Friday, October 31, 2014

When It Comes To Setting Goals, Get Real by Bob Bly

Napoleon Hill famously wrote: "Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

Earl Nightingale similarly said, "We become what we think about."

This is the biggest load of horse hooey since the Law of Attraction.

Just because you want something doesn't mean you can have or do it.

For instance, today I will start conceiving and believing that I will replace Jeter as the next Yankees captain.

I'll let you know how that goes.

I think NYU professor Tamsin Shaw sees things much more clearly than Hill or Nightingale.

In the New York Review of Books (10/9/14, p. 4), she writes that what we do and become is largely guided by "our internal dispositions and talents, our inborn nature."

In other words, we achieve in areas we are good at, like, and have a natural aptitude and talent for.

The people I know who are successful all pursued activities that they were naturally inclined to do and enjoyed.

Instead of just wishing, believing, and conceiving, ask yourself: what do you like? What are you good at? What do other people say you do well?

And most important of all, what do you absolutely love to do more than anything else?

Next to my family, the greatest plus in my life is that I have a job—writing—that I absolutely love.

I am not the best writer in the world. Far from it. But every day, I work to be the best writer I can be. And it pleases enough people that I make a very handsome living from my writing.

My poor dad lived in the purgatory of having a job he hated. I designed my life so I would not have to do that, though I admired the sacrifice he made to provide for his family.

Fortunately, dad got pleasure not from work but elsewhere: his family, friends, and many hobbies, including bowling, poker, tennis, fishing, and collecting coins and stamps.

Loving work as I do, I do put my family first, but friends are peripheral (my most active friendships are with peers in my profession; personal friends I rarely see) and I never developed any hobbies, because I agree with Noel Coward who said: "Work is more fun than fun."

Bob Bly is the author of "World's Best Copywriting Secrets" and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him "America's top copywriter".

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