There are only 2 reasons why we fail in hitting our goals.
1. Lack of Dedication. (Failure to keep your commitment to what it would take to reach the goal)
When we set goals, sometimes we get caught up in the spur of the moment. We feel good about a new cause, a vision for the future, and a potential to make things better than what they are now. Our enthusiasm is at it's peak when we make that decision to hit a goal.
Unfortunately, as time passes, our enthusiasm for that goal decreases. Obstacles pop up, emotions such as complacency and laziness take over, and we figure that maybe even if we don't follow through with an action that is tied to helping us achieve that goal, we could always just do it some other time. Our mentality starts to slacken, and we don't really want to do it anymore.
It's just that simple.
We simply fail to follow through.
2. Lack of Understanding (Failure to comprehend what it takes to reach the goal)
The other reason we fail to reach a goal is because we don't KNOW what it takes to reach that goal! We either fail to take into account the obstacles that may appear or the time, money and effort necessary. Other times, unknown circumstances arise that force us to recalibrate our goals.
Short but sweet. Before you set your next goal, ask yourself if you fully understand what it will take to hit it.
What I've learnt recently spending time with UBC's finest
At our fall Alpha Kappa Psi alumni social, Azim Wazeer, former UBC Senate and Board of Directors member, said something that deeply impacted me. Audience members were all looking for reflections of both UBC graduates and AKPsi brothers with the role of AKPsi in their lives. Azim modestly started with this: "I don't know how much wisdom I can share with you guys, seeing as I'm only 22, but I'll do my best to just share my experience."
This sparked a humble realization in me that as much as I do know, and as many people that I do know, there are so many people that are sharper and smarter than I am. I went on to approach 10 of the respected names I have here throughout my time at UBC yet never had the chance to officially meet. I wanted to sit down with them and get a better idea of their schedule on daily basis, what drives them, and why they're doing what they do. Here's a summary of what I've learnt from them.
Joshua Sunga, current president of AIESEC at the time of writing, started our conversation with "Jay, how can I help you?" I was shocked at how quick and eager he was to help me, but it came clear when he said later on "I know if I help you, you can help the students in organization who need it." He went on to point me in the right direction in regards to whom I should talk to.
David Hyunh, 2nd year CUS rep, shared how honesty and being up front with one's intentions has gotten him to where he is now. Having secured an internship with KPMG this summer, it is easy to see how he connected in the application process. His simple personal message? If you help enough people get what they want, you'll get what you want. He attributes learning this life lesson from Tim Tong. He has an innate compassion for helping people and doing well, driven by pursuing self-growth to become better than where he is now. David's solution for the future is hard work, an openness to new experiences & new people, as well as never being complacent with your accomplishments.
Sophia Ng reviews her lecture notes from that day to solidify what she's learnt, so yup, you guessed it, she's extremely academic. It doesn't stop there, but continues on with her rigid schedule that helps her balance her relationship, her schooling, her work, and her active lifestyle focused on healthy dieting and training for a marathon. She taught me that a regulated sleeping schedule and a simple understanding that discipline and commitment coupled with directive action lead to results. With five alarms set, five minutes apart from one another, she is always up when she needs to be, and I have applied that to my life and haven't been late ever since.
Jon Degerli stood out as one of the sharpest individuals I have met on first impression. Well-dressed and well-spoken, you can tell that he is eager to learn from others and knows how to get where he wants. He has direction long-term and understands how to properly connect and network with others. He shared with me his current focus: approaching 20+ marketing firms/ad agencies and setting up what he calls "information meetings." What are information meetings? They are short 15-30 minute meetings with a firm where Jon shares his background and experience, and -asks for advice-. His words? If you ask for a job, you'll get advice. If you ask for advice, you're more likely to get a job.
Margaret Kim is in her second year at UBC, yet will be taking over as the president for AIESEC UBC in a couple weeks. She reminded me that even if our original intentions don't work out, there are always opportunities and options to look into. She helped look into ways my job as a corporate recruiter could be promoted through AIESEC's conference and how I could help train students in sales.
Bob Wang, UBC Sauder graduate in marketing, is somebody I would describe as a good man. I've been friends with Bob for a while, learning something new every time. An avid reader, he spoke recently of John Maxwell and Stephen Covey. I was struggling with figuring out what to do when I overfilled my plate and had too many obligations. He said, "Why don't you go back to using the important/urgent grid and place your tasks appropriately? That'll help you get rid of the unimportant time wasters. (see picture at the bottom) Do what's important now Jay."
Kim Choy has an eagerness to develop himself. Having just come back from exchange in Warwick, he learnt that being an outstanding individual is dependent on who you spend the most time with. Kim has always been an athlete, whether it was running, swimming or basketball competitively, There's that quote that says you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. In Warwick, he met students who he felt surpassed him in everything: attitude, discipline, work ethic, you name it. Back in Vancouver now, he is pursuing life with vigor, realizing that it is easy to be complacent, but harder to do when you surround yourself with people who push themselves and you.
Ben Chen, founder of Blank Vinyl Project, UBC's first independent record label, surprised me the first time I spoke to him. From afar, he appeared like one of those guys that was really outgoing. When we met up for lunch, he revealed that he was more naturally introverted yet had grown out of that over time. He was soft-spoken, yet succinct and clear. His statements had direction and focus, passion and drive. He wanted to build something at UBC that would foster a community for musicians to grow and learn from one another. After spending time w/ him, I felt like we were fairly similar. University had pushed us into something different where we had figured out who we were and where we wanted to go. Ben Chen reinforced that if you have a vision for helping other people, it's only a matter of time before they see how they can help you.
Daniel Kong, president of Advertisinc, is an extraordinary individual who is passionate about fashion. After I shared with him my choice to be selectively ignorant (I don't watch the news unless something huge comes up), he introduced his two favorite places for information that was interesting and different: www.adage.com and Monocle magazine. Monocle is a niche magazine that shares diverse insight on global and current news in the world. He helped me find a way to continue learning new things and provide a source of conversation threads, without having to sift through Facebook for it (which is what I have done in the past with viral videos).
Dima Pel is one of my former roommates and the only student this year to be given an invitation to interview for Harvard's med school. I sat down with him and helped him practice interviewing because he wanted to make sure he stood out from everybody else. And stand out he did. Why? Whenever he answered a question, he drew on personal experiences that impacted him in becoming the person he is today. These personal experiences were intimate and private, but he shared with me story after story about why he wants to be a doctor. The way he was 100% genuine made me want to help him fulfill his aspirations because he was being a HUMAN.
Get it yet?
The world is one social network, interconnected in so many different ways. Family and relatives, friends and loved ones, co-workers and classmates are all there for you to help you get where you want, but only if you reach out and ask for advice.
Keys to Success (Pt III): Beneficial Habits
Last week, consistently, I was sleeping in for one to two hours extra each morning. My days felt longer and more draining, despite the fact that I was getting extra sleep! I asked myself, "why was this happening?" The answer? Quite simply put, based on my BMR, the amount of food i was consuming and the energy I was using during the day, I just didn't need that much sleep. I was being lazy and I knew it was a bad habit. Other bad habits generally include regular procrastination on things we don't want to do, or delaying proper action.
Habits constitute powerful constraints, both good and bad. They represent past solutions that worked well enough to become entrenched in the system. Worked well enough in the sense that you saw it pleasing enough to keep it in your life. One example could be starting bikram's yoga out of curiosity and then consistently getting up at 5:00am every morning because the pain of getting up that early is replaced by the pleasure of peaceful meditation and stretching. Why not use habits to constrain yourself to good practices in your daily life? Fitness routines, proper diets, dedicated working hours and routine reading schedules are all part of beneficial habits.
Habits also represent social learning about what is right/wrong. We inherently know which of our habits are beneficial to our life and which ones aren't. It's not difficult to see what is needed to be changed.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not AN act, but a habit." - Aristotle
The quote above highlights the idea that excellence and success is not a single act, but more a continuous repetition of deliberate practice. Malcolm Gladwell's concept of Outliers, anyone?
If I recall correctly, I think it was Stephen Covey who proposed that it takes 21 consecutive days to form a habit. Luckily for you, today can be Day One to start a new one.
A blog on my continuing journey through life, covering self-development and success strategies, but also personal reflection.