All the great success that has been achieved ultimately began with an idea, but what makes ideas become reality is the fuel of human desire. “An idea by itself can give you a temporary feeling of inspiration, but burning desire is what gets you through all the perspiration necessary to overcome the inevitable obstacles along the way. When asked during an interview how he managed to reach the top as a professional bodybuilder and Hollywood actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger replied with a single word, ‘Drive!’,” says Louise Robinson, Managing Director at specialist database company CG Consulting.
Her advice to all women in business, or aspiring to be in business, is to take a moment to think about the goals they have set for themselves. “How committed are you to achieving these goals? Under what conditions would you give up? What if you could significantly increase your desire to achieve these goals? What if you wanted them so badly that you knew with absolute certainty that you would absolutely, positively never ever give up? When you are truly 100% committed to reaching your goals, you move from hoping to knowing. If you want something badly enough, then quitting is simply not an option. You either find a way or make one. You pay the price, whatever it takes,” she says.
Here are eight steps Robinson recommends for women with a burning desire to achieve their goals:
1. Burn the ships.
If your goals are really important enough to you, then you can start by burning the proverbial ships, so that you have no choice but to press on. For instance, if you want to launch your own business, you can begin by making the commitment to quitting your job. If you don’t burn those ships, you are sending the message to your subconscious mind that it’s ok to quit. And when the going gets tough, as it inevitably does for any worthwhile goal, you will quit. If you really want to achieve your goals, then you’ve got to burn those ships to the ground, and scatter the ashes. If you’re thinking that the average person won’t do this, you’re right — that’s why they’re average.
2. Fill your environment with desire boosters.
Posters, Post-Its and notes to yourself help remind you what your goals are, and what you are working towards.
3. Surround yourself with positive people.
Make friends with people who will encourage you on the path to your goals, and find ways to spend more time with them. Share your goals only with people who will support you, not those who will respond with cynicism or indifference. Although this can be difficult for some people, you also need to fire the negative people from your life. Mindsets are contagious. So spend your time with people whose mindsets are worth catching.
4. Feed your mind with empowering information on a daily basis.
Inspirational books and audio programmes are one of the best fuel sources for cultivating desire. When you absorb material created by an extremely passionate person, you’ll often find yourself feeling more passionate as well.
5. Replace sources of negative energy with positive energy.
Take an inventory of all the sensory inputs into your life that affect your attitude – what you read, what you watch on TV, the cleanliness of your home, etc. Note which inputs influence you negatively, and strive to replace them with positive inputs. Spend more time laughing and less time worrying. If you have a hard time motivating yourself, chances are that your life is overflowing with too many sources of negativity. It’s far better to happily achieve than it is to feel you must achieve in order to be happy.
6. Dress for success.
Whenever you pass by a mirror, which is probably several times a day, you get an instant dose of image reinforcement. So what image are you currently reinforcing? Would you dress any differently if your goals were already achieved? Would you sport a different hairstyle?
7. Use mental programming.
This is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique that will help you associate strong positive emotions to whatever goal you’re working to achieve. Find some music that really energises and inspires you. Put on your headphones and listen to it for fifteen to twenty minutes, and as you do this, form a clear mental picture of yourself having already achieved the results you want. Make your imagery big, bright, vivid, colourful, three-dimensional, panoramic, and animated. Picture the scene as if looking through your own eyes (this is very important). This will help you form a neuro-association between the positive emotions elicited by the music and the goal you want to achieve, thus strengthening your desire. This is a great way to begin each day, and you can even do it while lying in bed when you first awaken if you set things up the night before. You should cycle the music periodically, since the emotional charge you get will tend to diminish if you listen to the same songs each time.
8. Take immediate action.
Once you set a goal for yourself, act immediately. As you begin working on a fresh new goal, don’t worry so much about making detailed long-term plans. Too often people get stuck in the state of analysis paralysis and never reach the action stage. You can develop your plan later, but get moving first. Just identify the very first physical action you need to take, and then do it. One of the secrets to success is recognizing that motivation follows action. The momentum of continuous action fuels motivation, while procrastination kills motivation. So act boldly, as if it’s impossible to fail. If you keep adding fuel to your desire, you will reach the point of knowing that you’ll never quit, and ultimate success will be nothing more than a matter of time.