Tonight I spoke to a group of Young Women between age 11 and 17 about “The Power of the Goal Poster”. The Power of the Goal Poster is actually the title of a chapter from my book “What AWESOME Looks Like: How To Excel In Business & Life” that’s available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Below is a copy of the actual chapter from my book:
Anything you can vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, powerfully pray for and enthusiastically act upon will inevitably come to pass. —Frank Edward Barrett
I still remember sitting down to make my first Goal Poster. Yes, a Goal Poster. It began with a bulletin board, a pair of scissors, and a glue stick. I took pictures from magazines and pasted them on a poster board. I will admit that as I sat there cutting things out I flashed back to my elementary school days, but I refused to let my feelings of being childish stop me from completing the task of creating a visual picture board of things I wanted to accomplish in life.
The daunting part of this exercise wasn’t the cutting and pasting, it was visually admitting the things I was secretly hoping to achieve. The thought of admitting these goals “out loud,” so to speak, was terrifying, even if no one else were ever to see it. But I was going to force myself to answer the question, “What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?”
I included goals related to career, finances, spirituality, service, family, and leisure. I decided I wouldn’t limit my goals to the circumstances I was surrounded with at that time; after all, I was raised to believe that the direction we are moving in life is more important than where we happen to be standing at that moment. I included pictures of things like winning the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, having my photo on the cover of a business magazine, meeting the CEO of Microsoft, the type of car and home I hoped to someday afford, and so on. Of course, I had no earthly idea of how I was going to make these things come about, but that didn’t matter. This exercise wasn’t about the “how,” it was about the “what,” and anything was fair game to add to my poster. I completed it and hung it on the wall of my home office just above my desk so that I could see it whenever I sat at my computer.
The years passed, and the Goal Poster became such a familiar presence that I hardly even noticed it was there. In fact, I don’t remember focusing my attention on it again for the next ten years of my life. Consciously, I may not have been focused on it, but subconsciously there was no doubt that the Goal Poster was having an impact on me. How do I know that? Because years later as I was moving my office, I went to pull down my Goal Poster and realized that everything that was on that poster—literally everything—had been accomplished in my life. Every goal that I had set for myself had come to pass. I was stunned. That’s when it hit me—I needed another Goal Poster, and this time it needed to include even bigger and better goals.
I sat down to create my second Goal Poster and this time I wasn’t going to hold anything back—this time, I was going to shoot for the “amazing” and the “wow” of what I might accomplish. I included pictures representing me selling my company for a lot of money, starting a charity to empower others, becoming an angel investor, visiting the Seven Wonders of the World, and so on. I even added a picture of the Ghana Africa Temple that my father had given me when he and my mother left to go do service there. As they were leaving, he suggested I should have him perform my marriage in the Ghana Temple. To help paint the picture of just how lofty that goal was, I wasn’t even dating anyone at the time. But I had faith in the power of the poster, and I wasn’t going to waste its magic by dreaming small. This time I was going for the gusto.
I am happy to report that within a year of adding the Ghana Temple to my poster, I was out there getting married. So, to all the unbelievers out there, I say … what now?!?! The Goal Poster is clearly magic! But wait, there’s more! Next, I sold my company for $377 million and launched the IPOP Foundation, a charity focused on empowering entrepreneurs. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that within a few years of making that poster, I’d already been to visit four of the Seven Wonders of the World. There were no doubts left in my mind that the simple act of creating a Goal Poster works.
I believe so strongly in the power of the Goal Poster that every time I publicly speak or teach at universities, I challenge my audience to create their own. I ask them to send me a digital image of their poster so that I can track them down later and see if they accomplished the goals they placed on their poster. To date, I have received countless images of people’s Goal Posters from all around the world. Many have shared updates letting me know the ways they too have experienced the magic of the Goal Poster in their own lives. Their stories have proven to me that the magic of the Goal Poster isn’t limited to me—it is available to everyone, everywhere.
I continue to make Goal Posters to this day. In fact, writing this book was on my poster, so if you’re reading this, it means another life goal has been accomplished. Yes, experience has proven to me that the only thing limiting me from what I achieve is the fact that I haven’t cut out a picture and glued it to my Goal Poster yet.
I challenge you to make your own Goal Poster. Start by asking yourself the question, “What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?” Just try it. My life is evidence of its power, and really, what do you have to lose? And if its magic turns out to be real, just think of what you could gain … then go and glue it on your Goal Poster!
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )