Have you prepared your B-H-A-G?
I read somewhere, ” Aim for the stars, land on the moon ” which is a childish way of saying aim for the best, and be happy wherever you reach…an optimist but not a realistic approach to life, in my opinion.
All through my childhood, I was motivated to excel in school in studies so I could stand out among the hundreds in my school and thousands from the city I grew up in – Calcutta (now Kolkata) in India.
When you’re growing up within a few blocks of one of the greatest cricket stadiums – The Eden Gardens – it’s hard to not be motivated to dream of representing the school cricket, state cricket and possibly the national cricket team. Quite possibly a dream that I shared with every other kid in India. It’s the equivalent of wearing the Baggy Green in Australia or the All Black Jersey in New Zealand.
Over the years, I did get into my school team and my local premier club as an opening bowler, and contributed well to the performance of my team. But more importantly, I did manage to do well in my school leaving exams ending with a A-level grade which helped me get into the best colleges and universities.
This was all due to one simple process that I used to motivate myself: dream big. And I wanted to share it with you…correctly referred to as “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”.
It’s important to have this huge, ugly, almost surreal dream to keep yourself motivated. It’s needed most when you’re half-awake in the wee hours of the morning working at your desk on an idea or project or task that you believe is your calling in life.
My definition of this BHAG is that it’s something so important to you that you’d rather fail trying to get towards it, than fail by not having one. As Eminem portrayed it vividly in his movie, The 8 Mile….it’s that one shot you’ve got.
If it’s to be an entrepreneur, then be willing to pay the ultimate price – suffer in silence, spend your life earnings chasing dreams, be almost broke every month, doing a job that you’d leave in a heartbeat, working for and with difficult people, and consciously try to keep improving your idea so that it fits perfectly in the gap that the market creates for a very short period of time.
If it’s to be the best in your profession (lawyer or doctor), then be willing to put in the long hours, working with the experts in your industry, continuous learning and reading and giving exams to build qualifications, and working the odd times at your office or clinic, to gain the experience in the field.
Without direction, you will not get anywhere so its important to know which way you’re going, are you on route, and if not, then what needs to be done to come back on course without losing momentum.
Here’s my few tips to make BHAG come alive:
– If you haven’t prepared one, then go home, find a piece of paper and write down what you want to be known for, and write it in big capital letters using the boldest marker you can find.
– Put that paper somewhere where you can see it every morning when you wake up, and every night before u sleep.
– Envision yourself holding, breathing, living that dream so when the time comes you’re fully prepared to make it happen.
– Plan that dream down into the details – what you need to do on an hourly, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis to come true.
– Accept failures. No ifs or buts…take it in your stride and move on from the oops, shucks and damn moments.
– Finally be open to suggestions from the people around you who matter – your family, close friends, respected colleagues, business mentors and industry experts.
– Put in the hours to excel at your profession, trade or business – up skill all the time.
– Research your market, your best opponents and see what they’re doing right and what you can adopt into your plans to be just as good but work smarter and faster.
– Lastly and most importantly, be firm in your convictions of not changing your end goal.
Whatever you want to achieve, never give up and don’t let others tell you how to live your life. But if something’s not working, be humble enough to put the rubber on the road to turn things around.
Like you, I’m on the same path of trying to achieve my share of success, and nothing comes easy in life but if you keep your mind clear and focused on your BHAG, then you’re that much closer to being successful than without a BHAG.
I will end with the Scouts motto….be prepared…so why prepare for something small and insignificant when you have the potential to make that big dream happen.