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This Mental Trick Can Help You Bust Through Obstacles on the Way to a Goal

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Think of a 1 to 10 scale. On the “1” side there is nothing but a hazy, obscure, ill-defined outline of a mountain. On the “10” side, you are standing at the summit on a crystal-clear day, drinking in the beauty, listening to the wind and feeling the crispness of the air.

Now imagine that this 1 to 10 scale represents your life.

(I’ll pause here to let that sink in.)

There is nothing more powerful than goal clarity when it comes to the process of achievement. There is nothing more frustrating than goal diffusion when it comes to wasted potential.

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Stop thinking in terms of to-do lists and action items. Get away from a time-and-effort mindset. Sure, you are busy, everyone can count on you, you are lauded as a master firefighter and you are exhausted at the end of the day. It sounds harsh, but the truth is that this kind of lifestyle means you are living a reactive life.

Goal clarity provides an astounding degree of focus. It is intensely grounding. It is profound in its simplicity. It gives you both hope and direction. You always know where you are, and you can easily identify the steps necessary to reach your goal. If you stumble, you get back up. If you swerve, you know how to correct your steps.

Stop right now and take five minutes to knock out this exercise:

1. Think of a small goal that you can quickly accomplish. Make it something that would benefit someone else in some small way. A hand-written note. A quick email. A word of encouragement to someone nearby. A purposeful smile. A quick neck rub to your significant other. Make it small and focused on someone else.

2. Before you act on your idea, stop and get laser-focused on the end result. Picture the event in amazing clarity. Be very specific in how you feel and in how they feel. Sense the surroundings. See the movie in your mind.

3. Do it.

If you didn't do it yet, don’t read on. The article won’t make sense.

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If you did it, stop and think about how the goal clarity affected the outcome. Did you have a greater intentionality in your attitude? Did you approach the task with a sense of pleasant expectation?

Did the recipient feel blessed by your action? Did you enhance their day? Did your world just become a tiny bit better because you improved the world of someone around you?

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “It was such a minor thing -- I could have accomplished that without reading this article.”

Two things: One, you wouldn’t have. Two, that’s not the point.

We are only talking about a matter of scale. The larger the goal, the more you need goal clarity.

  • Goal diffusion means you have this idea rattling around in the back of your brain. Goal clarity means you can see it as if it already exists.
  • Goal diffusion prohibits you from seeing the first step. Goal clarity helps you to see all the way.
  • Goal diffusion makes it hard to get started. Goal clarity makes you excited to get started.
  • Goal diffusion means defeat at the first sign of adversity. Goal clarity means busting through obstacles to get to where you want to go.

Pick a goal, big or small -- now. Right now.

Now get crystal clear on what the end result looks like. Describe it in minute detail. See it. Feel it. Smell it. Give it color and vibrancy and moving parts.

Get goal clarity, and you can change the world.

Related: Why You Should Set Radical Goals

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