Here is a Method That Helps High Achievers Reach Their Goals

What does the word resolve mean to you?

The dictionary definition is “an unwavering determination.”  It is a commitment that you make to yourself to accomplish what you want.  For example:

  • How do I get promoted?
  • How do I find a job I love?
  • How do I earn what I deserve?
  • How do I start a business about which I’ve dreamt?
  • How do I deal with an evil boss?

High achievers make these things happen for themselves over and over again.  How?

They demonstrate resolve on a daily basis and from generation to generation.  Let’s look at a couple of examples.

A Young Man without a Role Model

Let me introduce you to a young man…It was 1855; the young man finished high school, focused on bookkeeping and the fundamentals of commerce.

His dad was a charlatan, a snake oil salesman. The young man did not have very good role models.

He started looking for a job, making a list of every business in Cleveland and began knocking on doors, six days per week, morning to night, averaging six businesses per day.

He had to go to the business, figure out who owned the business, seek a few minutes of that person’s time and discuss opportunities with him.

In the world before internet, an applicant had to convince the owner to employ him or herself right on the spot or move on to the next firm and repeat the process.

This was quintessential cold calling or cold knocking.

After six weeks, the young man exhausted the entire list. Not a single offer was made but he never wavered or took the rejections personally.

Uncowed, he started back at the top of the list, prepared to repeat the whole process over again, and on September 26th, a day he would celebrate for the rest of his life, he landed a job as a bookkeeper for a wholesale produce commission warehouse, a firm that had previously rejected him.

Does anybody know this young man?  Based on Ron Chernow’s book, Titan, this is John D. Rockefeller, who would become the richest person in the world due to his starting and running Standard Oil.   The Standard Oil name is no longer used but its legacy lives on in other companies it created or acquired including ExxonMobil and Chevron.

Rockefeller exhibited resolve.  He would not be denied a job.

When you are facing adversity, do you summon this level of resolve?

Certainly, you are capable.

But how do you do it?

A Culture of Discipline

Let’s look at a second, more contemporary, example: Elon Musk.

His entrepreneurial exploits are well documented: Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX with more companies in development.  How does he do it?

Resolve plays a huge part.  He believes deeply in mankind’s need for reducing our dependency on finite energy sources.

Musk, like Rockefeller before him, understands the importance of goal-setting to keep his commitments.  Granted his goal-setting is on a large scale, however, goal-setting works the same for you and me.

To summarize Musk and Rockefeller’s goal-setting mindset: “A culture of discipline is not a principle of business. It is a principle of greatness.”

Resolve consists of an unwavering determination and goal-setting but you might be thinking what is the trick to actually follow through on my overarching goals?  After all, we frequently set goals that we don’t finish (New Year’s resolutions, anyone?).

Key is to Write Goals in a Certain Way

The key is to write goals down – in a certain way.

When you write them down, it helps to clarify your thinking. It helps you take action. It helps you overcome your resistance and you can see and celebrate your success.

In one study of 250 people, researchers studied to see what role motivation and goal setting had on exercise so they split them up into three groups.

One of the groups was just told to exercise over the course of a two-week period and they were just asked to read a random paragraph in a novel with no rhyme or reason.

The second group, they did the same thing too but asked them to read the phrase. It said, “Exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

The third group, they would ask them to do that and write down specifically on what day, at what time and where they would exercise.

The last group exercised at triple the rate of the other groups.

The Bottom Line

What pulls the desire out of you isn’t your level of motivation; it’s your plan for implementation.

Go forth and build your resolve to achieve your next big goal in work and in life.


Enjoy this article? Here are three more things you might like:

  • Interesting articles: Read my best articles on topics like habits, goal setting, motivation, and productivity.
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