THIS IS ISSUE.020 OF THE SMRT LIST
It’s November and I want to talk about goal setting. In last December’s issue, I gave you my one-word goal-setting framework to smash goals that have worked for me year after year, and I want to go even deeper.
This year, I achieved my vision of building a new community for 2023 a few months early which naturally led to my 2024 theme: expansion. I can’t wait!
I’m a dreamer and I have ADHD (aka my superpower). I read so much when I was little that I literally hardwired my brain to not think differently, and anything is impossible.
Conventional wisdom telling you to set SMART goals never worked for me. It made me feel like a failure until I figured out why. I also learned why so many people stay stuck and never reach their true potential.
“Where do you want to be in 5 years… 10 years.” These questions drive me insane. It puts you into a box. It limits potential. It stifles creativity. It forces you to control outcomes when the best things happen to you when you surrender to flow. Rigid goal setting does not work.
But first, how I got here:
I don’t know about you, but I can never live a conventional life. Even though my life is great (with its challenges), I know I will accomplish big things to contribute to humanity.
I began this year with a dagger thrown into my heart and goals, had to pivot quickly, took radical action, and changed my life in months, resulting in everything I lost returning to me and more. I turned my adversity into fuel that took me light years out of my comfort zone. Full disclosure: this wasn’t my first rodeo starting from zero. I’ve failed and rebuilt many times in the past and it’s been an exhilarating ride! I’ll never allow myself to stay stuck.
I began this year on a low and ended higher than I could ever imagine. How? I spent the last few years intentionally chasing triggers and the unknown. I learned to thrive during tough times. My actions took me to higher levels of consciousness I didn’t know existed. 🙏🏼
I “manifested” everything I have now and my opportunities are continuously falling into my lap because I’m learning to bend reality.
Truth is, I never really knew what I wanted in specific moments of my life but I always had a clear vision of where I wanted to go. And along the way, I never conformed to rules or opinions.
I want to show you how.
Bend Reality With Unrealistic Goals
People never reach their highest potential and live the life of their dreams because they become obsessed with the “how”.
Truth is, no one knows “how”.
Nobody knows what they’re doing. We’re all making it up as we go along.
Life and entrepreneurship are a series of problems— you solve one only to create another.
Being aware of this, you learn to become a great problem solver. You cultivate a mindset of creating opportunities rather than waiting for them to come.
When you set “impossible goals” so audaciously bold, you’ll find a way to make it happen. You may now know how you’re going to get there but by listening to your inner voice and taking action every day, you’ll figure it out as you go along.
This is scary for 99% of us who suffer from limiting beliefs programmed in us since birth, and to trust our intuition requires courage and confidence. Luckily, these skills are “muscles” you can strengthen.
The Problem With SMART Goals
Sure, SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) seem logical and structured. But guess what? Logic rarely leads to extraordinary achievements. Relying on pure logic usually leads to being average. Mediocrity.
SMART goals confine you to the realm of the attainable, holding you back from reaching your highest potential. Life is seldom linear, and success is often driven by emotions and intuition. If you’re aiming for the stars, why limit yourself to what “seems” achievable?
SMART goals are realistic.
But they don’t bend reality.
The only stifle dreams.
Reality is overrated.
Realism is just a socially acceptable form of pessimism, a set of guidelines designed to keep you comfortably average. It tells you to stay inside the box, follow conventional wisdom, and play small to meet someone else’s expectations. But let’s be honest, when has playing it safe ever led to greatness?
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs
Those with the most consistent track record of success don’t think in terms of what is but what could be.
Real changemakers—Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs—didn’t get there by being realistic. They dared to dream big, refused to play by the rules, and ignored the critics with their limiting beliefs.
The bolder and more seemingly impossible your goals, the higher the chances you’ll achieve them.
The chase toward these moonshots is what makes life worth living.
Extraordinary doesn’t come from being “realistic”.
The Role of Intuition
Trust that gut feeling, that internal nudge telling you something’s off before your conscious brain can catch up. Intuition operates at lightning speed, often outpacing our analytical minds. Think about those times someone avoided a plane crash because they just felt something was wrong. That’s the power of intuition, an ancient survival tool that’s now helping us in more creative ways.
Steve Jobs, in his 2005 Stanford University speech, shared how a journey to India shaped his perspective. Immersed in a culture that prioritized intuition over intellect, Jobs marveled at profound spirituality and minimal materialism. His intuitive experiences in India became a cornerstone of his work ethic, influencing his later endeavors.
As he stated in his biography, “Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.”
Jobs’ reliance on intuition manifested in his eclectic learning approach—taking seemingly unrelated courses and delving into diverse books. Ultimately, this unconventional learning path converged when he led Apple. To unlock your intuition, discard the notion that it’s baseless; science supports intuition’s accuracy. Detectives solve cases on hunches, and even the US Navy relies on their intuitive instincts. Your intuition is like a built-in superpower that’s just waiting for you to discover.
Reminder: The Power Of Neuroplasticity
Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. This process involves the structural and functional changes in the brain’s neural networks in response to learning, experience, and adaptation to new environments.
Your brain is rewiring itself with every new experience, every millisecond. Understanding this powerful mechanism, you can rewire your brain to create any reality you desire. It’s not easy work but it’s possible. Many of the greats did it and so can you.
But embracing bold, unrealistic dreams requires a mindset upgrade.
To create your opportunities, you have to first trust your intuition.
Your intuition is the secret weapon.
Studies have shown that intuition continues to play an important role in the executive decision-making process because it is linked with implicit learning and can facilitate analysis. A 2016 KPMG study found that only one-third of the 2,200 CEOs surveyed trusted their data and resulting analytics while 59% of decision-makers say the analysis they require relies primarily on human judgment rather than machine algorithms.
How To Tap Into Your Intuition
Only you know what to do but the problem is most of us are often distracted so we lose internal alignment. Your inner voice doesn’t shout out loud— it whispers and you have to go deep to find it.
Before you discount this as “woo-hoo” try it out for yourself.
- Create a quiet space: Eliminate distractions.
- Ground yourself: List 3-5 things in front of you, paying attention to details. This will bring you to the present moment.
- Breathe deeply: Follow your breath into your heart. Exhale loudly with a ‘whoosh’ sound.
- State your problem: Say, “My problem is…”
- Listen and speak: Listen to what your heart says and say it out loud (or to yourself) quickly. Do this 3 times.
You may struggle the first few times but as with mastering anything, you must practice. The ultimate goal is to trust your inner voice, your compass.
How To Set Moonshot Goals
1. Learn to find and listen to your inner voice.
Your inner voice is your intuition. Create a habit of listening to it, and you’ll find the answers within yourself.
2. Create goals so big they should scare you a little and excite you a lot.
If you want to be truly motivated towards hitting a goal, the goal must be more difficult than what you’re capable of because if it’s too easy, you’ll get bored.
Zero motivation. Zero excitement.
You need emotions to fuel you towards your vision.
Besides, our brains thrive on challenges.
If you’re achieving all of your goals, they’re probably too easy (unless you’re Superman). Don’t lie to yourself. A good rule of thumb suggested by Larry Page (CEO of Google) is half of your goals should have a high chance of failure. You don’t need to hit all your goals. Hitting 70-80% is good enough.
Failure is fantastic. Many people are afraid to fail but by you taking that risk, you’ll grow exponentially while others stay the same. You’ll become more courageous and intuitive each time you overcome a hurdle.
Set goals that bend reality.
Watch as the universe conspires to make the impossible happen.
After all, the only limits that exist are the ones you place on yourself.
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