A few years ago, I gave a speech to the Western Golf Association Evans Scholar Foundation. That speech, which addressed leadership and goal-accomplishing tactics, later become a book called Out of Reach but in Sight: Using Goals to Achieve Your Impossible.

I’m releasing portions of that speech as a series of blog posts so you can enjoy some of the content. If you’re interested in seeing the material in its entirety, check out Out of Reach but in Sight: Using Goals to Achieve Your Impossible or go to my YouTube Channel to listen to the pre-recorded audio.

If you’re interested in reading the posts in order, check out What is a Goal? to start the beginning.

I love questions. Here’s one for you: Where do goals come from? In fact, the better question might be, “Where should they come from?”

Let’s pause for a second. In my job as a recruiter, I interview a lot of people. My team and I continually evaluate people to see if they’re a good fit for the organizations we represent.

In my lifetime—I’m not kidding—I’ve interviewed more than ten thousand people. To put that in perspective, that’s well more than thirty times the number of people in this room. That’s a lot of evaluation. That’s a lot of data. I’m big on statistics. During the course of my career, I’ve reviewed loads of statistics, and I’ve identified three things all successful people have in common. I’m talking about people who live the most enriched lives—not riches but enriched lives. They’re happy and fulfilled. Some might even call them lucky. Whatever you call them, they have three things in common—passion, vision, and commitment.

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“All successful people have three things in common—passion, vision, and commitment.”

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Notice I didn’t use words such as intelligence, money, or other things many people think are required to be successful. It’s those three things—passion, vision, commitment. What are they?

Passion. You’re not born with it. It’s something you develop. It’s a love for something you were exposed to from the time you were born until now. You fell in love with it. You became interested in it and then passionate about it. You genuinely love it.

Vision. It’s your ability to see where you want to take that love. How will you grow it? How will you nurture it? Where will it take you?

Commitment. It’s your dedication to fulfilling that love.

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“The single greatest reason people fail to achieve a goal is because they set the goal for something they didn’t truly love. Only set big goals for something you love.”

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Before we get to the answer regarding where goals should come from, I want to share with you why people don’t achieve their goals. There are certainly many reasons why people fail. There’s bad setting, bad planning, and bad execution. There’s bad this and bad that. There are loads of reasons.

The single greatest reason people don’t achieve their goals is because the goals were set for something they didn’t love. When you set them for things you don’t love, you don’t work as hard at them. They’re not as important to you. Sometimes you just want to get through things.

I want to go back to what I said earlier. Goals exist to enhance your enjoyment of the things you love, so you should set them regarding things you love. There you have it. Set them for things you love!

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“If my life is the only life that’s changed as a result of my accomplishing this, is that good enough for me?”

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At the end of each of these sections, I have some quotes or affirmations. I’ve developed them over time for me. I use them often. Please use them if you feel they’ll help.

Whenever I’m about to undertake something, I ask myself one question before I take the first step—before I take the first step. I refuse to get into something and then decide later. I decide—and commit—before I take that first step.

I ask myself, if my life is the only life that’s changed as a result of me accomplishing this, is that good enough for me? If my life is the only life that’s changed as a result of me attempting it, accomplishing it, doing it, or whatever, is that good enough for me?

If the answer is yes, I do it. If the answer is no, then I take myself through this complicated maze of a variety of questions to determine whether I’m going to do it. The answer in 99 percent of those cases is no. That’s never the case, however, when I set the goal for something I love.

Previously in the series: What is a Goal?

Up next in this series: The Types of Goals

If you enjoyed this article, you can find other wonderful tips and tricks related to life and work via the usual social spots at LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

As always, I give away a complimentary Interview Intervention eBook if you sign up for the milewalk newsletter on the front page of the milewalk Website!

In other exciting news, The Hiring Prophecies: Psychology behind Recruiting Successful Employees is now for sale!

If you’re interested in seeing the full Out of Reach but in Sight: Using Goals to Achieve Your Impossible book, check it out!

out of reach but in sight