10 year impossible goal comes true

What goal or dream do you have that you keep carrying forward, year after year?

And each year it becomes even more intimidating and insurmountable!

I had one for 10 LONG years, a goal that was REALLY important to me, but I conjured up grand illusions of why it was not possible.

Can you relate !?

This January, as I set my yearly plan, I decided to do something different.

The result…

I achieved that goal with one 15 minute phone call!!

And it ended up even better than I imagined.

After that call, I was overwhelmed with an immense amount of gratitude, fulfillment, and a core shattering realization of "success with ease".

Here's the story… and a VERY powerful "lessons learned" you can use right now today for your own goals. I call it the 3-Step "Success With Ease"
Formula.

It was 1991… the last week of my freshman year in high school.

We were sitting in the tiny high Webster City High School auditorium as they announced the seniors who won college scholarships.

Then they came to the "big poppa" scholarship, the AJ Julian. It was for $4,000. A small fortune to a kid going to college.

As they announced the winner and he walked up on stage, my friend since the 1st grade sitting next to me, Tony Neuroth, elbowed me and said, "Kevin, in 4 years that will be you."

If you knew me back then, you would know how crazy that sounded! I was a quiet, incredibly shy, awkward kid. Not the type that won awards.

However in that moment that I call an "Everyday Influencer" moment, Tony gave me a belief of "what if it was possible???"

Side Note: An "Everyday Influencer" is how any of us, in our everyday lives, can have a significant, life-long positive influence on others through small but impactful moments of seeing the best in others.

If you know my story (I share it on this video where I tell you my entire journey), my family did not have the money to pay for college. And I knew the only way I would make it to college was earn my way through scholarships like the AJ Julian and financial aid.

And throughout high school I worked hard to receive straight A's with my eye on making it to college.

However as my senior year progressed, it became apparent I would need to spend my first 2 years going to the local community college because we just couldn't afford the college I really wanted to attend, Buena Vista University.

Then magic happened.

At the awards ceremony, they not only called my name for the "big poppa" AJ Julian, but also a half dozen other scholarships. I ended up earning over $8,000 in scholarships in 2 short hours.

Those scholarships, along with my financial aid package from Buena Vista, made it possible for me to go straight to my #1 college my first year.

Which also meant I was able to take part in a brand new freshman honors program the college started and I was accepted into for high achieving students. That included having the Dean of School of Business as my personal advisor, as well as spending 1 month out of the semester traveling for school.

I spent my freshman year in Florida, including the opportunity to learn from executives at John Templeton Investments, not to mention spending a weekend of leisure at the Florida Keys where we all caught giant Barracudas (mine is now hanging above the bar in my house!)

Then a month traveling Europe, meeting the people behind the upcoming launch of the European Union (this was in 1997). And doing a January internship in California (a dream come true when it was 10 degrees below zero back on campus!) and an internship in Dallas, TX with the local Development Office for Subway (I even got to meet Jarrod!) which is how I ended up in Dallas.

That's when the 10 year goal started.

When I graduated in 1999, I knew 2 things.

1) I was going to do whatever it took to be a successful entrepreneur, both financially and also in the contribution I gave back in this world.

2) I wanted to give back to my high school, and future kids just like me, by starting up a scholarship fund. (And of course it was going to be bigger than any of the current scholarships!)

And that goal sat on my goal list and was always posted up on my vision board, year after year after year.

In my mind, I thought it would take a 6-figure endowment, a big fancy trust, an overwhelming amount of paperwork, a crushing amount of hassle, did I mention the thought of a quarter million dollar endowment, and quite possibly I would have to also walk over broken glass while being punched in the nose by Mike Tyson to make it happen.

Do we make the journey so difficult we never set off on the journey? … Or do we make the journey so difficult we are an even greater hero in reaching the destination?

The SHIFT

This January, as I was sitting at my vacation lakehouse, reviewing the past year and setting my goals and plans for the new year. I realized something that REALLY bothered me.

This goal, of setting up a scholarship fund at my high school, had been on my goal/dream list for 10 freakin years. It had slipped into the realm of a "wish" rather than a "goal".

And I shifted my mindset…

First I realized after 10 years I had NEVER even taken the first step to make it happen.

A goal without action really is just an empty wish.

Second, I realized I had taken this goal and devised in my mind an extremely complicated plan to achieve it rather than looking for the simple solution.

Simple = Boring But Doable, while…

Complicated = Fascinating But Impossible

I first wrote down the first step to make it happen… call the high school and talk to somebody to find out the process to set up a new scholarship. I could do that!

LESSON #1: If you have a goal, or a project you want to complete, but find yourself stuck or not moving forward. Write down next to the goal the first step for you to take.

I've been using that one technique the past 3 months with AMAZING results, especially when I find myself stuck.

Then, I asked myself what's the simplest way to achieve this goal.

The answer — I don't have to set up a quarter million dollar endowment. I can instead just write a check for that year's scholarship and accomplish the same goal. And I could write that check that same day, there was no reason for it not to happen.

LESSON #2: Start using the "Success With Ease" approach. For every goal or dream you have. There are 2 routes you can take. The long, hard, complicated, almost impossible route. And the short, simple, easy and virtually guaranteed route.

From now on, borrow this saying we use here at Nitro "simple instead of complicated". Find the simple route instead of creating the fascinating complicated route. (You can always make it more complicated later.)

Next, I set a deadline and wrote it on my personal goal list. "Call the high school and start the process to set up a scholarship."

Then, as my friend Yanik Silver taught me, to make a goal come true make a public commitment so others hold you accountable. (Otherwise known as public peer pressure!)

At my Vistage meeting, as we were reviewing our business and personal goals, I told them I would talk with the high school and find out the process before the end of the first quarter of the year.

So, obviously, one day before the end of the first quarter, I HAD to get into action! I got online, looked up the phone number and made the call.

LESSON #3: Assign a date to complete that first step… and then make a public commitment to employ the POWERFUL form of accountability – peer pressure!

The Rest Of The Story

I made that call on Monday, March 30th.

And in 15 minutes Kathy and Joyce quickly and ruthlessly CRUSHED my dreams of a long, hard, complicated, virtually impossible route to achieve my goal.

Instead, here's all I need to do.

Write a check, mail it to the school in April, and one deserving high school student will receive help going to college this year.

And what about that virtually impossible endowment?

All I have to do is write a check and the school, along with a scholarship committee of local bankers, handles the rest.

That's Success With Ease!

When I hung up the phone, I was overwhelmed with emotion.

In the big picture, I've given back much greater amounts of money to people and causes over the years. From giving my car to a single mother who did not have one, to large sums of money to the charities and causes that are important to me.

However the check I wrote this week was the most fulfilling giving I've done to date.

First, immense gratitude for all I have achieved in my life and the ability to give back and help others.

Second, and even bigger, the fulfillment of achieving a goal that I've had for 10 LONG years… a goal, just a couple months ago, that I probably didn't even really believe would ever come true.

Third, and this is probably what's causing me to get teared up as I type this, the realization – through experiencing it first hand – of creating Success With Ease. And what that will mean for me over the coming months and years as I create greater and greater success, with ease, in all areas of my life and for others.

Your "homework" for today! 

Apply these lessons to YOUR life, right now, while you are still thinking about it.

And share them by posting a comment below.

1) What is one goal or dream, that's been staring at you for TOO long?
And what is the first and *easy* step you can take action and it moves you forward?

2) What's the easier/simpler solution instead of the complicated solution that's been holding you back?

Just asking that question may reveal the easy/simple solution. Or you may need to give yourself time to let it come to you. Or you may need to ask other's for advice.

Whatever you do, trust that there IS an easier solution… and most likely just taking that first step will help you realize what the simple solution is.

3) Set a timeframe to take action and complete that first step (or more) and make a public commitment to others who will hold you accountable.

Posting it publicly as a comment below is the first way you can do that. I also encourage you to tell people you know as well.

Bonus 4th Question!!

I want to pass some of the wisdom I've gained over the years to the winner of the Wilke Family Scholarship For Empowered Youths.

What advice do you wish you heard as a High School graduate?

I'll be sure to make a future blog post that shares the letter I write for this future world changer.

To YOUR Success With Ease!
– Kevin

 

 

 

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91 Responses to 10 year impossible goal comes true
  1. Antony

    Hi, Kevin

    This is great Kevin, I have just learn t a new trait. many years i made goals and less than 5% succeeded , am starting today to apply this .

    Be blessed
    Antony

  2. When I was in high school, I wish someone had said to me "Aggressively pursue your dream, your passion. Let nothing stand in your way nor deter you from that end. In that way you will live your life with intentionality and avoid the desperate life that unfolds by accident."

  3. Nice post Kevin!

    I tell my kids this all the time and all the great ones in every field live by this stuff. it's so simple yet so hard sometimes
    Life is what you make of it, end of story

    I relearn this every day!

    Mark

  4. I don't speak english!!! I speak spanish…
    Hi Kevin
    Gracias al traductor de Google entendí perfecto tu mensaje. En todo tienes razón el más grande obstáculo es nuestra pereza y nuestra irresponsabilidad. Pues todo lo que nos proponemos en la vida lo podemos lograr!!! Recuerda: "Sólo el aprendizaje y la perseverancia nos llevan a la cima" Un abrazo. OmarOnly

  5. dalisis

    Thank you for sharing this! My big goal that has lagged for years is launch my event marketing company. I keep stalling because I feel I haven't learnt the business enough, so I am going to make the goal simpler by focusing on just one aspect of EM so that I am able to DO and LEARN at the same time.

    I want be done reading by the 20th and to have my first client/solid prospect by the 30th

  6. Thanks Kevin for that!

    Somehow or other, this has just been revealed to me too!
    I had a dream for twice as long as yours, always putting it last on the list, because it seemed too hard!

    Then a few months ago, John Reese said something, then Jeff Walker, about baby steps, then the pictures of Jack Canfield, in the Secret, with his 2 fingers pointing the way forwards as headlights in the night, lighting the way as you go…I got it!

    That's one way to relieve overwhelm too…bit by bit!

    The thing that got me though was yesterday when John Reese(yep, again) said about doing stuff. No mater what you do, there are certain steps to take to accomplish it. You can ramp them up or take forever…no matter.

    The actions are always the same!

    Finding the first one to take, now is the fun bit…
    Thanks again,
    Kindest,
    Poppie

  7. Your story is inspiring and sounds so real. I want to learn more about how my life goals can be achieved too with less stress. Thanks so much

  8. S.E

    At 24 I have been wanting to move to TX for years since I was a little one I finally graduated college and established my self a good job and i am impacting lives like i have always wanteed, i am the first black doing my job in this town here and never really though of how big a deal that was untill last week. Then that got me to thinking maybe i am supposed to stay here and continue to change the face of the industry here, but those thoughts i realized were thoughts of mediocricty. sure i could stay here and live a life and so on but i must follow my heaet, i can do just as much an impact on a community where ever i go, not just where i am now. i realized that when i get close to somthing i want i somtimes settle and leave the desire to the side like som sort of punishment, well that is the end of that, i am moving forward to my aug 30 deadline and am making positive stireves towards it. I realized that i didnt have to endure negative relationships with things in my life to be successful, i do not agree witht the corporate views on this buisness so i do not have to endure it, i am learning that in all areas of my life from negative friendships to large or small things. I am breaking that cycle. for example i cut my hai short and the lady who cuts my hair has not been doing a good job, i have been continuing to go to her because i felt gulyty, but why, why do i need to continue to endure that, sheesh just go to another barer fo peats sake and i am next weeek, that may seem small to some but it is a major deal to me and ealizing this behavior nd cuttin it off is binging me closer to my dreams, i can feel the interview going awsome i can feel me passing my test i can feel the great condo 2 bedroom i can feel my infiniti g 37, i am moving out of my way and into greatness, upon which i have come, i attract only that inmy life i deserve pure excellence and will no longer settle, success is certain

  9. Yuri

    Anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and believe. As you put your mind to your goal with the power of your positive thoughts (therefore creating powerful positive emotions) everything will fall into place to make your goals and dreams come true.

  10. You've given us all a lot to not only think about, but a way to do it.

    I've got a huge sticky post-it attached to the wall above my desk. It says, "do SOMETHING!" It's my way of reminding myself that nothing gets done if you don't take action to get it done. Building castles in the air is fun, but moving into a castle in the air is impossible.

  11. Kevin your story is inspiring. Sometimes when we know something, but are not putting it into practice as we should, it takes a great example like you to light the fire under us again. Thanks so much!

  12. Lena Larsson

    Hi Kevin. , I dreamed of being an entrepreneur, starting an online-business. Because of debts I cant do that in Sweden, anyway, for the next three years. But anyway I can dream and learn and prepare myself during this time.
    Thank you for your online/webinars, and for giving me a second chance to hear it when I missed it the first time, though you send me an angry e-mail.

  13. Kevin,

    I had kind of the same experience this year. Back in 1988 I made a goal to build a school in a foreign country.

    This year, right now, I'm helping to build a school in Kenya. Next year I'm going over to see it. Here's the org that I'm working with.

    http://worldteacheraid.org/events/group-trip-2011/

    It's Stu and Amy McClarin's organization.

    I'm finally realizing my dream and it only fuels me to do more.

    Thanks for sharing that story with us Kevin.

    By the way, I was ranked 497th out of 512 graduating seniors. I barely graduated high school. ha ha

    All the best.

    David

  14. I really enjoyed reading your article and also watched your 5 videos, they truly are amazing and teaming with an in-depth information i was searching for, from a long time !!! Thanks

  15. James Hecht

    Kevin,

    Such a well put and good point. Nothing better than setting goals and never losing sight of them. They don't have to have a time limit, just knowing that they are to be and work on them and they will come to be.

    Now I remember why I signed on here.

    I have a bad habit of over extending my self trying to learn everything.

    Thanks,
    JLHecht

  16. I like this Kevin. Very real, practical and possible.

  17. Hey Kevin,

    Great post! My advice to high school graduates would be to not lose sight of their dreams. We are too often conditioned in the education system to conform to do what "good citizens" should do – go to school, get an education, get a job….I see it all the time (heck I lived it too!) No, we are in an age where there are limitless possibilities and anyone can make a career doing what they love. I'm not saying school is a waste of time, don't get me wrong, I'm just saying that our education system teaches us to put blinders on our imaginations…Afterward, we have to work very hard to take those blinders back off and reconnect with our true purpose and passions.

    By the way, If you'ld like to guest post on my blog about your initiative, I'd certainly welcome that.

    Cheers,

    Patch

  18. Kevin,
    Thank you I appreciate the useful goal setting blog. Wish you all the best and take care!

  19. John P

    Good work in sharing your post. I have a massive goal to build affordable appartment blocks for Dads & their kids to rent or buy after marriage breakdowns.
    Breakdowns happen so often these days and often it's no ones fault but support is not always close at hand.
    I will make a call this week to a friend who builds affordable housing.

  20. Anthony

    Hi Kevin,
    Your words were inspiring here, Along with all the people who replied with their own words of inspiration in response, so thank you all.
    Anthony

  21. Jennifer Bloom

    Yes, it sounds quite simple; but, for some people out there who don't have your kind of bank account, it probably doesn't mean much. They can't just write a check and expect the money to magically appear in their bank account.

    Jennifer

  22. I see where I have stumbled at times trying to get to much knowledge before starting something. Now it seems I have invested money in too many things that I can't even get around to learning all that I have. I might just start with the instantonlineincome program I just got with you. I see where I can also help others with the same idea. I even thought establishing a local online team with different people focusing on different skills that will help out the whole group.

  23. Brian Passman

    Jennifer Bloom may I suggest a possible way out of the negative cul-de-sac you find yourself in. Ask yourself the question: "Do I want to help people who are worse off than I am?" There always are such people. If your answer is "Yes" find an organisation which helps those people, get your checkbook out write a check for $5 or whatever you can reasonably afford right now and BINGO you have just done exactly the same as Kevin only on a smaller scale because he is very wealthy and you and I are very poor!

  24. hi ,the only then hold me back is finance ,my busines is down im in to transport and trading ,my truck was involveld in acicedinty wth my goods perishable things and i lost everthing the was no insurance ,so in dont knw wer to start frm righty now ,wat im geting is hand to mouth,thats the only thing holding me back

  25. Karen

    Thank you for being positive and setting your first real goal to help another.
    I think we all seem at first to set goals for our own achievement and success. I guess what I am saying is that it is nice to see you can combine both and receive the same result. So many of us should follow by your example. Have a happy and wonderful life.

  26. Amarachi

    Simply awesome.Thanks a million Kevin

  27. Taking that first step as soon as possable is clearly the key. I have been thinking about setting up a "solve the hunger problem" in the world for over 30 years. Always in the back of my mind. Always an impossable dream. Then about eight months ago I began to beleave anything is possable. I got started. Here's where we are today and how you can join me in success. http://bestpayitforward.com

  28. TJ

    Thanks, Kevin. That is just the shot in the arm I needed. Quite often I get into overwhelm that immobilizes me and I blow off a week instead of being productive. I knew about this approach but haven't practiced in a while. This will be a good kick in the pants.

  29. Kevin,
    Great blog post. Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.
    Perfect example of what I teach clients to do.
    May I copy it to my blog: The Goal Achievement Blog? Is this possible.

  30. Todd

    "Everyday Influencer" Can't wait (:

  31. Appreciate your producing the work to go over this, I am very concerning it and adore hunting at read a lot more about this specific topic matter.

  32. Tolu

    This is really great stuff, and a true call to action, action, action not just words. This is one of the many reasons why I am on LBMM :)

  33. Hi Kevin .. Why is it that the truly profound, and mind changing ideas are the simple ones? What is it in our human nature that draws us to the exotic .. complex regimens? Is some form of subconscious self sabotage? The answer is always: Just take a step .. take a little action.. and when we do magical things happen. Action creates it own momentum .. an somehow the next step will reveal itself to the courageous soul who dares to just "begin".
    I was not overly religious, yet spiritual; one that had been a quick skeptic to most things of the supernatural. Eleven years ago, toward the end of an eight month "stay" in a Federal "detention" center, over a bizarre SEC case in which I was never charged .. but was held nonetheless on Civil Contempt of Court (?)..I had a supernatural encounter of sorts.
    I will never forget that night .. it was about 2 am ..I was wide awake in my "cell" .. when I had, what I could best describe .. a Vision. It came to me full HD Color like watching a movie .. so much detail that I literally took notes! God basically laid out my purpose .. I knew why I was born for the 1st time … and the adrenalin from that experience kept me awake for 3 days .. no sleep .. not tired whatsoever .. totally mind blowing.
    AND … it scared med to death. Yes, the vision was everything I could want to be or do .. BUT .. it was too big. I have been running from this thing for 11 years trying to rationalize it away .. but I know that I'm not supposed to "DO" this by myself .. God only desires to do it Through me .. yet.

    So .. how do I proceed? What is my 1st step? THAT has been my Camelot .. my elusive destiny.

    There .. I've finally just put it "out there" .. sorry for rambling on so long.

    Kevin

  34. There are two things I wish my parents or an authority figure in school had told me: 1) You can have anything you want in life, or become anything you want if you will simply visualize it in detail, and charge it with positive, exciting emotion… the kind you would feel as you accomplish it, and do that daily until you reach your goal. Write it out and say it aloud with conviction believing it to be. And number 2) Think carefully about your goals. Set them in writing. Focus. Believe. Pursue. Never give up!

  35. TWO OF MY PROBLEM SOLVING FAVORITES

    My simple formula is:
    So What…Now What.
    It keeps me from focusing on the problem but focusing on the solution.

    The second question I usually ask myself is how many different ways can i solve this problem and enjoy the process. This pre-supposes that there is more than one way to solve the problem and I can enjoy the journey

  36. Thank you Kevin for sharing this. "If you don't know where you are going, how can you ever get there?" Most people spend more time planning their vacation than planning their life. I was very lucky that my parents taught us this "As long as it is legal and it does not hurt anybody, you can DO anything you want". My motto therefore became: "WHAT THE HECK, GO FOR IT ANYWAY".

    The only person who is holding us back is ourselves (and we all find many reasons along the way…), I am no exeption to this! My advice "Be Real, Be Truthful, Be Kind and Share or Give what you can" And if you can't give money, give your time, your compassion or your knowledge"

  37. THANK YOU KEVIN!!

    I have had the same issue hold me back because I had a need to create this elaborate plan instead of just doing a SMART 1st step. Great Wisdom I will put in place immediately!

    Yours in Success with Ease,

    Robert

    P.S. BTW, I just joined your Master Local Marketing Coaching Program and I am excited to get started today!
    Thanks!

  38. David Christy

    Thanks for the positive words of encouragement! Too bad there aren't more people in the world today (such as yourself) WHO BELIEVE IN CARING & SHARING!!!!!!!!

  39. Sometimes the hardest decision to a goal is making the first step. And Kevin nailed this by making the step simple and easy. Great tip, as they say "The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step". In many ways we're either afraid or lazy to take the first step. But once you realize how easy it can be by crystallizing just the first simple step to take, everything starts to gather momentum and before you know it, you would have reached your goal.

  40. Hi, Kevin.

    I used your "Easy" approach recently when I created a simple Web site for http://dotmom.com, a site that I have envisioned for a long time which would be a place for "empowered women."

    I had always made the exercise way too complicated. So, one day, I just decided to set up a simple WordPress site. Voila. It's not perfect. But it IS created. It feels good to have done it. I will make it more sophisticated at a later point.

    Now, I need to apply these principles toward writing a novel — something I have wanted to do for a VERY long time. I don't know the simple approach to starting this project, but I WILL look for it, find it and implement it.

    Thank you for your inspiration!

    Mark

  41. Found this on MSN and I’m happy I did. Well written article.

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