Photo Credit: subhadipin, www.sxc.hu

Do you have a goal that excites you, but seems like unreachable? Are you aspiring to do something remarkable but afraid to start because it seems so “far away”? Are you seeing something that needs changing in your family or organization but afraid to start because you don’t know if you can really make the difference?

You’re not alone, many people are also experiencing the daunting feeling of looking to a vision and not knowing if they have what it takes to reach that or be a person of positive significance.

Here are some of the goals that I’m always hearing:
  • I want to lose weight.
  • I want to get out of debt and be financially free.
  • I want to be a bestselling author.
  • I want to reform the way our school teach our students.
  • I want to have great influence.
  • I want to be an awesome app developer.
  • I want to lead an organization that would help the needy and the hurting.
  • I want to be the best husband for my wife.

These goals were often formulated as New Year Resolutions or ignited by a significant event. We’re so fired up and enthusiastic about it. Our colleague can’t figure out how drain our passion. We even post it on Facebook, “Hello world! I will change the world!” But after three weeks after the ignition of the vision, creepy problems starts emerging: we start making alibis, our energy and inspiration are missing, and we don’t want to follow through anymore. We yawn and say these stupid words, “Maybe someday, but not now.”

Someday and tomorrow are the worst time to start or continue. Don’t be overwhelm by the thousand miles, there’s no effort a human can do that will finish off a long journey with just one swish. Any goal can be reach by taking a series of steps via good decision and implementation of proper actions.

Our emotions typically surrenders whenever it saw an enormous task. Some people are easily discouraged because they can’t see the whole simulation of actions they need to make to complete a switch. This is analysis paralysis.

On their book ‘Switch’, Chip and Dan Health have written about how we can reach a goal or make a switch in our life and organization. The book is well researched and offers profound insights. In order to make a switch, we need to do these three:

Direct the Rider

The Rider is our rational mind. We need to clarify why we need to make the switch and paint the destination or ideal we’re reaching for. Clarity of goals and specific steps are very important to our Rider. Ignoring the needs of our Rider would lead to confusion and paralysis. Have you ever seen someone doing busywork and doesn't know the objectives? That’s insanity.

Writing down your goals is one the best technique in directing the Rider. Then we need to learn the wisdom of other people who have already achieved our goal to lessen the possibility of failure, this is responsible and calculated risk taking not an idiotic dive. Listen to mentors, read books and blogs, write the plan and think clearly.

Motivate the Elephant

Even we know what we really want and know the steps on how to achieve it, we won’t make any progress if we’re not moving. The Elephant is the one that takes the actual steps. In order for it to move, we need to find the feeling and be motivated in reaching the goal. Move the emotion, be inspired and shrink the change to actionable steps right now and right here. Divide the long journey to a series of small journeys.

Don’t try to do everything on day one because our willpower is a limited asset. Instead, be consistent and disciplined in moving to the right direction. Practice deliberately and accept that you would make some missteps along the way. But never take your eyes from the goal and do something every day that would move you closer to it.

Shape the Path

With the Rider directed and the Elephant motivated, now you must shape the Path. You must look objectively to your environment and apply crucial tweaks. For example, if you want to lose weight, then remove all the temptations in your refrigerator, prepare your exercise outfits and gears before you sleep, and ask for accountability. If you want to be more productive at work, cut your computer from the internet for extended period of time, clean your desktop (physical and digital), turn off the notifications in your smartphone, and tell your co-workers about it.

Be with like-minded people that also reaching for the goal. It is easier to finish the journey if you’re with a herd than taking it by yourself. Build habits on your family or organization. Bind yourself to each other and pursue the vision with synergistic momentum.


What’s the switch you’re dreaming to accomplish? I believe that it would add positive value to you, to your family, or organization. Don’t wait for permission if you know that it’s the right thing to do. Take action in your burden because our society needs leaders - people who can speak against the status quo and would act in wisdom and courage to make lasting change. Make the switch.

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