It sounds simple and intuitive, doesn’t it? If you want something, do what it takes to get it… right?
As a child, this type of logic is somewhat natural. If a toddler wants a cookie, they will most likely use every tool in their arsenal to get it. Temper tantrums, guilt trips, mercy pleas, grand displays of affection and even the occasional covert secret mission are a few things that come to mind. While these behaviors are difficult on a parent, quite often they are successful. Mainly because children secretly know that behind every stonewalling parent is a gullible grandparent, but I digress.
The point to this rambling is that we are instinctively born with the ability to use our skills to get what we want. Yet as adults, we tend to deter from this line of thinking. The daily responsibilities set in and we often convince ourselves that we are the victims of life. “I would go after ___, but ____ is preventing me.” “I just don’t have the time.” “I can’t afford it right now.” These statements are motivational cancer. They remove the air from our tires and call for us to throw in the towel at the same time. This is blasphemy.
Since the wise old age of 8, I knew I wanted own a 1970 or 71 Plymouth Barracuda. The car represented freedom and an ideology of an exciting life. Even as a youngster, I could envision myself driving one down the local strip, taking it to car shows and challenging others in exhibitions of speed. It was my desire to own one of these cars, and I was sure that it would become reality one day.
Fast forward 19 years and the dream was still there. I managed to graduate from Mechanical Engineering at LSU, land a decent job and begin my life with my young bride. Life was great and I was thankful for my blessings, but the addition of a Cuda in the garage wouldn’t hurt either. Thus the wheels started turning. How could I, a fresh college graduate starting a family, be able to obtain the metaphorical Pegasus? The answer was as simple as the title of this blog. If I wanted a fish, I had to go fishing for one. And no, before you ask, I did not conduct a temper tantrum on the floor of a classic car dealership!
While our lives were sustained by my day job, I couldn’t justify putting my own desires and budget above the needs of my family. There had to be another “by any means necessary” way that I could have my car and drive it too. The objective was clear, but the steps to get there were blurry. I needed a plan, and a good one at that.
Through trial and error, the winning combination of planning and execution came to light. Break your goal (in my case a Cuda) into simple achievable steps and execute to the fullest extent. The word simple cannot be stressed enough here. Simple steps, require simple solutions and difficult steps require multiple simple solutions. Confused yet? Don’t be, It’s simple.
Using my Cuda example, I will try to make things clearer, so here goes.
First, start with a specific end goal. —-> Have a corner carving 3rd generation Plymouth Barracuda.
Second, break that goal into steps or sub goals. (I need to find a car that I am able to purchase) (I want to improve said car for handling characteristics) (I want it to have a modern powertrain)
Third, Keep on breaking down sub goals as far as you can.—> (I need to find a car that I can afford.) > (I can currently afford $X,XXX) > (Is that
enough?) > (Are you kidding? It’s a Mopar) > (I need to earn more $) > (I need to work more than I currently do)> (I have a family that needs my time when I get home from work) > (Spend time with family and work on side income when they go to sleep) > (I will be tired from lack of sleep) > (Drink more coffee, you’ll be ok)
If you are still confused, just keep one thing in mind. Do not let life complicate that which should be fundamentally easy. Simple questions and simple answers will pave the way to your success when coupled with a motivated mindset. Period.
I wanted a Barracuda. I worked side jobs and pushed myself to that goal by continually working towards it in simple achievable steps. I needed more money, so I worked late. I needed to spend more time with my family, so I adjusted my schedule until after they went to bed. I needed time to work on things, so I made time by sacrificing a little sleep.
One thing is for sure, the faded memory of sleepless nights will never overpower the sweet victory of accomplishing a goal by pushing yourself to your limits.
Until next time, work hard and keep it simple.