I was inspired to write this post after seeing the documentary ‘Night Rider’, which is about Mark Visser, a Sunshine Coast big wave surfer who achieved an amazing, never-been-done before feat of surfing massive waves off Hawaii at night. In the documentary, Mark spoke about the obstacles (of which there were many!) that came before him and how he maintained his passion to achieve his goal. I found myself comparing the documentary with another ‘documentary’ of sorts on achieving goals, called ‘The Secret’.
If you haven’t seen The Secret, I can assure you there is nothing secretive about it. Effectively, The Secret is about how positive thinking and visualization can help you to achieve what you want in life, be it greater health, a relationship where you will live happily ever after or more money than you can ever imagine. The Secret relies on slick, hyped up marketing and an infusion of magic and mystery to get the message across. If The Secret was called ‘The Positive Thinking Movie’ it probably would not have attracted as many fans enthusiastic to tell others how life changing it is. Although The Secret highlights the power of positive thinking and visualization, without those achieving goals is a bit difficult (for example, Sir Edmund Hillary would not have climbed Mount Everest if he thought the weather was too chilly), the main shortfall of The Secret is a lack of emphasis on taking action and the persistence needed to achieve goals. It is unlikely that by merely visualizing you will become a world-renowned guitarist in an idolized rock band, if you’ve never picked up a guitar. Just visualizing goals will lead to disappointment if that’s all you do. In contrast to The Secret, Night Rider was more grounded in reality and Mark Visser spoke of his determination, discipline and the hard work needed to achieve his dream. Visualization and positive thinking are essential to achieving goals, but you have to act and take action consistently to get there in the end.
Seven main factors to achieving dreams were highlighted for me in the Night Rider:
- You need to visualize the goal.
- You need to believe and be passionate that you can achieve the goal.
- Planning and preparation for the goal are essential. This can be done by taking steps to minimize any risks associated with achieving the goal and taking steps to increase the likelihood that the goal will be successfully achieved.
- Obstacles happen. You just have to work through them and not let them discourage you.
- Make sure you have a team of people around you that can support you achieve your goal.
- It’s important to listen to those who want to help you minimize any risks associated with the goal but you need to be wary of people who flat out tell you your dream is just not possible.
- You need to consistently take action towards achieving the goal.
Oh….I could add another one. Make you sure you celebrate once you’ve achieved the goal!