One of the books I often refer back to is “Write it Down, Make it Happen” by Henriette Anne Klauser.  Years ago, I was browsing through a bookstore and the title jumped out at me.  Reading this book brought the practice of writing down my goals to the forefront for me with amazing results.  I’ve decided to keep doing it.

The author tells us to compose a list of goals.  Her directions are to go to an expresso bar and buy a latte or put on a pot of peppermint tea our own home.  Set the stereo for the kind of music we like the best and start to write.

Write fast.  Do not linger over the page.  If you find yourself dismissing a goal as grandiose or far-fetched, write it anyway and put a star next to it.  That’s a live one.

Do not be afraid of wanting too much.  Write down even those ambitions which have not practical means of accomplishment.

Keep on writing.  Write from your heart and make the list as long as you like.

Lou Holtz the famous football coach, did this in 1966.  He was twenty-eight years old when he sat down at his dining room table and wrote out one hundred and seven impossible goals.  He had just lost his job, he had no money in the bank, and his wife, Beth, was eight months pregnant with their third child.  He was so discouraged that Beth gave him a copy of “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David J. Shwartz to help lift his spirits.  Up until then, Holtz says, he was totally lacking in motivation.

“There are so many people, and I was one of them, who don’t do anything special with their lives.  The book said you should write down all the goals you wanted to achieve before you died.”

The goals he wrote in answer to that challenge were both personal and professional.  Most seemed impossible to a twenty-eight-year-old out-of-work man.  His list included having dinner at the White House, appearing on the Tonight Show, meeting the pope, becoming head coach at Notre Dame, winning a national championship, being coach of the year, landing on an aircraft carrier, making a hole in one, and jumping out of an airplane.

If you check out Coach Lou Holtz’s website, along with this list you will get pictures—pictures of Holtz with the pope, with President Ronald Reagan at the White House, yukking it up with Johnny Carson.  In addition a description of what it was like to jump out of an airplane and get not one but two holes in one.

Of the one hundred and seven goals on his list from 1966, Lou Holtz had achieved eighty-one when Klauser wrote the book. 

Give yourself permission to dream, to be totally unrealistic.  Go to a space shuttle launch, climb a mountain, cure an untreatable disease, get a hole in one, travel to the destination of your dreams, be a better parent, face a fear, appear on TV, perform in front of an audience, play Augusta National, meet a person you admire, help your kids find their passion.

Write it Down, Make it Happen!

Kevin MacDonald
Clarity Success Coaching
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Kevin MacDonald is a principal in this Vancouver based practice.
Write It Down, Make It Happen

by Kevin MacDonald