Let me illustrate to you a very well known example of the power of goals. In 1952, there was a research study done on the impact of goal setting on the graduating batch of students at Yale University.
When asked how many of them had clearly specified and written down goals, only three percent responded. The remaining ninety-seven percent, despite being highly intelligent and hardworking, had no road map where they would be five to ten years after graduation.
Twenty years later in 1972, a follow up study was done on the class of 1952. What they discovered was shocking; the combined income of the three percent who had clear goals was greater than the entire income of the ninety seven percent combined! Was it just a coincidence or does having clear goals really have an impact on a person’s personal and financial success?
One classic example is investor Warren Buffet. I have taken time to read the strategy and psychology of the master investor and the greatest investor of all time, Warren Edward Buffett, the world’s third richest man after Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu and William Henry Gates III.
Ok, let me share with you part of Buffett’s journey to success;
From a very early age, young Buffett was obsessed with making money and had a very clear dream of becoming the world’s greatest investor.
Born during the depression when his father was close to bankruptcy, Warren learnt about the value of money and the importance of being financially secure at an early age.
Even before his teens, Warren knew that he wanted to be rich, very rich. As early as elementary school and later on in high school, he would tell his classmates that he wanted to become a millionaire before the age of 35 (when he turned 35, his net worth exceeded US$6 million). Inspired by his dream, he started researching on the secrets of wealth creation.
Through his readings, he found and memorized a book called ‘A Thousand Ways to Make $1,000′. At the age of six, he started buying coke bottles at 25-cents per six-pack and selling them at 5-cents a bottle, giving him a 16% gross profit, as he would tell himself.
And here is another classical example of George Lucas.
George Walton Lucas, Jr. (born May 14, 1944) is an Academy Award-nominated American film producer, screenwriter, director and founder/chairman of Lucas Film Ltd. He is best known for being the creator of the epic science fiction franchise Star Wars and joint creator of the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones.
Today, Lucas is one of the American film industry’s most financially successful independent directors/producers, with an estimated net worth of $3.0 billion as of 2009.
Before George Lucas left his hometown for college, he already predicted that he would be a millionaire by the time he was thirty. However at that time, his passion and dream was to make it as a racecar driver. It was after he suffered a terrible crash that he began to change his mind about that career.
It was only after that accident that he decided that he wanted to become a filmmaker. As a result of his focus on pushing himself to be the best in anything he did, he became a millionaire by the age of 28. However, as I have always told my colleagues, the primary driving motivation of millionaires is not the money they will make, but the passion they have in what they do.
The financial goal they set is only a means of measuring their success. However, what drove Lucas to give his all in the face of insurmountable odds to finish Star Wars was not the money he would make, but his dreams of seeing his fantasy come to life on the big screen.
Tiger Woods never really set a goal to become a millionaire. However at the age of eight, he gave an interview on TV, after winning an amateur golf tournament. During that interview, he declared that his goal was to become the world’s number one golfer and that he would break all of Jack Nicklaus’ records.
It was that obsession that got him to focus a hundred percent of his time, energy and thoughts into his game. Fourteen years later, Woods became the world’s number one at the age of 22…again not by chance, but by design. I repeat, not by chance, but by design!
If you were to study the life stories of the most successful people in history, you will discover that their achievements didn’t happen by chance. I am one person who does not believe in luck and chance. I define L.U.C.K as “Labour Under Correct Knowledge”. At a certain point in time, these successful millionaires dared to dream about something they wanted to create. They then allowed this dream to guide their actions until they made it a reality.
And you can do the same as well!