How to reach your most ambitious goals successfully in as little as 7 steps | Inquirer Business
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How to reach your most ambitious goals successfully in as little as 7 steps

/ 02:01 AM October 03, 2022
ILLUSTRATION BY RUTH MACAPAGAL

ILLUSTRATION BY RUTH MACAPAGAL

Anyone can reach their most ambitious goals if they apply the right principles. I know from personal experience that most of the famous people in the world are no different from most of us—they just do things differently and abide by a certain set of principles.

If you don’t apply these principles, you can be as talented as you want but you will neither consistently reach your goals nor attain your full potential.

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The heavy stutterer

I was born in Germany.

When I was about five years old, I started to become a heavy stutterer. It was so bad that I would sometimes sit in class and not a word came out. How did I solve it?

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When I was 16, I got a scholarship to go to a US boarding school called Choate Rosemary Hall. At that boarding school, I had to do sports every afternoon. And that had not been the case in Germany. After about a year or two, I started to notice the stuttering had gone away completely. Why was that?

Step 1: Be one with your energy

I found out that I had been hyperactive all my life, but nobody had realized it. Not my parents, not my friends, not the teachers at school.

And I realized that I had to be one with my energy.

After that, I got hooked. I wanted to know: if I can solve that, what else can I do? What else can anyone do—no matter who they are, no matter where they are, no matter their race, origin, education, background or talent?

And that led me on to a journey during which I have interacted with, coached or advised some of the world’s greatest performers, self-made billionaire entrepreneurs, Nobel Peace Prize laureates, world-famous artists, best-selling authors, world-champion athletes and heads of state.

I have assembled these principles into a “peak performance system” that has allowed me to gain praise from many of the world’s most famous business leaders and billionaire entrepreneurs.

In my work transforming companies and optimizing individual and corporate performance, I have been blessed to advise the presidents of some of the world’s largest companies so that Fortune magazine has called me a “consultant of the top Fortune 500 CEOs” and “the mentor of the giants.”

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I would like to share some of these peak performance principles with you today.

Step 2: Know thyself— and embrace who you are

The first step I have shared already: it’s to be one with your energy.

The second step is not to go against who you really are, but to truly embrace your strengths and your weaknesses. Do not try to change the fundamental nature of your being. Embrace it!

But do most of us really act this way? No, our educational systems tell us to focus on our weaknesses, our mistakes and what we do wrong.

If we focus on improving our weaknesses, at best we get mediocre. But if we play to our strengths, we can go from good to great to extraordinary.

Step 3: Be one with your dreams

Everything starts and ends with purpose: the why.

The top high achievers from around the planet are one with their dreams. They’re one with their purpose. They know why they’re here.

And for big organizations, it’s the same. When I consult for CEOs of big Fortune 500 companies around the world, the first thing I ask them is: what is the purpose of your company and what is your own purpose?

In school and university, we are taught to accumulate skills but not focus on the elephant in the room. And that elephant is the question: what is it that I truly care about? What is it that I really want?

The top high achievers of this world—in whatever industry or profession—clearly define what it is that drives and motivates them, that makes them get up in the morning and surmount seemingly impossible challenges again and again and again because they’re one with their dreams.

In order to do that, we have to define what it is that we really want to accomplish. Take 20 minutes to write down: What would my ideal life look like if nothing was impossible in five, 10, or 15 years from now?

Step 4: Be one with your creative flow

The world’s high achievers are one with their creative flow. What does that mean? Most of us think that creativity is reserved for special people. But I believe we’re all born creative geniuses.

Children still have that natural creative power. However, once we go through education, most of us tend to lose that innate talent and gift we are born with.

Mike Tyson, whom many consider one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” The same is true for reality. Companies have to stay flexible and adjust their plans as they go along so they can still reach their objectives. The same is true for each and everyone of us if we want to reach our personal goals.

What is the No. 1 mistake that most people and organizations make when it comes to creating breakthrough out-of-the-box solutions and innovative thinking?

They’re too rigid. They’re hooked on a plan but they don’t have flexibility.

This is one of the many reasons why so many great tech startups have come from Silicon Valley: they combine a plan with that Californian playfulness. They stay flexible. They adapt quickly. That is a culture and mindset trait that is fundamental.

Most organizations don’t do that. And most individuals get equally derailed from their objectives once their plans do not work out exactly as they hoped. Throw them aside and make new ones!

One thing you should never sacrifice is your goal. But change the plans to get to that goal as often as you need to. Stay flexible and innovate. Use your innate creative capability to innovate to find the best path to your goal.

Step 5: Be one with others

Another truth that the world’s highest achievers share is that they recognize that we’re not all the same. And my God, that’s a biggie. We all want everybody to be the same we are but that’s not possible.

The high achievers of this world strive to be one with others. They have learned how to understand and relate to others. They listen—one of the most common traits of self-made billionaire entrepreneurs.

They stay humble because they realize that they know very little so they have to surround themselves with the best talent they can find. And they have to make the effort to be one with others even if they are wired very differently.

Even just speaking another language, your whole mannerism would change. Italians, for example, speak a lot with their hands while Germans are very stiff. In the same way, individuals are wired differently.

But most companies still pretend that everyone is wired in the same way. As a result, they end up with a lot of silos within the organization and waste valuable energy—and profits—because people do not communicate and collaborate well with each other.

The first five simple steps to reach your most ambitious goals are:

Step 1: Be one with your energy.

Step 2: Know thyself—and embrace who you are.

Step 3: Be one with your dreams.

Step 4: Be one with your creative flow.

Step 5: Be one with others.

See you next week for steps 6 and 7! INQ

Tom Oliver, a “global management guru” (Bloomberg), is the chair of The Tom Oliver Group, the trusted advisor and counselor to many of the world’s most influential family businesses, medium-sized enterprises, market leaders and global conglomerates. For more information and inquiries: www.TomOliverGroup.com or email

[email protected]

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