How to take a life goal from pipe dream to reality

nyc life goal

When I was around 9 years old, my dad showed me a picture of New York City’s skyline. I couldn’t stop looking at it. The year after, when I was 10, I wrote a little book that I named “The Journey to New York”.

That day, I made the decision: One day, I would live there.

In reality, it’s hard to just move to another country like that. You don’t know anyone. You don’t know how you’re supposed to make a living. And how do you even get a permanent residence?

When I was around 20, I set the goal to be in NYC before I was 25 and run a successful business that helped people. (This was after I’d just read book “The monk who sold his Ferrari”.)

I put a reminder 5 years into the future, due on my 25’th birthday. The note read “Are you there yet?”.

Then, devastation struck. My business failed. I had burned myself out trying to sell something I didn’t really believe in.

On my 25’th birthday, as the reminder popped up in my calendar, I was broke and NYC and business success looked further away than ever.

I knew I had to change strategy

That’s when I started SocialPro. This time, I made my business 100% internet based to one day be able to bring it to NYC. More importantly, SocialPro is about helping others, not just making money. I never want to burn myself out doing something I don’t even believe in again.

I started SocialPro 5 years ago. Today, I’ve spent my first week in NYC as a permanent US resident.

Here are some pictures from this weekend.

nyc life goal

So on my journey, I’ve both had failures and successes. Here’s what I learned along the way:

Don’t let life happen to you

Back in school, the most popular guy in class was (naturally) together with the most popular girl in class. They often talked about how they would move to California when they grew older.

Years passed by, and they let life happen to them. They got stuck in some job they didn’t particularly like and moved to some place in Sweden they didn’t particularly like.

The latest I heard is that the girl has two children and lives alone in some rural part of Sweden.

So how do you avoid that life just happens?

Concretizing is key

If you want to achieve a certain goal, what SPECIFICALLY do you need to do NOW to reach your goal later?

When we concretize, we realize certain things about our near future.

Example: “To be able to reach my goal, I need to have $10 000 in my account in 5 years from now. That means I have to save $150 a month from now on. It’s doable, but it means that I actually can’t afford that TV I was about to buy + I need to work Saturdays instead of Mondays.”.

Or, “To reach my goal, I need to spend 3 hours every day practicing. I don’t have the energy to do that right now as I work full time, but if I start working 80% and rent a slightly smaller apartment, it’s doable”.

It’s great to set up goals, but to actually reach them, you need a daily system

My goal to be in the US before 25 made it more real: It wasn’t just something I would do “later”. But studies show that goals in themselves aren’t enough. We need a daily system.

Your daily system

I’ve been working on my business every day to reach my goal. Many days, I haven’t even had NYC in mind. For weeks and months in a row, I’ve just followed my system of waking up in the morning, taking my walk, making my coffee and putting the hours in to improve SocialPro.

The daily system needs to be very simple and something you can do on autopilot even when there seems to be no goal in sight. The system should be simple to follow, realistic to maintain for years and something you can do when your goal isn’t in sight.

“Practice X between 6 and 8 pm every day except Sunday”

“Work on X at least 6 hours every weekday”

When we feel demotivated and tired we don’t even want to think about our grand goals. At those moments, the savior is the daily system that you can just follow without thought.

A powerful exercise is to write down your goal and daily system. What is your goal? What would be your daily system needed to one day reach it? Write that down in the comments below! It will help you see your goal and know exactly what to do to reach it.

– David

How I stopped caring what others think

stop caring what others think

For me, it all started a late summer night out with my friends.

I was just beginning my journey of self-development. I was especially concerned about my lack of experience with girls: I had never even kissed a girl.

I always felt like that was something I had to hide and make sure nobody knew about. I worried about what others would think of me if they knew.

But this night was different.

On my way home I went alone to get something to eat at a local hamburger joint. There was no table available, so I sat down by a middle-aged woman.

We started talking.

I don’t know exactly why, but that night I just didn’t want to care anymore. I think I was tired of always trying to hide my big shame; my inexperience with girls.

So, I told her everything about it.

When I stopped caring, something happened.

It was as if the shackles weighing me down finally shattered. It’s still one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done.

I felt unstoppable. All my shame and self-consciousness just washed away.

What’s even funnier is that she didn’t really believe me because she said I seemed so confident about it.

After that night I realized something…

I had been totally honest with who I was to a total stranger, and the world didn’t come crashing down because of it.

Quite the opposite – she was one of the first people in my life who’d seen me as confident.

So, why was I so concerned about hiding it to everyone else?

Here’s what I realized: When we are okay with others knowing about our insecurities – we can become truly confident with who we are.

This didn’t mean I started telling everyone about my fears and insecurities. (That would just be weird.) But my fear of being exposed disappeared.

If anyone would ask me about my experience with women, it wouldn’t throw me off balance. I knew I could just tell them like it is.

And sure enough, with my newfound confidence, meeting girls eventually wasn’t a big issue in my life anymore. Today, I have a wonderful girlfriend as of 6 years.

Here’s me and my girlfriend on a recent trip to Thessaloniki, Greece. It’s a really cool city for anyone with a historical interest (or if you just want to enjoy amazing Greek food and wine by the sea).

How you can stop your fear and insecurity from controlling you

That burger joint experience taught me something fundamental about fear:

Fear feeds on itself. When we avoid it, it becomes stronger.

Here’s what’s funny: When we stop running away from our fears, they eventually stop being scary.

When I finally admitted something I thought would destroy me if it came out, I realized that nothing had changed. I was still me. People still liked me, maybe even a bit more because I became more relaxed and genuine.

The first step to stop caring what others think

To become truly confident and stop caring so much about what others think of us, we need to face and deal with our insecurities.

As long as we walk around in life afraid of being “exposed”, we can never fully be ourselves.

That’s why the first step towards getting an unbreakable confidence is to admit to ourselves what we are insecure about.

We don’t HAVE to let the world know about it, but we need to accept that it’s okay IF the world knows about it.

What’s the worst thing that will happen if your insecurities come true?

That’s not a rhetorical question. I want you to actually try to visualize a worst-case scenario.

It’s healthy to think about because we often realize that even the worst scenarios are quite benign.

Perhaps someone laughs at us. Perhaps people who aren’t our real friends don’t want to hang out. But the world keeps turning, and no one can poke a hole in your surface when your confidence is solid.

This idea is confirmed by research. It’s called self-acceptance and it’s proven to make us more confident.

Self-acceptance is when we acknowledge both our strengths and weaknesses. You could say it’s about seeing ourselves as realistically as we can.

Here are the traits scientists saw improve with self-acceptance:

  1. An increase in self-esteem
  2. Less fear of failure
  3. An increase in self-worth
  4. An increase in independence
  5. Less desire to win the approval of others
  6. Less self-criticism and more self-kindness when mistakes occur
  7. More desire to live life for yourself (and not others)
  8. The ability to take more risks without worrying about the consequences
  9. Feeling freer in life to do what we truly want

Your first mission: Write down something you are afraid of or insecure about. By writing it down, you take the first step towards self-acceptance and becoming more confident in yourself. You also make sure that your fear stops growing.

Bonus mission: If you already did the first mission in the previous email about others judging us, do this instead. Think about how you can challenge and face your fear. Here are some examples:

Write it down here in the comments to take your first step to stop caring what others think.