HOW TO MAKE SURE OUR BRAIN TREATS OUR GOALS AS TARGETS AND NOT AS WISHFUL THINKING
A group of behavioral scientists performed an experiment with the graduating class of the world’s #1 business school. The team of scientists instructed the students to define their goals.
At the end of the day, the scientists observed that only 3 per cent of the class had actually written down their goals. Now here is the interesting part of the story. 25 years down the line, the scientists traced the batch they had conducted their experiment upon, to know what the students had achieved in their respective careers and personal lives.
The net worth of the 3 per cent of the class that had actually physically jotted down their goals was more than the net worth of the rest of the entire batch. Interesting, isn’t it? Such is the power of goals. Those who had jotted them down two and a half decades back, were living more fulfilling lives both on professional and personal fronts.
Zig Ziglar, the popular management guru and author of various bestselling books, says: ‘What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals’. We must ask ourselves: What are our goals? How would we like to see ourself three, four or five years from now? What do we want to achieve in life? What milestones do we want to achieve in our professional life? What do we want our personal life to be like?
Grabbing a piece of paper, we must write down every single goal we have in mind. Then, divide the paper into various sections like personal life, professional goals, education, health, etc. We need to spell out each one of them and write them where they belong. For instance, if we want to lose weight or start exercising, we must write that down in the health section. Being extremely specific is important. Simply writing ‘Start Exercising’ won’t help. The brain understands specific instructions. We can write something like: ‘I will walk 3 kilometers every day.’ Under the Self Development section, we may write: ‘I will enroll for a business development/ finance program’. We can watch the magic of how things begin to work for us once we start by writing things down.
By writing goals down, the brain receives a very powerful message that what we have written is not wishful thinking but a target that has to be achieved. If we cannot even clearly define and write down our goals, how can we achieve them?