Billionaire: Quit these 4 bad habits to start actually achieving your goals (part 1 of 2) (2 min read)
"Your choice of goals will determine your direction," Says Billionaire Ray Dalio. "There is always a best possible path. Your job is to find it and have the courage to follow it."
Of course, goal-setting, isn't always easy either and mistakes can have lasting impact. So to set the best, clearest goals, here are two of the four pitfalls to avoid, according to the 69-year-old hedge fund magnate.
First, you have to make big decisions about what you want most. That means focusing on some priorities while letting go of others.
"While you can have virtually anything you want, you can't have everything you want," he explains. "Life is like a giant smorgasbord with more delicious alternatives than you can ever hope to taste. Choosing a goal often means rejecting some things you want in order to get other things that you want or need even more."
Not being selective is a big mistake, Dalio contends.
"Some people fail at this point, before they have even started. Afraid to reject a good alternative for a better one, they try to pursue too many goals at once, achieving few or none of them." "Don't let yourself be paralyzed by all the choices."
2. Confusing a goal with a desire
When you're considering what priorities or ambitions to focus on, be clear about the difference between a goal and a desire.
"A proper goal is something that you really need to achieve," Dalio writes. "Desires are things that you want that can prevent you from reaching your goals."
As an example, "your goal might be physical fitness, while your desire is to eat good-tasting but unhealthy food," he writes. "Don't get me wrong, if you want to be a couch potato, that's fine with me. You can pursue whatever goals you want. But if you don't want to be a couch potato, then you better not open that bag of chips."
When it comes to a career however, desires and goals can be aligned (unlike chips and healthy habits.) For example, if your desire is to spend time working with people instead of being trapped behind a desk, while your goal is to make a difference in your local community, find a job that lets you do both.
"Decide what you really want in life by reconciling your goals and your desires," Dalio writes. "What will ultimately fulfill you are things that feel right at both levels, as both desires and goals."