I’ll tell you a painful fact, and this is the truth.
Some of us are dreamers.
We like to think we have goals, but we have
mere dreams (or daydreams). We spend time
elaborately describing the future we want—to
ourselves and to others—and are so captured by
this future that we take no meaningful action in
the present.And so that future never comes. And we feel
Many of us have listened to motivational
speeches and read motivational books that say:
Create a goal, focus on the goal and work
towards it. We passionately write down our
incredible goals and begin to think about them
dreamily every day.
People around us can see that we are not
working towards this goal, but we keep talking
and talking and talking about this goal. In the
end we achieve nothing.
Still don’t get it? Here’s an example:
Profile of a Dreamer
A dreamer attends a motivational program/
seminar/sermon or reads a motivational book
and gets fired up to create a change in his life. He
decides that he wants to become the next
Dangote. He writes this goal down, “I want to
become the next Dangote”, and probably pastes
it somewhere he can see every day, so he can
keep his focus.
He’s passionate about his goal and can’t wait to
speak to others about it. He tells his significant
other about his brand new goal, and she is
excited and wants to support him. Everything
seems bright and ready to go.
But one week later, he is still talking.
Two weeks later, he is still talking.
Four weeks later, he is still just talking.
Six weeks later, he gets frustrated that he has
made no progress and believes that he needs a
better motivational book, because the previous
one—according to him—does not work.
He gets a new book or seminar, and the same
thing happens again.
And this cycle continues.
Until he becomes depressed, and says the
speakers are frauds who lie to get money from
What Mistake Did He
The motivational speeches/books are not the
problem, but they are definitely not the solution.
Motivational speakers are like traffic wardens—
they show the way, but they can’t take you to
your destination. That part is your
The main summary of everything a motivational
speaker will tell you to do in order to succeed is:
1. Create a goal and write it down
2. Work towards your goal with passion
3. Keep being focused on your goal until you
This is entirely correct. But, there’s a problem.
Many of us do the creating a goal part—it’s not
that hard. We are also very passionate about our
goals. But many of us forget the most important
When it comes down to the nuts and bolts of
achieving anything at all, strategic work is the
path that leads there.
Let me illustrate:
When you first want to achieve a goal, we can
say that you are at A and you want to get to Z.
But to get to Z, you must first go through B, then
C, then D, then E, until you get to Z. This is plain
logic. This means that from A, you first focus on
how you’re going to get to B. When you reach B,
then you can begin thinking about C.
But for many people, who are truly passionate
about their goals, they are at A and they focus
almost entirely on Z. This doesn’t make sense.
Let’s say you want to get to work early. Do you
first focus on getting to work early? No.
1. You first focus on waking up early.
2. Then you focus on bathing and brushing in
the shortest possible time.
3. Then you focus on eating your breakfast as
fast as humanly possible.
4. Then you focus on getting to the bus stop
and getting on the first bus you see.
After you have done all this, then you can get to
work on time—but only after.
This is the only practically possible way to
achieve any goal.
How Can You Apply This
First, tell yourself the truth. Have you been
working strategically towards your goal, or have
you been dreaming about it?
Think about this for 15 seconds.
No, really think about it.
Understand that the only way we can change
anything in our lives is by first telling ourselves
the truth. Do this before reading any further.
Second, think through your goal. Who are your
role models that have achieved this goal
already? What process did they take to get
there? You need this in detail. Take the time to
get this information for at least 3 or 4 people.
Third, get a piece of paper, a book or an excel
sheet. If you did the second step in detail, you
will notice a pattern in the success paths of the 3
or 4 people you studied. Use this pattern to
construct a plan that can get you to your goal.
Your plan should be good, but not necessarily
perfect—you’ll modify it as you go along.
Fourth, get to work ASAP. This is the point
where more than 50% of people mentally stop.
The goal, the passion and the planning are so
romantic—but the work isn’t. Work does two
major things: 1) The more you work on your
craft, the better you get at it, and 2) It is the only
thing that moves you towards your goal. Sitting
and thinking makes you a poor philosopher
By Uchendu E. Uchendu
Uchendu E. Uchendu writes