You can have anything you want, if you’re prepared to do what it takes- Anthony Moore
How much of your time do you spend thinking about what you want? Let me guess; quite a lot of time, right?
How much of that time is spent thinking about how to get there?
I often ask people what their goals and dreams are because it sometimes inspires me. In the software world I’ve found people say things like independence and freedom, more money. These things are actually reasonably noble as most of the people have commitments and are providing for their families. The funny thing is that most people’s dreams are actually totally attainable; especially freedom, independence and more money.
What if I was to ask you what your wildest dreams are? What would you say? It’s probably not even that difficult to get to, if you’re prepared to do what it takes. The reality is that most people knock on the door of their wildest dreams for a moment and then run away so fast they never even got a chance to see how achievable they really were. The rest who stuck around for a while found that they were totally possible.
Who am I to say this? What have I done, right? Well, today I want to talk about setting goals for yourself. My life is full of short-term and longer-term goals and my wife tells me I never shut up about the future and all that ‘I’m going to do’.
There are so, so many things in this world to distract you. If you ditched the distractions and focused on your goals you would see exponential progress.
The problem is getting momentum. We’re taught that after work you go home and distract yourself right away; television, social media, hobbies, (insert thing here). What if instead of going home to distractions you went home to your goals? When I was a teacher working in high schools, I used to go home and study ancient Greek for kicks. People thought I was INSANE and told me I would go mad or lose the plot. It’s funny because they actually thought this was some sort of impossibility that you could go home and focus on something rather than distract yourself with the usual stuff.
I had gotten momentum. The initial hurdle of getting momentum is by far the hardest part of achieving your goals. I absolutely fantasise about what I want to achieve and then I get addicted to the progress of seeing it become a reality: I’ve changed career 4 times, ran several businesses simultaneously, been an employer, learned foreign languages, had a very large family and now I am a software engineer.
You can achieve absolutely anything, anything, anything. You are limitless.
People, close people, mocked me when I went self-employed from being a school teacher. Don’t expect anyone to have your back once you break away from the norm, but you get absolutely hooked when you see your dreams become a reality – you realise that this is actually quite easy if you just focus.
Focusing on one thing has been the recipe for success for me, at the cost of all other distractions. As a programmer I have a long way to go but I’ve removed almost all distractions from my life and am working towards my short and long-term goals.
By far the greatest desire of all the software developers I’ve met is being self-employed, working remote and being ‘free’. It took me around 7 months to achieve this as a web developer having no previous experience – 7 measly months! 7! I was working full-time with a family at the same time sure, but those 7 months taught me how to focus like I’ve never done before; all my free time was invested and it paid off. Why am I saying this? Because if you’ve done a 4 year degree then you’ve already done something way harder than this! It’s not that hard.
Then I traded it all in to get a job as a software engineer! Less pay, less free time and 9 to 5. Why?! Because I knew it was time for me to level up as a developer and I also knew what I wanted to achieve: be a master software developer. The only way I was going to get there was working with amazing people and boy do I have the pleasure of doing that now! I’m in a room full of people far smarter than I am, far more skilled than I am and very generous at working with people who don’t know as much as they do. Now I can learn faster, focus more on just one thing and get good at it.
I am still working on that last goal, it will likely be my focus for the remainder of my days here on planet earth and I see it as absolutely mastering my craft. Way back, apprentices moved in with their masters, lived with them, ate with them, mimicked not only their skill set but how they lived their lives after work. This is true discipleship and as a programmer I’m aspiring to adopt this same mentality.