3 Steps to Achieving Your Goals

I got to thinking the other day how I had actually managed to achieve a great many personal goals in my life, and how that had resulted in a considerable amount of personal happiness. And this got me thinking about how I could help others to do the same. This meant sitting down and analysing what I had done and not done to some extent - not easy, as (such is the nature of Life) a great many things occur to an individual over long periods apparently without any particular forethought or planning at the time, and patterns only become discernible later - in some cases much later.

So here is a breakdown of what I think I did. The degree to which these things were the determining factors in what then occurred will probably not become clear for many years yet, if they ever do, but I wanted to put something out there as a guideline for others, even if it is not exact or ‘scientific’.

1. Know Where You Are Going

When I was 8 years old, my father moved our entire family away from the small Yorkshire town where we were living on the edge of the Peak District National Park in Yorkshire to a desert town in South Australia, the driest state in the driest continent on the planet. Even before I had left my childhood home, and especially as I was driven away from it on that fateful day, I knew with all my heart that I wanted to return to it. Moreover, I knew that I would return to it, and that it would be my overriding goal to do so.

Looking back, this can seem sometimes as though my determination of what was going to guide me in Life was decided by a loss. Certainly it would seem to follow the principles underlying fictional characters and their motivations, from my book How Stories Really Work, in which protagonists have something or someone taken away from them which then compels them into action. Had I not been removed from that environment at such a young age, no doubt my purpose throughout much of my life would have been very different. But there is also another side to that: if one wants to live somewhere, for positive and worthy reasons, and one finds that he or she is prevented from doing so, then there is a sense in which overcoming the barriers between oneself and one’s goal isn’t so much motivated by loss as powered by the intention to have things the way one wishes to have them.