Recently I had the opportunity to witness a performance by Gordon Mote, an award-winning piano player, songwriter and singer who has also been blind since birth.
To say I was impressed would be an understatement; watching him left me totally blown away.
When Mote was three years old, he played his first song on the piano — before his parents even knew he could play. He learned by listening to music, and now he plays and arranges music for all the big-name entertainers, in all genres, without the benefit of sight.
Certainly, Mote is blessed with unique talents — but more importantly, he refused to let his lack of sight keep him from daring to do something great. Hearing his story left me feeling inspired, because we could all take a few lessons from it.
I believe we’re all destined for something great — and that if we work hard enough, there’s nothing we can't do. It’s all about having enough determination, persistence and perspective to make it happen.
Based on more than 20 years of leading people and companies, here are five tips to help you reach your goals.
If you can envision it, you can achieve it
If you can clearly envision a goal, you can achieve it.
At night, I often dream about the next day and the next week and imagine doing what’s required to achieve each step of the goal. That envisioning helps make my goal a reality.
Any goal — no matter how big — can be achieved if you work hard enough in a focused way, one step at a time.
Assess Your Commitment
What do you really want? What would you give up to achieve it?
If you’re not willing to make a few sacrifices, then chances are pretty good that you won’t end up reaching your goal.
I believe that to achieve something significant, you must be super passionate about it — even fanatical. Your passion will keep you motivated to press through the obstacles.
Do you thirst or hunger for something more, something bigger? What do you want more than anything else? Has someone ever told you that you can’t do it — that you’re not good enough, not smart enough?
Use all of that to drive your desire to do more, to achieve your goal.
Prove to yourself it can be done by starting small
Maybe you have a significant goal in mind, but you’re still not convinced that you can actually do it — that’s okay. Start with small steps to prove to yourself that your hard work, determination and focus will pay off.
The important thing is to get started on a pathway toward something you’re passionate about, even if the short-term result isn’t what you ultimately hope to achieve. Prove to yourself you can do it, and keep raising the bar.
With your goal in mind, now is the time to narrow your focus and limit yourself to whatever actions are most important to get there.
This way, you can avoid getting distracted or trying to do too much at once. Simply take one step at a time on your planned course.
Cast a vision that challenges you
Even if you start smaller than your end-goal, make sure your long-term vision is big enough to excite you — and don’t be afraid to revise your goal along the way to make it even bigger.
Your vision should not only inspire and motivate you, but it should motivate your teammates — the people you need to help you get there.
As you work toward your goal, remember to stop and recognize your progress. Celebrating your small steps can re-energize you and your team to continue building momentum.