Purpose and Goals

How Your Values Stop You Getting What You Want

Understanding values is one of the most powerful keys to getting what you want and communicating effectively with others.

We may think of values as being the moral code which we live by and therefore don’t think too much about them.

But, in fact, values are very powerful in all areas of our lives.

Our values:

  • Motivate us
  • Help us decide whether to take a particular course of action
  • Determine how we feel about something afterward

So our values can drive us to success or prevent us reaching it.

Our values help us to decide what to buy and then guide us when to feel good about something and when to feel bad.

So we can get better results in our lives by understanding our own values.

But we can also be more effective in communicating or marketing to others if we take the time to understand their values.

Our values can drive us to success or prevent us reaching it

Our values are formed in the early years of our lives – heavily influenced by the people around us at that time – our parents, our friends and our teachers.

They will also be significantly affected by where we grew up, what the economic conditions of the time were and by our ‘heroes’ from the worlds of sport, cinema and television.

As everyone is subject to different influences, everyone develops their own values. We are all motivated by different things, have different desires and feel differently about the same situation.

How your values hold you back

In order to achieve a goal or vision, it must be in alignment with your personal values. If you think of yourself as a sailboat, your values are like the wind that can help or hinder you in getting to your destination.

If the values (or the wind) are blowing in the right direction, it’s incredibly supportive. On the other hand, if where you’re trying to get isn’t in alignment with your values, it’s like the wind blowing in the wrong direction. It will take you completely off course.

So it’s useful to know what your values really are in different areas of your life so that you know what really drives you.takingsteps

To understand your values in your business life, for example, start off by answering the question:

“What’s important to you about your business?”

You can use exactly the same process to understand your values in relation to other areas of your life.

So if you are focused on your health and fitness, ask: “What’s important to you about health and fitness?”

Very often, values are quite unconscious, so they don’t come to your mind immediately. So it’s important to keep asking this question until you ‘dry up’. And even after you dry up, go back to the beginning of the process and start again with the question.

Something like satisfaction is a value; reward is a value. These are words ‘frozen’ in time, and have a specific meaning that is motivating to you in the context of that area of your life. And what’s important is what the word means to you – the same word may have a different meaning to someone else.

Once you’ve come up with a list of your values, rank them in order of their importance to you.

Start with whatever is most important. What is the one thing in that area of your life that you couldn’t live without? Work through that process. You don’t need to go all the way down if you’ve got a very long list. Stick to the first eight or so.

Check the list and see if it really describes what is important to you and how you are motivated.  If you’re not happy that the list is accurate for you, keep rewriting it until you are satisfied.

Now that you know the values in this area of your life, you’ll be able to ensure that they are supporting you in your goals.

If you find you are doing something that doesn’t align with your values, it’s usually easier to do something different – rather than try to change your values.

How to use values to influence others

Understanding values is also very important in marketing.

If you sell cars, for example, you need to know whether your potential customer puts more store by speed or by safety.  Of course they might want both but the key is understanding that values are ranked in a hierarchy with the most important at the top.

Customers will be happiest – and most likely to buy – when something meets their highest ranked value.

Values in all areas of our life are built up using the same process. Most are established before the age of nine or ten and are often instilled before the age of five.

Those values are the things that influence the buying decisions and life choices that people make 20, 30 or 40 years later.

If you take the trouble to discover what is important to others, you’ll find it easier to communicate with them and sell to them.

You have more chance of selling your products if they satisfy what is important for your customers – in other words match their values.

Values in this context are sometimes also known as criteria.

There are some very simple questions that allow you to uncover another person’s values instantly.

Generally speaking, you want two or three main pieces of information.

Q1) What is most important to you in buying (a car)?
Your prospect or customer will tell you what is most important. This may be one word like “speed” or “service” or it may be a long detailed explanation covering many different things.

Let’s imagine, the person has responded with “service”.

Your next question seeks to find out more about this.  Depending on the situation, it could be either of the following.

Q2) How do you know when you have ‘service’?  or Why is ‘service’ important to you?
The answer to this question will help you understand the value in more detail.

Depending on the information you have been given, you may want to ask a further question to get a full picture of what is important to them.

So you could ask a further question.

Q3) What else is important to you in buying (a car)?
At this point you would need to go back through the process by asking question 2.

That’s all there is to eliciting values.  The secret is in making use of the information.

If you can meet their highest value and demonstrate that to them, your chances of them buying from you are hugely increased.

For example, in the above situation, you could say something like: “If you can be certain that this car has the best service record, would you be happy to own it?” Do you think you are half way to a sale?  Of course you are.

Without that information, you might have been tempted to say “If I can show you that this car is the fastest on the market, would you be interested?”

Now that approach might work with some customers but not this one.

One of the key secrets of values is that they tell you the difference between your customers.

So understanding your own values and the values of others can help you get what you want and can help you give others what they want.

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How Your Ego Can Help You Get Your Goals

Do you find it hard to reach your goals?

Are you consistently giving up on your goals and then feeling a failure for doing so?aim-for-success

Well, it’s time to buck the trend and finally reach your goals.

I’ve just read a great description by psychology expert  Steven Aitchison of what goes on inside our minds when we are setting and seeking our goals.

You may have heard the terms, Id, Ego and Super Ego. These were terms coined by Sigmund Freud as part of his theory of the personality.

  • The Id is the part of you that craves pleasure and the basic desires in life. When it gets the basics it moves on to other pleasure seeking thrills.
  • The Super-Ego will give you all the reasons why it will or won’t work. It will look at the successes and failings of your past and correlate it with your current goals.
  • The Ego is the go between for the Id and the Super-Ego trying to satisfy both of them with reasoning and acts like the mother/father figure.

So your aim is to satisfy all 3 parts of the personality. How do you do this?

Here are 3 ways Steven suggests to reach your goals quicker:

  1. Play to your strengths: This allows less chance for doubts to creep into your mind.
  2. Smaller goals for larger gains: Make your goals something that will be easily achievable at first.
  3. Communicate your goals on different levels: When you set yourself a goal, make sure to communicate to your mind on different levels such as visualisation, writing it down and listening to interviews of people who have already achieved the goal.

All of this helps to entrain your brain into thinking about success and directly communicates with the Super-Ego to appease it and make it believe you can achieve your goals. In essence, you are giving yourself evidence that your goals can be achieved.

Read Steven’s full article on goal setting

How the NLP Skill of Chunking Can Help You Get What You Want

Although most of us have goals and dreams, why do so few people succeed in achieving what they really want?

The problem for many is that, when they set a big objective, they can be put off by the scale of the task.

But as the Chinese philosopher Confucius said:

‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’

The problem for many people is that the whole thousand miles seems intimidating but the first step can also seem unsatisfying.

So they never get started.

This is true in business as well. Your journey to a hundred customers begins with the first sale and your journey to a million dollars in the bank begins with your first thousand.

But most of us begin by looking too far ahead. The secret is to find a way of taking that first step quickly.

One of the ways in which we can categorize people according to how they think is through their preferred ‘chunk size’. This reflects whether they like to look at the detail of all the individual steps or just the big picture of the total journey.

takingstepsThe problem is that both types of people can have difficulty in reaching their destination. They might lose focus by getting bogged down in the detail or else they never take any action because they don’t identify the steps required.

The NLP process called ‘chunking’ helps both types of people – and the truth is most of us have elements of one or the other.

The secret of taking action is making the steps small enough to be manageable and large enough to be satisfying.

Fortunately the process is quite simple when you have a system to follow and it is useful in a wide range of situations from time management to writing a presentation.

We can use the concept of chunking in two ways. We can:

  • Become more specific and get more detail.
  • Become more general and get a bigger picture.

Using chunking to become more specific

If we are talking about cars, for example, we can become more specific by talking about makes of car such as Ford or BMW.

We can then become more specific still by going down to brands or models from each manufacturer.

The secret of making this work is asking the right questions. In the car situation, we might ask ‘what are some examples of this?’

This can be represented visually, for example, using a mind-mapping approach where each idea is broken down into further segments.

If you are developing an action plan, you might ask ‘what specifically do I need to do to achieve this?’

Or in writing a presentation, you might ask ‘What information supports this point?’

Here’s another view on using chunking for planning.

Although this seems very simple, it is extremely useful in a wide range of situations.

Using chunking to become more general
Chunking also helps us to become more general – in the cars example, we would move towards other types of road transport and then other types of transport and finally up to something very general like ‘movement’.

Again the secret is in the questions you ask. In this example, it would have been: ‘What is this an example of?’ or ‘What is the purpose of this?’

One way in which chunking to become more general is useful is where you have a large to-do list and you want to organize it into categories or chunks that can be combined.

For each task on your list, you would ask ‘what does this task achieve?’ or ‘which category does it fall into?’

Check out this article by Adam Eason for more suggestions.

Chunking can therefore help you take the steps you need to get what you want.

The Power of Focus in Getting What You Want

One of the keys to success in any area of life is being able to focus all your efforts on getting exactly what you want.

If you’re in sport, it’s easy to motivate yourself towards winning a championship or winning a medal.

In business, the goals are not always so obvious but the secret of success is knowing what you want and committing to it 100%.

It’s lack of clear focus that leads so many people to be easily distracted by new ideas or ‘opportunities’ that come their way and end up unsatisfied with the results.

When you have a clear vision, you know where your business is going. So, it becomes easy to make decisions as you concentrate your activities and resources on that outcome.

The ability to focus your efforts is one of the key points that separates successful business owners from the rest.

  • Unsuccessful business owners are like light bulbs. They disperse energy in many different directi
    ons at onlightbulbce. They’re opportunists – always looking for easy ways to make money because they don’t have a long-term plan. They spending too much time evaluating new opportunities and not enough taking action.
  • Successful business owners are more like lasers, focusing all their energy on a single outcome with very powerful results. They are strategic and know where their business is going so they can identify opportunities that will help them get there.

The great advantage of knowing what you want is that the power of the mind will help you get it.

Within your mind at an unconscious level is something called the Reticular Activating System.

According to some descriptions, this is almost like your own personal search engine which automatically picks up ideas and opportunities to help you move toward that goal. It is the Reticular Activating System that is said to help you notice which of the millions of bits of information coming at you every second are the ones that will help you get what you want.

Another way of looking at this was described by Robert Anton Wilson in his book Prometheus Rising, where he talks about how ‘the thinker thinks, the prover proves.’ Essentially, Prometheus Risingyour mind is split into two parts:

  • The ‘thinker‘ has total freedom and can think anything.
  • The ‘prover‘ will find evidence for it.

So, if you’re focused on where you’re going – and believe you will get there – then the ‘prover’ will find ways of supporting you and helping you toward your objective.

But if you have no clear sense of direction or you have doubts about your abilities, your ‘prover’ will come up with evidence that you are right.

Imagine you are a golfer on the last hole of a major championship. If you want to win, you want to be thinking ‘I’m going to hole this’ rather than ‘I don’t want to miss it’.

Keep your focus 100% on what you want rather than on what you don’t want. Either way, you might just get what you’re focusing on.

Focus has been described as Following One Course Until Successful.

So, if you’re not sure what you’re focusing on now, just check your results. If you’re not getting the results that you want, perhaps you need to change your focus.

Here are some points to think about if you want to improve your focus:

  • What is the single most important outcome you are focused on achieving this week?
  • What are the three biggest outcomes you are focused on achieving this year?
  • What activities are you doing or what thoughts are you having that distract you from these objectives?
  • Can you change these thoughts or stop these actions?

So one of the power beliefs of business success is the importance of focus.

Getting What You Want: The One Thing You Need

In this modern age of instant gratification, it’s difficult to wait for something you want, isn’t it?

We’re used to moving at a fast pace and having our needs met immediately.

Moving through a process of growth and development seems to take forever.

We want to reach our goals now, not later. We want to be successful now, not later. We don’t care how we’ll feel later, we care about how we feel now!

So sometimes, on the road to success, the one thing we need a little more of is patience!

The important thing to understand about patience is that it’s all in your head. It’s only your perception of lack in this moment that keeps you feeling impatient!

‘Lack’ is an uncomfortable feeling, so you feel a sense of urgency to eliminate it. You want to hurry and satisfy your need so the feeling of lack will disappear.

But it’s not the lack that actually makes you feel uncomfortable – it’s the belief that you need ‘something’ to make you feel whole and complete and happy.

In this case, achieving your goals and becoming successful will make you feel happy, so you naturally want it to happen immediately.

Since it is virtually impossible to snap your fingers and change your circumstances just like that, allow me to offer some other suggestions for easing your sense of lack:

aim-for-successSet reasonable expectations

Your expectations can often get you in trouble by setting you up for disappointment. Even though you know it’s not likely that you’ll achieve your goals without investing some time and effort into the process, you still have a secret expectation that you’ll see results very quickly.

When it doesn’t happen, you feel let down and angry. Don’t do that to yourself!

Instead, lower your expectations a bit. Rather than expecting overnight miracles, expect to keep making steady progress.

Rather than expecting to transform yourself into a different person right away, expect to feel more and more confident each day.

If you pay more attention to the progress you’re making than the progress you’re not making, you’ll find yourself feeling much more positive and self-assured.

Celebrate small victories

If you focus ONLY on the big goal at the finish line, you will miss out on many moments of joy and satisfaction between now and then.

Make a point of celebrating the small victories you achieve on a daily basis.

Did you face a fear and take action anyway? Did you set aside time to work on your goals? Have you been working consistently on building a more positive outlook?

Feel good about it! Allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment about even the smallest forward strides.

Enjoy the process

Imagine taking a trip around tbig-smilehe world and keeping your eyes closed the entire time. What would you miss? What would be the point of taking a trip like that in the first place if you didn’t bother to take in the beauty around you?

Yet, that’s exactly what many of us do on the journey of life. We keep our eyes fixed on our destination and miss out on the journey itself.

Instead, make an effort to enjoy the process of growth. Enjoy the sensation of becoming the perso
n you were meant to be.

Enjoy every step you take and the final step of your journey will be that much sweeter.

Patience can serve you in many other ways too, but most importantly it can make your journey to success much more enjoyable.

It’s worth the effort, don’t you think?

Motivation for Goal Setting from Zig Ziglar

Do you really need to have goals if you want to be successful?

That’s what the motivational gurus say yet some people try it and get nowhere.

So what’s the scientific evidence?

In this short video clip, Zig Ziglar talks about the science of goal setting.

To be honest, I found his style a bit over-the-top and irritating at first.

But I gradually realized why he has become such a recognized expert in the field of motivation and personal development.

He has that great ability to be memorable, motivational and educational all at one time.

In this video, he talks about the importance of goals and proves why they matter.

Goals, he says, create excitement and drive that lead to action.

Logic will not drive change but action will.

But, he says, don’t confuse activity with accomplishment. You can be busy all the time but still going nowhere if you’re not working towards a goal.

The importance of goals is proven in many scientific experiments and, in this video, Ziglar explains some of them.