What Are Your Goals? Are You Willing To Work Hard? by Elliott Hulse
In my experience as a coach I have discovered that those who ‘know exactly
what they want’ always get it. Weather they desire a better looking body,
more energy, to free themselves from a chronic disease or condition, make
more money or, enjoy better relationships those who are absolutely clear
about the object of their affection – get it. But I have also discovered
that there is an often over looked and under appreciated ‘flip side’ of this
decision, that will ‘make or break’ your efforts.
Most people would “like” to have better fitness, health, finances and
relationships but very few are “committed” to it. The difference between
wanting a thing and committing to it is very fine but also very critical.
The question that most people neglect to ask themselves once they have
clarified their desires is - “What am I willing to do to get it?”
The defining characteristic of a dream that contains the potential for
fulfillment is hidden with the question, “what are you willing to do?”
For example, in the past I have had members of my Strength Camp join with
the desire to lose weight. They make the effort to search and find my
website, read it thoroughly, fill out the registration form, attend a trial
session, endure my barrage of questions during an interview, pay several
hundred dollars to participate, show up at Strength Camp and sweat, pant,
puke and sometimes bleed in order to achieve their desired weight or fitness
After a few weeks this hard working, “committed” individual will see great
results and come very close to reaching their goals. But inevitably they
reach a plateau, and it often occurs right before the goal is met. When the
member and I sit down to discuss the program and the lack of consistent
results it is often revealed that the individual has not given up a
particular junk food (almost always its alcohol).
When I question this lack of resolve in the area of diet for the member, I
often discover that their commitment has never truly been aligned with their
goal. If they were 100% committed to achieving weight loss, fat loss, more
energy or to build more muscle – they would have done, or would continue to
do whatever it takes to get it.
The next step I typically take is to ask the member, again, what exactly do
you want? And what are you willing to do? At this point the persons eyes
begin to shift and they become uncomfortable. Then I make the remark,
“Look - don’t make ‘my goals’, ‘your goals’. What is it that YOU want?
Because as long as we are both clear about what your commitment is we can go
about our camp classes, I can collect your money, and you can be happy being
a successful, ‘almost-to-my-goaler’ – because you are committed to drinking
2 glasses of wine every night with dinner.”
Be clear and committed, but don’t bullshit yourself! If your commitment is
to work hard, train, eat right 90% of the time, go to bed at a reasonable
hour and, drink half a bottle of wine every night – then be ready for what
that yields. Halfway efforts yield halfway results. Never expect to reap
what you are not willing to sow. But understand that you will reap what you
do sow. As simple and cliché as this sounds, it always amazes me how many
people try to violate this law and get away with it.
There is a guy in one of my Men’s Fitness Camps that has been a member for
over a year. He had lost a few pounds in the first few months that he
joined, but since then he has basically retained the same body shape. He is
one of my best clients. The reason why I love this guy so much is that he is
very clear and very honest with me and, most importantly - himself, about
what his commitment is and his acceptance of the type of results he
He tells me, “Elliott - I love training with you, your camps have given me
more strength, better stamina and flexibility, my self esteem has improved
and I have met a great group of new friends from the camp. I continue to
smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, I eat junk food and sugar, but it’s OK
with me. I don’t what to change my habits, although I know they are bad for
my health, I just want to train.”
I don’t agree with my friends’ nutrition and lifestyle choices - but I
respect his conscious decision to attend my camp, eat poorly, smoke
cigarettes and comfortably accept the consequences. The type of people that
frustrate me the most are the delusional, victims that constantly make
fluffy commitments, fail to realize them and have the nerve to wonder why!
On the same note, I would like to address the issue of choosing goals that
are well beneath our capacity to achieve, the conscious acceptance of
incompetence and, mediocrity. To me, there is nothing worse than throwing a
life away that has only been half spent. You wouldn’t throw away a battery
that contained half its charge, so why would anyone be willing to see their
life to its end with out first squeezing every bit of potential out of it?
When you ask yourself “What do I want?” stop for a moment and make an effort
to forget what you believe or don’t believe to be possible. Allow yourself
to dream for a moment. When we were children and we told our patents that we
wanted to be astronauts, pro ball players, ballerinas or cowboys – they
often responded by telling us that we could become anything that we wanted
At about the age of 13 or so, parents begin to change their tune. When
Johnny tells them that he wants to be a musician or a painter, they then
proceed to saturate Johnny’s young minds with all of the negative poison
that they have been ingesting and convince him that he must start being more
“realistic” and that he may be better off as an accountant or a teacher -
like his father.
As difficult as it is to destroy the old conditioning set by our parents and
guardians, it is essential to fulfill the necessary requirement of ‘dreaming
freely.’ W. Clement Stone once said, “Within every dream is the seeds for
its accomplishment.” This means that the mere fact that you can dream
something means that you have within you the capacity to achieve it, no
matter what anyone says. Put realistic aside for a moment.
Consider all of the people who have acted unrealistically, they are the same
folks that we honor today because they gave humanity the gifts of airplane
flight, electricity, cell phones, the internet, automobiles, and thousands
of other innovations. Think about how unrealistic the telephone is! – I can
pick up a piece of plastic, press a few buttons and in a moment conduct a
conversation with a man located on the other side of Earth.
If someone can discover how to make a 393,000-pound Boeing 747 fly, then I
am pretty sure you can lose your belly fat or build a better relationship
with your children. I NEVER accept any excuse for a person’s inability to
achieve. Blind people can read, athletes born without legs run in The
Olympics, Beethoven wrote the Symphony #9 - and he was deaf!
None of these examples would have been fulfilled if any of the individuals
involved did not possess a “do-or-die” commitment to their goal. It is only
when you have nailed the doors shut, boarded up the windows and blockaded
all escape routes that you will realize your potential.
You must act like a raccoon with its back against the wall, hissing,
scratching and snapping at any person, circumstance or disadvantage that
gets between you and your dreams. Cultivate and maintain the passion to
approach every day, on the journey towards your goal, as a child does one
week from Christmas morning.
Decide upon your commitment and understand that it is not only your right
but also your responsibility to achieve it. How irresponsible it would have
been if Edison gave up on the light bulb after failing over 10,000 times?
You owe it to your children, your parents, your spouse, your friends, your
co-workers, all of humanity and yourself to aim high and achieve.
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