Goals and beliefs

If you aspire to achieve a goal, there are two ways to go about it. The first is to dive straight in and hope that everything will somehow work out. You could be successful with this approach. However, I’d recommend a second strategy.

Most things that people want to achieve have been done by someone else in the past. It may not be exactly the same thing, but chances are that someone else has achieved something very similar to what you want to do. The strategy I recommend is to think deeply about what beliefs the person who achieved what you want to do must have had in order to reach that outcome. This is much more effective than simply going after the outcome.

By identifying those beliefs without which the person couldn’t have achieved their goal, you’re able to evaluate how these beliefs compare to yours. If you believe the same things, you might already be well equipped to achieve the same goal. Luck will always play a role in determining whether you reach your outcome but you can move forward confidently knowing that you have the same mindset as someone else who has achieved the goal in the past.

If you find that your beliefs are different than those which helped someone else achieve your targeted goal, then you’ll need to change your beliefs in order to increase your chance of success. Sometimes this will be easy and sometimes it will be hard. You may find that you’re not willing to make the changes to your life which are necessary to internalize a belief that’s critical to achieving your goal. If this is the case, you may want to change your goal now rather than start your journey and quit later.

This is especially true for entrepreneurs. Being an entrepreneur requires certain beliefs that the vast majority of people don’t have and aren’t willing to adopt. For example, among other factors you need to be pretty obsessive about the importance of what you’re doing and believe that you’re the best person to do it.┬áMost people would laugh if asked whether they held these beliefs.

Before you start working towards a goal, ask yourself whether you believe the same things that people who achieved your stated goal believe. If so, get started. If not, give your beliefs a little nudge and see if they change. If they don’t, you might want to find another goal that is compatible with what you believe.

Also published on Medium.

  • Aslan Ozcakir

    I see your point but how can one determine what are beliefs of say a data scientist or medical doctor? Any ideas?

  • Ask the people whose work you admire in those fields.