America is a place where anyone can make it and we usually spend so much time figuring out where we are going next, that we tend to forget how far we have come. Last weekend I gave a speech at Freedom Fast Lane Live in Austin, which was without a doubt one of the most powerful speeches I have given. After talking about my success and future endeavors, I left Austin and went to Lake Charles, Louisiana where I grew up, to take some time to reflect on how far I’ve come.
My trip included visits to all the homes that I lived in for the first 29 years of my life. I revisited schools I attended, where I was a below average student. At 16 years old I made a decision that I wanted to be wealthy and would do whatever I could to meet this long-term goal. I had no idea how I was going to create wealth for myself– I just knew that a life of scarcity was not for me. As I grew older I learned quickly that I needed to move to where the opportunity was. Sure it was uncomfortable, but successful people do what is uncomfortable to achieve greater comforts later on. Besides, being broke was more uncomfortable so I was driven by the difficulty.
Here are three tips to keep yourself focused on long-term goals:
- Write down your goals twice a day.Make a list of your goals when you wake up in the morning and again before you go to bed. This will help you stay focused on what you want and why you want it. I’m not referring to your to-do list; I mean the much bigger goals in life you are eager to accomplish: why you are going to work and what you are trying to achieve. Focusing on these major goals will help fuel your passion and energy.
- Create a “no negativity” policy: The people who work around me know they will get their heads handed to them if they ever are negative around me. That doesn’t mean I don’t want information that may be foreboding. But negative statements like, “We can’t do that” or “That’s not possible,” is not allowed at my office or in my home. My companies all have “no negativity” as an operating policy because that kind of thinking does nothing to energize people and motivate them to find solutions.
- Surround yourself with supportive people.You might join organizations or clubs where you are all doing something you’re excited about. Also, try to get your family on the same page with you. If your spouse, children, parents and siblings celebrate your wins with you, it will go a long way toward keeping you motivated and energetic. Share your long-term goals with them and ask for their help to keep you committed.
Going back to Lake Charles was an amazing exercise for me. I found myself for the first time extremely aware of how far I had come in my life and how much things have changed. And it reminded me of all the mistakes, disappointments and losses I experienced. I was also aware of how hard my father worked to provide for his five kids and all the sacrifices my mother made.
It also occurred to me about how much potential we all have and don’t know until later. I have been so lucky to find mine and so grateful I stayed committed. My journey has been remarkable and you all have been part of it. Try to focus on how far you have come. If you aren’t satisfied where you are at, my advice to you is just don’t quit. Regardless of whatever you have going on I assure you — you will make it!
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