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3 Things You Must Overcome Before Achieving Your Life Goals

By Maxwell Leadership | March 5, 2024
3 Things You Must Overcome Before Achieving Your Life Goals

Having goals is a beautiful thing – bright visions of the future to eagerly anticipate as you work toward them.

And in its way, working toward our goals is a thing of beauty, too. But only in principle. In practice, it’s taxing. It means getting up early when we want to sleep in, setting aside time when we want to go with the flow, and working when we’d rather relax. It’s inconvenient, it’s frustrating, and often, it’s emotionally draining. In a word, it’s costly. That’s exactly what John Maxwell meant when he said, “The dream is free, but the journey isn’t.”

But just because something costs you doesn’t mean it’s not worth it – it just means you should be prepared to pay.

What You Must Give Up to See Your Goals Realized

The cost of a goal can look like many things: time, comfort, money, finances… but no matter your goal, there are three kinds of costs you’ll have to pay:


Philosopher-poet Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke about what is required to stay on track: “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”

It’s human nature for people to criticize others – but what really hurts is the criticism of people who are important to you. It’s hard to have your goal criticized by people you admire, love, and respect. However, if you want to achieve your dream, you’ll have to learn how to pay that price too. Stacy Allison, the first American woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, remarked, “You’ve got to decide sometimes in your life when it’s okay not to listen to what other people are saying. If I had listened to other people I wouldn’t have climbed Mt. Everest.”

So when should you listen and when should you ignore what others have to say? Which critics count and which don’t? Here is my advice. Heed the advice of the critic when…

  • You are unconditionally loved by the one who criticizes you.
  • The criticism is not tainted by his or her personal agenda.
  • The person is not naturally critical of everything.
  • The person will continue giving support after giving advice.
  • He or she has knowledge and success in the area of the criticism.

Healthy, constructive criticism that meets these guidelines actually helps your goal, but it can still be hard to hear. Prepare yourself to deal with criticism whether you’re ignoring it or reconciling with it.


All dreams are outside our comfort zone. Leaving that zone is a price we must pay to achieve them. In his book The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Jack Canfield writes, “Think of your comfort zone as a prison you live in—a largely self-created prison. It consists of a collection of can’ts, musts, must nots and other unfounded beliefs formed from all the negative thoughts and decisions you have accumulated and reinforced during your lifetime.” Every fear is like a bar of that prison. But the good news is that because fears are feelings, the faulty ones can be removed, and we can become free from them. But it costs us to remove them.

Of course, not all fears are bad – fear can warn us of danger and keep us safe. And some fears are based in reality. But we still need to deal with them. Playwright David Mamet wrote:

On June 5th, 1944 thousands of American paratroopers jumped into Normandy. Four men refused the jump. Can you imagine, can anyone imagine the rest of these men’s lives? What prodigies of self-excuse, rationale, or repression they must have had to employ? Their lives, in effect, ended the moment they refused to leave the plane. As would the lives of the Jews, had they refused to go into the sea. As will yours and mine, and as they do in part, we each refuse the opportunity to change—we stagnate and perform ever greater prodigies of repression and hypocrisy, to explain to ourselves why we don’t immerse ourselves in the mysteries of life. We all die in the end, but there’s no reason to die in the middle.

You don’t want to die in the middle of your life! Nobody does. The truth is that everyone has to pay one way or another. You can listen to your fears and pay with your life. Or you can pay the price of overcoming your fears and live. It’s up to you.


On the topic of achievement, author and syndicated business columnist Dale Dauten offers this straightforward advice: “If you want to be creative in your company, your career, your life, all it takes is one easy step… the extra one. When you encounter a familiar plan, you just ask one question: What else could we do?”

Put another way, prominent businessman Rich Melman says, “It is hard to be 100 percent better than your competition, but you can be 1 percent better in 100 ways.”

To summarize, your goal demands that you work. You can’t do whatever’s easiest and still realize a dream. You have to do more. You must do whatever it takes.Though it will cost you a great deal to achieve your goal, the rewards are worth the effort. American founding father Thomas Paine wrote in The American Crisis, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

What are you creating in 2024?

Are you ready to chart your own course, at the helm of your own business? When you become a Maxwell Leadership Certified Team member, you are 100% in control of your own business, earning income on your own terms… it pays to be the boss!  And you won’t be doing it alone. You’ll be a part of a global community of Maxwell Leadership entrepreneurs led by our expert team of mentors and faculty, including John C. Maxwell. You’ll have access to the people, tools and resources you need to build a thriving leadership development business. Click here and book a call with one of our program advisors today to talk about your becoming Maxwell certified!

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