The following is a guest post by Cameron C. Taylor, author of Does Your Bag Have Holes: 24 Truths That Lead to Financial and Spiritual Freedom. Be sure to check out his blog at his website, doesyourbaghaveholes.org!
In 1974, there was a track meet held in Tennessee with some of the greatest athletes of the day. Because of the caliber of the athletes, everyone was hoping that a new world record would be set in the 100-yard dash. One of the runners was Ivory Crockett. Before the race, the television cameras filmed Ivory Crockett folding up a little piece of paper and sticking it in his shoe. Everybody wondered what Ivory Crockett had put in his shoe. A buzz went through the crowd. Everyone was discussing why he had stuck a piece of paper in his shoe.
The starter said, â€œRunners, to your marks. Get set,â€ and shot the gun. Ivory Crockett came out low with his legs churning. He had a perfect start and ran a perfect race. He pulled ahead of the pack and came across the finish line in first place. The race went so quickly that everyone was excited to see what the time would be. Had Ivory Crockett set a new world record? The official time had Ivory Crockett at 9.0â€”a new world record. Ivory Crockett had just run the fastest 100-yard dash in the history of the world.
The crowd went wild and the press ran down to Ivory Crockett, congratulating him on the new world record. He was now “the world’s fastest man.” The question everybody wanted to know was what was in his shoe? Ivory Crockett sat down, unlaced his track shoes and he pulled out of his shoe a little piece of paper. He unfolded it to the camera. It very simply read: â€œ9.0â€. The Los Angeles Times described the event with the headline “Immortality in 9 Seconds Flat.” Crockett said of setting the record, “It was a real good feeling to do something no one else had done before [and] be among the other athletes like Bob Hayes [world recorder holder at 9.1 seconds for 11 years] who I had revered all my life.”
There is great power in goals and dreams. â€œA study was done on Yale Universityâ€™s graduating class. It asked seniors a long list of questions about themselves, and three questions had to do with goals. They were, â€œDo you set goals?â€ â€œDo you write them down?â€ and â€œDo you have an action plan to accomplish them?â€ Only three percent of the class answered yes to those questions. Twenty years later, a follow-up study was done. It turned out that the three percent who had said yes to goals reported that they were more happily married, were more successful in the careers they had chosen, had a more satisfactory family life, and had better health. And listen to this. Ninety-seven percent of the net worth of that graduating class was in the hands of that three percent!â€ (Lou Tice, Personal Coaching for Results, (Nashville: Nelson, 1997) p. 93)
You have to have dreams and goals to make progress and achieve greatness. â€œYour progress toward success begins with a fundamental question: Where are you going? Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement, and its lack is the stumbling block for ninety-eight out of every hundred people simply because they never really define their goals and start toward them. Study every person you think of who has achieved lasting success, and you will find that each one has had a definite purpose. Each had a plan for reaching that goal, and each devoted the greatest part of his or her thoughts and efforts to that end.â€ (Napoleon Hill, Keys to Success, (New York: Penguin, 1994) p. 1)
Many people live life backwards. They take what life gives them. You should define your ideal life and then go out and get it. Dreams and goals inspire us to achieve our full potential. Defining your goals and dreams will help you discover and live the purposeful, joyful, abundant life God created you to enjoy.