each presentation
  • Seeing people change because of my speech
  • Getting referrals for more events
  • Traveling to new places to give my talks and seminars
  • Signing my book for people who are all in on living extraordinary lives

I can go a step further and even find things I enjoy inside the things I don’t.

I can turn cold calling into a way to meet new people and offer ways to serve them – not sell them.

I can focus on the fun parts of creating my web page and demo video. I enjoy making those look good and being great resources for people.

When I get my focus right, I can enjoy my journey to my long-term goals. And that makes all the difference.

Questions for discussion:

What destination goal is frustrating you?
What parts of working toward that goal do you love?
What could you do to make the journey more enjoyable on a daily basis?

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

Motivation Doesn’t Last, So Why Bother?

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Maybe you’ve tried to pursue your Passionate Purpose before, got motivated, had some initial success, and then gave up—what happened?

Did you start to think that all this personal development stuff doesn’t work? Maybe you decided that getting motivated isn’t worth it because it just wears off after a while.

Well, did you eat more than once today? I guess that eating thing wears off.

Did you take more than one shower this week? I guess that whole bathing thing wears off.

Yes, virtually everything wears off if we let it. I used to know how to do calculus problems. It’s been 30 years since I’ve done one and I couldn’t do one right now if my life depended on it. It wore off.

Did you exercise at the gym one day and say now you’re fit for the rest of your life? Ridiculous, right? Then why do we think that we only have to be motivated once and we’re set for life? Why do we think there’s some easy button to success and to pursuing our dreams?

We will get there, but it takes deliberate, persistent effort aimed at our Passionate Purpose. It takes improving ourselves day after day to become the person we want to be.

I would love to be one of the people who tell you that if you have passion and desire and you think positive thoughts your dream will appear at the end of a double rainbow with pots of gold and butterflies and sprinkles on Twinkies that have no calories—but that’s not the truth.

Setting goals works. But you need to get clear on what you want, why you want it, that you have to achieve it, when you will reach it, and how you’ll do it. Then you must take consistent action to get it done.

Oh, that’s all? Sweet! Then I’ll create world peace for breakfast and save the whales after lunch.

I know it can sound intimidating and overwhelming, but when you do this one step at a time it’s really not that hard.

It may sound like word games, but I believe there is a difference between motivation and inspiration. My purpose isn’t just to motivate you for a short time. My purpose is to help inspire you to find your Passionate Purpose. When you find and pursue that you will become self-motivated.

You will still have ups and down on how motivated you are. But when you find your why you have a reservoir of motivation in your soul that you can draw from whenever you need it.

Know this: If you’ve been working on what we’ve been talking about, you are in an elite group of people walking this planet. You have defined your Passionate Purpose, created goals and mini-goals for your success, and developed an action plan to get you there. Most people never do this in their entire lives. You are on your way to a totally new life! If …

Yup, there is a HUGE “if.” If you stop now, this will all be a complete waste of time. In fact, if you stop now, all this might actually hurt you instead of help you. You might start to believe that none of this really works. It’s all nonsense and a waste of time. You are not in control of your own destiny. You will never live the life of your dreams. At best, you are doomed to a life of mediocrity.

Quick! Hide all the sharp objects in your home! Life is no longer worth living!

See how ridiculous that line of “reasoning” can go? Is that really how you want to look at the world and your power over your own life? I can tell you that the most successful people do not allow themselves to think that way. From now on neither will you.

Instead, you are going to keep a positive focus on your goal and take daily action on your plan.

You must take action. Without action, all of this is just a lot of time and effort wasted. Without action you will lose focus, become frustrated, decide goal setting doesn’t work, and quit.

So here’s my advice: Don’t wait one day, start now. If you put this off until you’re “ready,” or your busy project at work ends, or until after your vacation, or until the kids are grown, or the time is right, or (fill in the excuse) you will never start or finish. If you only remember one thing from this book, remember this:

Go!

As soon as you “Go!” and start taking action on your Passionate Purpose, you are a success. The staircase will start appearing faster and faster. This is why you are here. The possibilities are endless for your life now. You aren’t just surviving, you are thriving. You aren’t just earning a living, you’re earning a life.

Let’s Go!

(I’m now offering a 40 day online coaching course to kick start finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose.)

Who Can Help You – And Who Can You Help Win?

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It’s a lot easier to pursue your Passionate Purpose when you have someone on your side, encouragins you, helping you, and holding you accountable.

Greg, is this going to be a post about having an accountability partner? That’s an old, boring idea. Come on, man.

Hang on a second. You’re right that it’s an old idea, but here’s a question for you: Do you have an accountability partner who’s helping you achieve your most important goal right now?

Don’t feel bad, most of us don’t. We all know it’s a good idea, but most of us never follow through with it. Some of us start off with an accountability partner and then over a few weeks or months, we drift until the idea fades.

 

The times I have stuck with an accountability partner have paid huge dividends for me. I used one to get serious about working out and I used one to write my first book. Anytime I felt like skipping a workout, or not working on my book, I knew I would have to answer to my partner. I also knew I’d be letting him down.

That pushed me and kept me going. Better yet, the encouragement I got from my partner for all my hard work really inspired me.

I even discovered something super cool about having an accountability partner. When you help someone else achieve their goals, that helps you, too. It makes you feel great, and it gives you extra energy and incentive to keep going after what you really want.

Ok, Greg, you’ve sold me. So, how do I get – and keep – a partner? And how do we hold each other accountable in an encouraging way?

First, you need to get 100% clear on exactly what you want and why you want it.

Write that down.

When will you do “x” by?

How will you know you’ve done it?

Write that down.

Who will you choose as your accountability partner? It should be someone who shares your desire for an extraordinary life, someone who will support you in your efforts and kick you in the butt when you need it.

Be careful not to get someone who really doesn’t think you’re going to achieve your goal. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I’ve seen people set themselves up for failure that way.

Search for someone you look up to, who has a reputation for doing what he says, and for following through.

I find the best accountability partners are people who want you to hold them accountable for goals they’re working on in their life as well. When you encourage each other and hold each other accountable, great things happen.

If you can find someone who has a goal very similar to yours, that’s even better. I have found that it’s often better to find someone who isn’t a family member or a super close friend. Sometimes, when we’re that close, we don’t feel comfortable pushing each other.

Is there someone in your circle of friends at church, work, or in the neighborhood you would feel comfortable working with?

Action Steps:

  • Get an accountability partner today or tomorrow. Don’t wait.
  • Schedule a time once a week for an accountability phone call and half way through the week exchange an accountability email.

The content of the call and the email is simple. Ask each other:

  • What did you say you would do this week?
  • What work have you done on that?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to improve your progress?
  • What can I do to help you?

Remember:

  • Encourage each other
  • Celebrate mini successes
  • Remind each other how far you’ve come
  • Support each other on the “why” behind your goals.

Let’s GO!

I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program. Click here for more details.

How to Supercharge Your Success

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You figured out your Passionate Purpose. You have a powerful “what,” that you really want. You have a compelling “why” that drives you. You have goals and action plans that support all of that.

Now, what can really supercharge your success?

I love what Steve Martin has to say about it. He was on the Charlie Rose show and was asked his advice for aspiring actors and comedians. Martin’s answer was not what Rose expected.

“Nobody ever takes note of (my advice), because it’s not the answer they wanted to hear. What they want to hear is ‘Here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script,’ . . . but I always say, ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.’ If somebody’s thinking, ‘How can I be really good?’ people are going to come to you.”

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
–Steve Martin

That’s fantastic advice. Yes, a business plan is important. A marketing plan is important. A million things are important. But the best thing you can do to reach a level of success you’ve only dreamed of is to become so good they can’t ignore you.

What are you doing to become world class at your Passionate Purpose? If that’s not one of your goals, it needs to be.

We should be constantly learning and growing. Now, that doesn’t mean we read a book every night, listen to a podcast everyday and watch a Ted talk every afternoon at lunch. (Remember the problem with information overload we discussed earlier on day 14 Learn Less, More – Know Can Do. )

It means that every day you should be working on your craft, idea, book, business, etc. You should be learning and studying the best ways to be so good they can’t ignore you.

Part of that learning is repetition, repetition, repetition.

Learn the most important things about your Passionate Purpose so well that you don’t even have to think about them anymore. Make them automatic for you.

That allows you to add even more to what you know and do. That allows you to be creative and innovative. It allows you to come up with ideas in your field that no one else has ever done before. Or, it allows you to do them at such a high level that most people can’t keep up with you.

I played basketball in high school. The first year I made the team, I didn’t play my best. I was learning the playbook and there was a lot to learn. I was the point guard, so I needed to know where everyone was supposed to go for each play we ran.

We had a 40 series, a 20 series, plays for zone coverage, plays for man to man coverage, plays for full court press, etc. I was so worried about running the plays correctly, that I couldn’t really “play basketball.”

But, after a year and a summer in the system, I had the plays down cold for my second season. I no longer had to think about the plays. They were automatic. So, I was able to focus on the game. The plays were just the background to the opportunities I saw to pass, set picks, and shoot.

That’s when I became a creative basketball player again. That’s when I became so good coach couldn’t ignore me. That’s when I got some playing time.

How can you do that with your Passionate Purpose?

Action steps:

1) Research through Google, books, podcasts, blogs, videos, and seminars that can help you get the knowledge to improve your skills.

2) Use the Know Can Do method to really master the best techniques, instead of superficially learn a bunch of ideas. Learn Less, More. (See previous post for more.)

3) Use spaced repetition, repetition, repetition to learn it so well it becomes automatic.

4) Use the new techniques in your daily work. Integrate them into your life.

5) Repeat steps 1-4.

6) Bonus step: Teach someone else how to do it.

Let’s GO!

I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program. Click here for more details.

You Are Powerless…Unless

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Greg, I don’t have any power. No one listens to me. My work doesn’t matter. My vote doesn’t matter. Nothing I do really matters. I’m powerless.

Do you ever think thoughts like that? I know I do.

You’re right…unless.

I saw a great speaker at church last Sunday night. He was talking to us about parenting and he said any influence you have with your children is dependent on the relationship you have with them.

That struck a chord with me. When my dad and I were getting along well and had a good father/son relationship, I hung on his every word. I wanted to be like him. When our relationship was strained, I turned to my friends for guidance on how to live and what to do.

The speaker told us how he had a very tough time in school. At 13, he was tall and sickly thin – so thin he couldn’t even play sports. He also had horrible acne with pimples as big as nickels.

Kids can be mean and every day at school was misery. But more mornings than not, his mother would stop him at the door, as he was about to leave, look him in the eye and say, “I know it’s hard for you right now. But I want you to know that I believe in you. I love you. God loves you, and he has big things planned for you.”

Because he had a great relationship with his mother, her words had great influence on him. They carried him through the tough days. Later in life those words rang in his ears as he started to write the first of 24 books. They encouraged him as he preached to 8,000 people on the steps of our nation’s capital.

Her relationship with her son gave her great power and influence with him.

I think it’s the same for every part of our lives. Our power is derived from the relationships we have with people, not from our title or perceived power.

We’ve all seen the boss who has very little influence with his employees because he has a horrible relationship with them. He can fire them, but he can’t get them to do their best for him.

How about the politician who becomes known for corruption and lying? Who wants to continue to volunteer to help her win re-election?

But, when your family, friends, coworkers, and followers know you care about them – when you have invested in deep relationships with them – they are willing to run through brick walls for you.

You matter to them. And they matter to you.

True, caring, deep relationships give you great power and influence.

How can you grow your most important relationships to have more power for good than you’ve ever imagined?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Can Following Your Passion Backfire and Make Your Life Worse?

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Greg, this “Passionate Purpose” stuff sounds a little new-agey, touchy-feely to me. I’ve read some articles and books that are saying the idea of following your passion doesn’t work. I’ve even read stuff that says setting goals means you just end up failing and feeling bad about yourself. Is that true?

No, and yes, or yes and no. I’m not trying to avoid answering the question, but that’s really the answer. (Those are the answers?) Another great quote from Henry Ford explains it: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Yes, figuring out why you’re here, discovering your Passionate Purpose, setting goals and not reaching them can be frustrating, and sometimes depressing. But, you know what can be even more depressing? Never figuring out your purpose, never setting any goals, and never achieving any goals.

You know what’s a lot better than not setting goals so you won’t feel bad if you don’t succeed? Setting goals and actually achieving them. You are not going for a passionless existence. You are living an impassioned life!

When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.
–Seneca, Roman philosopher

It’s all about your mindset, how you set your goals, the plan you create to achieve them, and the execution of your plan.

But ask yourself this: What gives you a better chance of living out your dreams, figuring out what they are and pursuing them or just floating through life whichever way the wind blows?

But, Greg, doesn’t success at your job create passion? That works for some people, for a while. But how many people earning a good income do you know who hate their jobs?

Doctors, dentists, and lawyers all make it into the top 20 of highest suicide rates by profession and those are some of our higher-paying jobs. It’s not all about the cheddar, is it? Golden handcuffs still chafe and hurt just as much as the cheap ones do.

You have to decide these answers for yourself. For me, I want to live out the “why” of my existence. I want to pursue what I’m passionate about and use that to make me rich in every sense of the word.

You might be surprised to find that you will eventually make more money following your passion than you do right now trying to slog through the day. Then again, you might not. But at a certain point, money isn’t the number one priority, is it?

My goals definitely include creating a good income for my family and me, but a goal like earning $1 million per year is not my primary motivator. It’s not my top “why” for my Passionate Purpose.

My “whys” include inspiring people, creating more freedom for myself, helping people live their dreams, a flexible schedule, doing what I love, and taking more vacations with my family. If you took all those away and simply paid me more for doing a soul-sucking job 50 hours a week, I’d say no thanks.
What about you?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Find One Good Thing

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Greg, I know I should be grateful for all the wonderful things in my life. I know that gratitude is good for my mental and physical health. I know that it helps me be a better person. But sometimes, I don’t want to be grateful. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to be grateful for.

I hear you. I think we all feel like that sometimes. You have one of those days where nothing goes right. You oversleep, your hair won’t behave, you spill coffee on your freshly dry cleaned shirt, (or “top” for the ladies. BTW, why is it “top” for a ladies shirt and just shirt for us dudes. Things that make me say, hmmm…) you hit traffic on the way to work and it just goes downhill from there.

I’m not grateful right then. I’m ticked off.

Here’s an important question for those times: Does staying in that angry/depressed/miserable state help us or hurt us?

I’m not saying it’s easy to step back and think about that when you’re angry, but it’s critical that we do. If we can shift our focus from what’s going wrong to all the things that are going right, we can turn our day around. Do that often enough and you can turn your life around.

I thought of this today while I was watching the news. A woman from Louisiana who lost everything in the flooding was explaining how she may be down, but she is not out.

The floodwaters had gone three feet deep in her home. It destroyed everything she had. But, right in the middle of the living room, she found her glass angel – with no damage to it at all.

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“Try and find one good thing everyday,” she said. “No matter what happens, if you see one good thing, that’s enough to get you through.”

If a woman who has lost her home, and everything in it, can find something to be grateful for, why can’t we?

Don’t blow this off. Take a second and really think about 3 things that give you the warm fuzzies inside. It made a difference, didn’t it?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

How to Get and Stay Motivated – Podcast

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I was a guest on the Hello Techpros podcast this week. The topic was “How to get and stay motivated.” Please share it with anyone you think it will help. We’ve all had times when we feel motivated, but then get depressed when it doesn’t last. I hope this helps.

(Here’s the link to the podcast if you’re viewing this via email: http://hellotechpros.com/greg-knapp-motivation/)

Your motivation will go up and down. No one stays super motivated all the time. You’re not happy all the time, or sad all the time.

People who say getting motivated and working on improving yourself are a waste of time because it wears off need to really think that through. Doesn’t everything wear off if you don’t keep up with it?

I play the guitar and I used to play the trumpet. When I play in a band I make sure I tune my instrument before we begin. Guess what? The instruments don’t stay in tune. I re-tune them every other song or so.

I take a shower every day. I eat three times a day. I lift weights three times a week. I practice my guitar every day.

Why do I have to do these things every day? If I do them once, shouldn’t that be enough?

That sounds crazy doesn’t it?

Everything wears off if we don’t work to improve our skills. What we need to do is build in ways to boost our motivation when it starts to lag.

Here are some ideas on how to get re-motivated when you’re starting to feel down:

  • Call your accountability partner.
  • Go on YouTube and listen to a motivational message.
  • Attend a motivational seminar.
  • Refresh your memory on why you’re working on these goals.
  • Reward yourself for the progress you’ve made so far.

I always come back to the “why.” Why are you working this hard? Why are you doing what other people aren’t willing to do? Because then you will get to do what other people aren’t able to do.

Let’s GO!
If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

You Can Now Watch My Free Webinar Right Here and Share it With Friends.

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I know you’re busy and it’s hard to schedule your day to attend a webinar. Many of you have asked me if I would post my latest one. Well, here you go. I hope you enjoy it and share it with anyone who will benefit from it.

At the end, I give you all the details on my latest online coaching course and my personal coaching programs.

Here’s a preview of what the Webinar is about:

Most people never find their true calling. Fewer still ever pursue it with success to live the extraordinary life of their dreams.

I don’t say this to dash your hopes. I say it to warn you and to offer some free training so you don’t fail.

I show you:

  • How to overcome the 6 obstacles that stop you from taking action to change your life
  • How to find your calling
  • How to create the mindset you must have to get the life you want
  • How to focus on what’s essential
  • How to stay motivated to make lasting change

Join Premium Personal Coaching with Greg Knapp

Join Value Personal Coaching

Buy the 40 Day Ecoaching Course

Let’s GO!

“All Feedback is Welcomed?” I disagree

Feedback is always good and you should always take feedback, right? That’s’ the conventional wisdom. We have to be able to take feedback if we want to be successful. We can learn a ton about what we’re doing right and wrong. We can learn more about our customers, audience, clients, and more. We can use feedback to improve our products, services, presentations, and sales calls. Feedback is awesome.

Hey, conventional wisdom on feedback – YOU’RE WRONG!

Yes, sometimes feedback helps us. Sometimes it’s awesome.

But sometimes it really sucks. Sometimes we should let it roll off our backs, or even totally ignore it.

How do you know when to listen and when not to?

Feedback to listen to and act on:

  • When someone specifically praises something you’ve done, you know you need to keep doing it, and maybe even do more of it.
  • When someone – who wants to help you improve – is telling you what they believe you’re doing wrong with your products or service. Even if the customer is mad at you, this feedback is valuable. You may be able to fix your customer’s problem and turn her into a loyal customer. She may have found a problem you didn’t know existed that now makes what you do better for everyone.

I get some great feedback from you:

Greg, I really liked the section in your book where you say you can overcome your fear by taking action. I finally figured out that fear was holding me back.

Greg, I love your FB posts. They really encourage me. Please keep them up.

Greg, the audio on one of your videos on YouTube isn’t very good. You should re-record it.

Greg, I bought your audiobook and the link didn’t work. (I got that email the day I released the audiobook. I fixed it right away. My customer was happy and he helped me, big time.)

To all of those examples I say, thanks for the feedback.

Feedback to ignore:

When someone just wants to hurt you. These people don’t want to help you. They aren’t looking for a solution to a problem with your product or service. They just want to be mean.

Greg, You’re radio show is the worst I’ve ever heard. You’re a %$&*!

Greg, you’re ideas are stupid. My dog is a better blogger than you.

There’s not much I can do with that, is there? I don’t even respond to that type of feedback. All that does is feed the trolls.

Have you noticed that you can have 99 pieces of great feedback and yet focus on the one jerk who told you how awful you are? I know I do that sometimes. Why? It does nothing to help us.

Remember: You get to decide if the feedback is valuable. You get to decide if you’re going to allow it to impact your day and your life.

  • Focus on the good.
  • Fix what you can.
  • Find ways to improve.
  • Ignore the trolls.

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!