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The 3 Things You Need To Achieve Anything

Achieving goals - Bob Beamon smashes the world long jump record

Something I’ve learned over the years through research, study and life coaching, is that there are really only 3 simple keys to success. Everything else falls into these 3 broad concepts.

To succeed in any endeavour or area of life, these 3 elements must all be present…

  1. A Goal
  2. Persistence
  3. Self-belief

A Goal

Do you have a dream or a goal? It doesn’t have to be on a grand scale or near-impossible. It could be to pay off your mortgage in 10 years, or get a more satisfying job, or meet someone special. More ambitious goals could be retiring early, starting a successful business, or travelling the world.

Carl Sandberg once said: “Nothing can happen unless first a dream.”

Try to turn your dream (vague, general) into a goal (detailed, time-bound). If you don’t have a specific goal in mind, it’s hard to get what you want. Write down a goal that resonates with you – one that’s yours, not someone else’s. Include words that inspire and motivate you. Take ownership of your goal and take responsibility for it.

A powerful career goal might look something like this:

By 1 January 2025: To be thriving in my role as National Sales Manager, adding value to the business and helping others succeed, and earning at least $150K per annum.

Remember that nothing is set in stone, and your goals may need fine-tuning or changing as circumstances dictate. It’s important to keep an open mind to new opportunities, but make sure your goals still fit with your purpose.

All great achievements come from a goal. I remember watching the World Cup qualifying games of the New Zealand All Whites soccer team in 1981 (yes, I’m old!). Before their campaign, no-one gave them any chance of qualifying for the ‘82 World Cup in Spain. But coach John Adshead and his team dared to dream the impossible.

After playing a record number of qualifying games and beating quality teams such as Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, the All Whites finally qualified with a 2-1 win over China in Singapore. I’ll always remember the high emotion of that night, knowing that all the hard work and sacrifice had paid off.

Make sure your goal is something you actually want, not just something that looks good on paper. It should align with your core values and priorities, and get you excited when you think about achieving it.


This is the most challenging part of success. But if you have a plan in place, with good strategies and support, it will make things a lot easier. Remember that systems beat goals every time. In other words, if you don’t consistently apply actions that move you toward your goal, it’s not going to happen.

Motivation and procrastination tend to become irrelevant when you have good systems in place.

Persistence in this case isn’t just about trying the same thing over and over again. It’s about learning from mistakes and changing your strategies when required. It’s about preparation and following through with actions. And it’s mainly about getting into good habits.

Habits are actions you take without having to think about them. They’re just part of your routine, or something you do every day.

All Black Grant Fox was not a naturally gifted athlete. He wasn’t the fastest or the strongest or the most agile, but he decided to put more work into his game than anyone else. He studied kicking techniques relentlessly, and practised endlessly. And he constantly evaluated his game and aimed to improve all the time. This is the reason he was the best at what he did.


You can’t achieve your goals in life if you’re constantly plagued by self-doubt and insecurity. Your inner voice needs to be assured and confident.

This is not just “positive thinking”, but a mindset that helps you instead of hindering you. It’s also a belief that the plans you put in place will ultimately pay dividends.

Self-belief also involves asking the right questions of yourself. For example, instead of asking, “Why does this always happen to me?” ask “How can I make things better?”.

Thomas Edison once said: “If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves”.

This was never more true than at the 1968 Olympic Games when an American athlete by the name of Bob Beamon smashed the world long jump record by an amazing 2 feet. This happened in a sport where world records are measured in millimetres. Beamon knew he had the ability to jump further than anyone else, but that amazing leap was well beyond anyone’s expectations. After his jump of 8.90 metres, Beamon collapsed onto the ground, still conscious but unable to move for a few minutes. He had literally astounded himself.

Keys to success

I’ve used sporting examples here, but these 3 keys to attaining success are equally important to any other field of endeavour. If you use these concepts as a template for your life goals, your chances of achieving them will be greatly enhanced.

A good coach can help you to embed these 3 keys to success, so you can have the life you’ve always wanted.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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