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The 3 Things You Need To Achieve Anything

Achieving goals - Bob Beamon smashes the world long jump record

Achieving goals. Something I learned over the years through research, observation and life coaching experience, is that there are really only 3 simple keys to success.

To succeed in any endeavour, whatever your goal, 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 up a successful business, or travelling the world.

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

If you don’t have a specific goal, then you’ll never get what you want.

All great achievements come from a dream. 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.


This is the most challenging part of achieving your goals. But if you have a plan in place, with good strategies and support, it will make things a lot easier.

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.

All Black Grant Fox was not a naturally gifted athlete, but he decided to put more work into his game than anyone else, study kicking techniques more than anyone else, and practise, practise, practise. 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 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, and 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.

Achieving Goals

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

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

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