Success Tweet 23: You Can’t Get What You Want if You Don’t Know What You Want

My new book Success Tweets: 140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less has been well received.  I think it is one of my more interesting career success coach writings.   I thank all of you who have downloaded a free copy of the eBook.  If you want a copy, just go to

But I must admit that I have received some less than flattering comments about Success Tweets.  One of my fellow Penn State alums said that “140 tweets is not a book, it’s a page.”  Another Penn State alum told me that tweets lack intellectual rigor, and are the hallmark of people who are too lazy to properly research a subject. 

What is it with Penn State people anyway?  Maybe it’s the air in Happy Valley.

My answer to the anti tweet people comes from one of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein…

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”

I’m not calling myself a genius, but from personal experience I know that it can be very difficult to simplify complex issues.  If you recall I shared my values in a post last week.  “Simplicity” is one of my core personal values.   As a career success coach, I work hard to simplify the complex issues involved with creating the life and career success you want and deserve.

Besides that, concise writing can be very time consuming  — as it often means heavy editing of the first draft.  Mark Twain once got a telegram from a publisher that said: “Need 2 page short story in two days.” He responded: “Can’t do two pages in two days.  Can do 30 pages in two days.  Need 30 days to do two pages.”  I agree with him on this one.

There, I got that off of my chest.  I think tweets are a handy, not lazy, way to communicate – if they’re done well.  Of course, sometimes it takes more than 140 characters to get across everything you want to communicate about a subject.  That’s why I’m doing this series of blog posts – to further explain the ideas in Success Tweets.

On to Tweet 23…

Goals are important.  You can’t get what you want if you don’t know where you’re going.

If you want to create life and career success, you must commit to three things.  First, you must take personal responsibility for your success.  Only you can make you a career success.  You need to be willing to do the things necessary to succeed.  Second, you must set high goals — and then do whatever it takes to achieve them.   Third, stuff happens; as you go through life you will encounter many problems and setbacks.  You need to react positively to the negative stuff and move forward toward your goals.

The other day, I came across a succinct statement on goal setting and goal achievement from Denis Waitely…

“The secret to productive goal setting is in establishing clearly defined goals, writing them down and then focusing on them several times a day with words, pictures and emotions as if we’ve already achieved them.”

I really like what Denis has to say.  Let’s break it down.

  1. Your goals need to be clear.
  2. Your goals need to be written.
  3. Your need to focus on your goals several times a day.
  4. You need to visualize yourself achieving your goals.

Clear goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. formula.  They are Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound.  Do your goals pass the S.M.A.R.T. test?  If you’ve written them, it should be pretty easy to review them to see.

Here’s a goal that one of my career success coach clients shared with me recently.

To become a millionaire selling products on the internet.

Let’s see how well it stacks up to the S.M.A.R.T. test.

Specific?  Reasonably so.  This guy wants to become a millionaire selling products on the internet.  This goal would be more specific if he had specified the product or type of product he wants to sell, and if he is going to develop the product himself, or resell others’ products.

Measurable?  Overall yes; if he defines being a millionaire as having a net worth of over a million dollars.

Achievable?  Probably.  He’s a smart guy who has the desire.  And, he is committed to this goal.  I think he can achieve it if he works hard and smart.

Relevant?  For him, yes.  The guy defines success in monetary terms, so becoming a millionaire is certainly a relevant goal for him.

Time Bound? No.  He hasn’t set a date by when his net worth will reach one million dollars.

Not bad for a first try.  Here’s how I would make this goal more S.M.A.R.T…

To build a net worth of $1,000,000 by the time I am 40 by being an internet super affiliate marketer, reselling products in the self help field.

Specific?  Very.  Net worth of $1,000,000; internet affiliate marketer, reselling self help products.

Measurable? Yes.  He can check his net worth on his 40th birthday.

Achievable?  Likely, given some hard work and tenacity.

Relevant?  Yes.  Money is how he defines success.

Time Bound? Yes.  His 40th birthday is a hard deadline.

This career success coach suggests that you take some time to review your goals.  Make sure they are S.M.A.R.T.  S.M.A.R.T. goals are written and clear — the first two recommendations from Denis Waitley when it comes to accomplishing your goals.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people set and achieve high goals.  They understand the power of Tweet 23 in Success Tweets.  “Goals are important.  You can’t get what you want if you don’t know where you’re going.”  Written goals are the first step when it comes to life and career success.  Sharpening your goals until they are clear and concise is the second step.  If you don’t have written goals for your life, and for this year, write some today.  Then check them against the S.M.A.R.T. criteria.  Make sure your goals are Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound.  If you take just these two steps you’ll be well ahead in the career success game.

That’s my take on Tweet 23 in Success Tweets.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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