Embody your goals

I find myself continually chasing my dad’s achievements. I look at all he has done and it drives me to be him and one day one-up his accomplishments. He has single-handedly made it possible for me to get educated here in the states and is doing the same for my sisters. He has sown the seed that every parent wants to sow for their children: opportunity to make their way in life and I am yet to meet someone that I think works harder than he does.

If you got a chance to ask Tiger Woods what his goal, he would tell you, “To win more majors than Jack [Nicklaus].” If you were to ask a Christian what their goal was, they would (or should) tell you, “To be like Jesus.” Benjamin Franklin said “Imitate Jesus and Socrates” What do all these 3 statements have in common? Each individual’s goal is embodied by someone. Not just anyone successful person, but someone who has been successful in the area they have chosen to conquer.

When we set out to achieve, it’s very easy to think that we are reinventing the wheel and doing something that no one has ever done before. We make statements like “That happened to them, but with me it’s going to be different” or “These aren’t the olden days, it’s 2009 and things are different.” Is that really the case though? Yes there are new niches that crop up here and there e.g. Mark Zuckerberg’s success with Facebook, but even he is doing what Bill Gates did decades ago with Windows. There’s not much happening today that someone didn’t already blaze a trail.

Have you ever seen that graphic of a cat looking in a mirror and seeing a lion? It’s a future picture of where you want to go that keeps you on that path. Sometimes it can be hard to see or visualize where you want to go, but when you look at someone else who has “been there and done that” it makes the goal real and keeps motivation alive and burning.

Embodying goals not only provides motivation from the accomplishments of that role model, but we are able to see and learn from their mistakes. This is another reason why history books are still relevant today. We get to see what got Nelson Mandela through those nights he spent in prison. We get to study the actions and regrets of Abraham Lincoln and how this led him to be continually considered one of the best Presidents the United States has ever had. We get to see how hard Thomas Edison worked and lived the principle that “Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.”


Sometimes our embodied super-heroes don’t even have to be people entrenched in history. It could be a parent, family member , teacher, guardian. These are tangible pacesetters who we have actually interacted with and been touched by in one way or another.

Even better, you can be your own competition. Just this past week, Usain Bolt broke records in the 100m and 200m. If you have ever seen him race, you will notice that he is consistently watching the sidelines to see if he has broken the record in the race. He doesn’t even concern himself with the people he is running against, but rather with breaking his own times because at the end of the day that will ensure a win.

In life just as in sports, records were made to be broken. In the end, knowing your goals get you started on the path to continual improvement, but your hero provides a tangible mark to pursue. So Superman That Goal and then pursue it.

Disclaimer: I don’t endorse Souljah Boy

4 responses to this post.

  1. This was a really nice post. I totally agree with “Sometimes our embodied super-heroes don’t even have to be people entrenched in history.”


  2. Usain Bolt broke the record again? That man is good


  3. Posted by Olu on August 31, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks Deep, one of the ways I keep myself motivated. Keep chasing someone :-).


  4. […] have written about how my dad inspires me to be just like him and better. Some of the lessons that he taught me […]


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