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The Power of Secret Goals

Some goals should be kept to yourself.

Some say your goals are not big enough unless others begin to question your sanity. While this might be true, sharing major goals with others can often cause what I call "motivation drain."

For example, you tell your friend, "I'm going to run a marathon next month."

Friend: "Good luck with that."

You: Self-doubt begins to creep in. What does he mean, "Good luck with that?" Doesn't he believe in me? Does he think I can't really make it?

While the right encouragers can be a blessing to help us achieve our goals, most people simply don't and won't understand. We should not expect other people to always support our wild dreams.

We also live in a sarcasm-saturated culture. In other words, even our close friends often put us down as a source of fun. When it comes to reaching goals, however, this is extremely unhelpful.

So what can we do about it?

My answer: Stop telling everyone about your goals.

If you want to run a marathon or run across the country, just do it. Don't expect other people to understand or support you. If this is your goal, then go for it.

Unless you're a kid still living at home with your family, you don't need anyone's permission to dream big and live big. Just go for it whether anyone else does or not.

Here are three ways to pursue your "secret goals" and stay motivated:

First, journal your secret goals.

You might not need to announce your goals on Instagram or to your family over dinner, but you do need a plan to reach your life's dreams.

Write your goal down. Make it specific, vivid, and memorable. Dream about it. Pray about it. Research it. Plan for it. Work toward it. Become obsessed with your goal like you are searching for treasure.

When I wanted to write my first book, I didn't announce it. Instead, I researched everything I could about getting published. Notice, my goal was not to simply learn how to write a book, but how to get a book published. These are two different goals.

Today, I've been the author or coauthor of nearly 40 books and have edited many more. Why? Because in the process of learning how to get published, I discovered one of the best ways was to partner with other writers as a coauthor or other collaborator.

Second, secretly train toward your goals.

Writing down your secret goals is an important step. But you have to do more than write them down. You have to train to reach them.

If it's a physical goal, it means lifting weights or running or dieting.

If it's a financial goal, you have to work on a budget or proposal.

If it's a career goal, you need to work on your resume and search for jobs and network with people in the field where you want to work.

You can pursue goals without posting about them. In fact, it's often better to work quietly as you train. People can celebrate with you when you "win" or achieve a goal, but most people will be unhelpful when it comes to the many steps necessary to reach the goal.

Third, find a guide toward your goal.

Your goal may be secret to most of your friends and family, but it does help to find a Yoda or Gandalf to serve as a guide.

If you're goal is investing, a financial investor is your guide.

If you're working to lose weight, there are plenty of options online or in person for help in this area.

If you're trying to grow spiritually, finding a pastor, minister, or other spiritual friend to help can accelerate progress.

Secret goals don't require complete solitude. The right guides can serve as essential elements of achieving your mission.

If some of this sounds like a super spy plan or ninja training, that may be a good thing. Spies and ninjas train quietly to accomplish important goals in their stories. They save villages or nations, impacting the world in the process.

You can too. Your impact will be great. Your training must be great as well. By quietly training toward your goals, you'll avoid unwanted negativity, stay focused, and connect with guides who can help you achieve amazing impact.

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