Summary: Burn Your Goals By Joshua Medcalf
Summary: Burn Your Goals By Joshua Medcalf

Summary: Burn Your Goals By Joshua Medcalf

Burn Your Goals

Everyone wants to win. Very few are willing to do what it takes to win.

It is easy to have a goal setting meeting. It is hard to get up day after day and put the work in when everyone else is having more fun, spending time with friends, making more money, and doing a hundred other things you would rather be doing in the moment.

What if our goals were actually holding us back from becoming the people we want to be and achieving our greatest potential?

Rather than focusing on arbitrary goals, we try to focus 100% of our energy on our commitments and controllables.

Here are some examples of controllables:

  • Self-talk
  • Routine
  • What we do with our 86,400 seconds every day
  • Perspective
  • Communication
  • Processes
  • Visualization
  • Attitude
  • Focus
  • Body Language
  • Gratefulness

By focusing on controllables we naturally close the gap between where we are and where we want to be. Focusing on outcome based goals that are outside of our control we increase pressure, decrease confidence, and make ourselves miserable in the process.


Life Doesn’t Care What We Want

You don’t attract what you want. You attract what you do and what you believe.

When we change what we do with our time we aren’t going to get immediate results. But if we are consistent and intentional in our new habits and training, eventually that lag time will kick in and we will start to see returns on our investment.

Most of us have experienced lag time when driving a car. There are a few seconds between when you slam the pedal to the floor until the car takes off. In life it might be a few months, or maybe even a few years, but the principle ALWAYS holds true.


Who Is In Your Circle?

What we spend our time thinking about matters greatly, and who we spend our time with impacts what and how we think.

You don’t have to be a jerk or tell the people of your current circle that they have been negatively influencing you. You can treat them very well. But make a conscious choice to spend your time differently. You never know, they might start following you when they see things in your life starting to change for the better. Maybe they will call you names and treat you poorly, but either way, how they treat you is outside of your control.

If you want to achieve your greatest potential, you must surround yourself with people who love you deeply, believe in you, encourage you, BUT who are also willing to challenge you to become the best you are capable of being.


How Much Are You Willing To Suffer?

You can ONLY reach your fullest potential by choosing the toughest challenges over and over in life.

How much are you willing to suffer? I mean really.

Because of television all we see is the glitz and glam of the lives of very successful people. But we don’t see the behind the scenes and the tens of thousands of hours of training, hustling, and grinding they have been doing.

We don’t see them getting up before the sun comes up and working long after it goes down. We don’t see all the sacrifice and dedication. We didn’t see them working when almost no one believed in them.

Friday night after Friday night, Kevin was in the gym working on his game. One night the janitor came up to him and said, “Kevin why don’t you ever go out and party with your friends?” Kevin said, “Parties won’t take me where I want to go.”

You have to be willing to work when others party. You have to be willing to suffer when others play. You have to be willing to do what others won’t, so you can do what others can’t. It doesn’t happen by accident.

Kevin Johnson went on to become an NBA all star.


Stop Comparing And Focus On Competing

Competition is great between players on the same team. Someone beats you and you try harder to improve to play better next time.

Comparison is different. Comparison is about worth. He beat me so he is a better person. She trains with the national team so she is always going to get the starting spot. He has closed more deals for the company this year so why should I even bother to try harder? Comparison usually leads to diminished or inflated worth and takes our focus and energy away from things we can control.

Comparison = Better Than

Competing = Getting Better


Don’t Just Go Through It, Grow Through It

If you are benched for a game you can increase your IQ by studying, not just watching the games, and work on being a great encourager. If you’re stuck in a plane on the runway you can read a good book and learn from the greats. If you’re company has failed then you have an opportunity to reflect on how you will do things differently in your next venture.

Believe that anything that happens to you today is in your best interest, because it is an opportunity to learn and grow. Have the most beneficial mindset to make the most of those diamonds in the rough.


The Path To Mastery

The path to mastery isn’t complicated. It is quite simple. You have a short growth spurt, followed by a slight dip, and then a long plateau. This same pattern plays out OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again.

Where do you think most people quit?

They quit on the plateau, because they feel like all their hard work is no longer paying off and is a waste of their time.

But what you will find over and over again when studying the greats is that they share a similar perspective to Thomas Edison: “I haven’t failed, I’ve just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Plateaus are inevitable, even for those who are the best in the world at their craft. This is why it is even more important to fall in love with the process of becoming great rather than goals and results. We can’t control results, and we are going to hit plateaus. It is easier to push through the plateaus when we love the journey not just the results.


Road Signs on the Path to Mastery

The road signs on the path to mastery are similar regardless of the context we find ourselves in at any particular time in life. We can take solace in knowing that we are going in the right direction by the signs on the road. Here are some of those road signs:

  • This is hard.
  • I don’t feel like doing ________ today.
  • Everyone else has more time than me.
  • I don’t feel like this is making a difference.
  • Almost no one else is doing this.

The thing about all of these signs is that they provide information but they don’t give a whole lot of instruction. They are the square signs like mile-markers and rest stop options that tell us where things are. But the great thing about most highways is that they don’t just provide information; they actually provide instruction that will help us move safely and efficiently towards our destination. These are the yellow diamond signs that we see instructing us about speed change for a sharp bend, uneven roads, or roadwork ahead. The road signs on the path to mastery are no different. So what to do instead?

Talk to yourself instead of listening to yourself. Ask the question, “What is one thing I can do to make the situation better?” Rather than, “why is this happening to me?”


Stop Planning And Start Preparing

While our plans are often outside of our control, preparation always lies within.

Every single thing that has ever happened in your life has prepared you for the present moment. Every context you are in today CAN prepare you for something in the future.

But if we are just playing to win, we’re being used by our sport. If we are just working for money, we’re being used by our job. If we are just working to get a grade, we’re just playing the game.

But if we are constantly preparing, things change.

You’re no longer just doing what coach tells you to do; you’re honing your listening skills and improving your athletic IQ. You’re not just listening to some teacher speak; you’re sharpening your ability to focus when you’re bored. You’re no longer earning a paycheck; you’re being paid to learn and grow.


Bonus Insights

  • The guy at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.
  • Work ethic and willingness to sacrifice must be greater than dreams.
  • It really does take a bigger person to overcome evil with good.
  • Everyone has brilliant ideas, but VERY VERY few are willing to sacrifice, work, and persist to transform those ideas to practical, viable solutions.
  • If you fail to take advantage of the small opportunities right in front of you, you won’t be prepared for the opportunities of your dreams.
  • Passion, patience, and persistence will help you succeed EVEN with poor strategies.
  • Most great things come from experiments, not theories.
  • Show me what you do with your time and I’ll show you how bad you want it
  • Every battle is won (or lost) before it’s ever fought. It’s in the mind.