How rich do you want to be? Think of the richest person you know for a moment. Ever consider how they got there? It may have something to do with good luck and the family fortune. But chances are their success was more of a long steady climb toward a clear goal. And they had deep, in-the-bones purpose on their way to achieving it.
The truth is that rich people know how to set goals and achieve them. They know what they want, and they go after it.
If you've read my previous posts, I've described being rich as "having an abundance of what matters to you most." Rich can certainly mean monetary reward, but it can mean anything else that's most important to you -- like spending more time with your family or finally publishing that novel.
But riches will not materialize without your complete attention. When we do not think deeply about our purpose, we end up hurting ourselves and the other people around us. There is a better way to live, and it starts with a simple task.
Let me suggest that way, right now. Take five minutes.
On a piece of paper, write down this sentence and fill in the blanks.
I, [sign your name], want to ___________________, because________________________.
Actively engaging in this exercise will help you figure out what want and why you want it -- which is the crucial step to true wealth. It may seem elementary, but here's why each blank is exactly what you need.
When you sign your name to an official document, it is a serious occasion. Whether you are signing a marriage license, a home loan, or a legal contract, you know there will be consequences if you fail to keep your end of the bargain. In this exercise, the simple act of signing your name holds you accountable to seeing it through. Remember, this is your dream, writing your name makes it real.
What you want
Some people do not give much thought to being rich, and instead allow themselves to be carried along by the demands of the day. For those who are not used to goal-setting as a way of life, this may be the most difficult part of this exercise. Search yourself. Do you want to start your own company? Help foster kids? What about volunteering at the art museum? Identify what you want and write it down. When you name something, it gives it power, substance and identity.
Why it matters
When you fill out the last blank, you are answering why being rich is important to you. The final part of the sentence reminds you that riches are worth fighting for. However, if you struggle to come up with a reason why this really matters, your sentence may need further refinement. Perhaps you need to dig deeper and discover a different goal that deserves your time and effort. A goal without a higher purpose will fail you.
Each part of the sentence is an equally important step in self-exploration and ultimate fulfillment. Without your name it becomes someone else's dream. Take out what you want and you have no goal. Remove the why and you have no conviction.
Completing this seemingly simple sentence forces you to step back, if only for a moment, and take a hard look at your life and where you're going. It has helped my team at Aha! accomplish their goals, and I promise it will help you too.
What's your sentence?