Key To Success

What do you do when you come across a key to success in a book you're reading? You ponder over it. Since I read many books and come across many keys, I thought it would be fun to share the ideas that arise as I contemplate a key to success. Reading is not just about absorbing information, it's also about contemplating, allowing the ideas to blossom within, and nurturing a seed tossed in the rich soil of the inner garden.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

I got my Master's degree in psychotherapy more than a decade ago. Since then I've studied the human condition with fascination. Over the years, I've learned a singular lesson: your life does not work when you oppose your soul nature. If you want a magical life, you have to drop your inauthentic transactions with the world. You discover your own power when you spend time alone to figure out what you really love to do.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Why People Fail To Achieve Goals

Although most self-help experts claim that setting goals are the golden key to success, many people set goals and nothing happens.

Why does this happen?

Imagine Harold is obese, went to get a physical checkup, got alarming results, and was sternly warned by his doctor to do something about his excess weight or else….

Motivated by fear, Harold decides to set a goal of losing weight.

His first goal is to read a book on weight loss and to then set a plan into motion.

He reads the book and makes a plan, then months later finds that he did not even follow his plan.

Here is what has probably happened.

He did not write down his goal, and he did not read it daily. In effect, he lost track of what goal he had in mind. He drifted away from his goal and looking back, he sees that he did not do any work toward it.

Looking back over the wasted 6 months when he could have accomplished his goal, he saw that he did not act because—

He felt tired after work, and he did not have the energy to follow his goal of eating right and doing exercise.

He got distracted, and he had to help his mother recover from her hospital visit, his wife deal with the kids and his friend Ed find a new car. Besides, there were ball games, TV shows, and trips to the Zoo with the family.

He justified himself when challenged by his wife on not following his goal with the word “but” in his sentence…as in “I was going to it today BUT I didn’t because…”

He got into agreeing while disagreeing by saying, “yes, but” in his sentences…as in “Yes, that is a great idea, and I’m going to do it, BUT…”

He became eloquent in arguing for his limitations. “I’m just one of those people who don’t have strong feelings about things.” “If only I had been raised by more assertive parents, I might have been able to deal with the pressures at work better.”

He started to offer reasons why rather than produce results. “Well you see the reason I can’t do it right now is because…”

He made self-defeating choices, moment by moment, day by day, week by week, and month by month.

He basically felt uncomfortable changing his habits. He felt twinges of fear, guilt, and unworthiness. He felt hurt, angry, overwhelmed and confused. And he just “did not feel good” when he tried to work on changing his habits to align with his goals.

After six months, he remained as obese and as unhealthy as before despite his doctor’s warning about his alarming physical checkup results.

It’s easy to set a goal, and it’s easy to make plan, and when you don’t know how to execute your plan, it’s possible to educate yourself…but the real work is in doing it, diligently, day-by-day, in a highly focused way. The truth is that anyone can achieve any goal if they can get out of their own way and (as the Nike people suggest) “Just Do It.”

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Saleem Rana is a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. If you're up to the challenge and want to create the kind of freedom and lifestyle you truly deserve - starting now - then get his free book from


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