Monday, 31 December 2007

Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Your Goals

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed."
Booker T. Washington

The ending of one year and the beginning of another is always a time for introspection. I was going to share a story of one of my mentors or teachers and the obstacles they overcame to achieve their goals. Then I thought I'd share one of my own stories.

About 10 years ago I found myself in a position where I had nowhere to live. I had been given two weeks to vacate the place I was staying and I had nowhere to move to.

Up until that time I had been renting accommodation and I knew that I did not want to continue renting. My experience of renting had not been all bad but I had experienced things that I didn't want to relive. I wanted my own home but couldn't see how I could afford one on my salary.

When I relocated back to London it took me eight long months to get a 'proper job' which I lost, through no fault of my own, less than three months later. In retrospect, it was one of the best things that happened in my life. The job was out of London and I was just preparing to start a new life in another part of the country. My boss encouraged me to search for a property to buy and I was just about to make my first house purchase when the rug was pulled from beneath my feet.

I went back to London but my spirit was crushed. I couldn't face the prospect of another long period of job-hunting. Fortunately, I found a job much faster this time but it was a part-time job and later I ended up taking on another part-time job to make ends meet. I was later promoted to General Manager of the first company - a full-time post but, as you can imagine, after being out of work for such a long time my funds were sorely depleted and the job I was in didn't pay overly well.

So I gave myself a deadline to make a decision about whether or not I was going aim to buy a new home or continue renting. The prospect of owning my own home seemed so out of reach back then that I couldn't even make an immediate decision to go for this goal. You see at that time, I didn't know the theory behind about setting your intention and then figuring out how to achieve your goal afterwards. I naturally set myself goals and worked towards bringing them into fruition believing that I could manifest what I wanted if I put my mind to it but there was no solid framework behind what I was doing. I was working instinctively and often stubbornly. However, had I known about goal setting, goal achievement and the Law of Attraction what I know now I am certain I could have achieved far more in less time.

Before my self-imposed deadline expired I was served with the eviction notice but I had not been idle. To help my decision-making process I attended a home-buyers exhibition where I opted-in to several real estate mailing lists so I could keep up-to-date with what was on the market. At the same exhibition, I even managed to secure a provisional mortgage. So I was fortunate enough not to have to start house-hunting from scratch when I was given notice yet I knew that it was not practical for me to find a home and complete the purchase in two weeks. I had to find somewhere to live in the interim.

I found a bed and breakfast type of accommodation and put my possessions into storage. It was an uncomfortable feeling being parted from my stuff. For the next month or so I lived out of a suitcase but it was no holiday. I was still managing a company and I was also completing my Diploma in Exercise & Fitness Training - a year-long program so it was an intense period. Now I know that many individuals have experienced far worse than what I'm describing here but it was still a very difficult time for me. I'm a home-maker and I love to cook and prepare nutritious and tasty meals. Living in a single room and eating ready-meals is not my idea of fun. To some degree I felt like a failure. I had to resolve my situation and fast.

I looked at a few properties - four to be exact. Some were absolutely hideous, others were incredibly cramped and then I saw a flat that I felt had potential. Among its attributes were that the rooms were relatively generous in size and it had lovely high ceilings. And there was something else. The details of this property were among those that had been sent to me as a result of my joining the mailing lists of various estate agents and my intuition told me, even before I had physically seen the property, that this was the one.

So I weighed up what I was seeing. I knew I didn't have the luxury of indulging in a long house-hunting process and decided to put in an offer on my preferred flat. I wasn't the first person to put in an offer on the flat. In fact, I was told that more than one house-hunter had submitted offers but not completed the sale. I was now slightly alarmed. I was having a survey done but was there something wrong with this flat? However, the estate agent told me that the potential buyers had been unable to come up with the finance. Phew!

Yet, I didn't know how I was going to come up with the finance either. True I had a provisional mortgage but I certainly didn't have a deposit. After long periods of unemployment, part-time employment and low-paying jobs my funds were depleted. I didn't know where the additional money was coming from but I took a leap of faith and put in an offer on the flat which was accepted. Somehow, I was going to have to find the money for the deposit.

Then one evening, on my way back to the bed and breakfast I remembered that I hadn't opened my mail that day. I skimmed through the letters and there was one from my bank. I opened it there and then right on the street. I was actually standing outside a branch of my bank at the time. As I read the letter I couldn't believe my eyes. My bank was offering me a pre-approved, unsecured loan. Now although theoretically you shouldn't take a loan out to pay for the deposit on a property, here was my lifeline. I knew I could make the loan repayments and the mortgage repayments. Ironically, buying a property was cheaper than renting a comparable property but it was just more difficult to do.

There were probably more creative ways of obtaining the finance for my property but the fact remains that I did it. However, I would not have been successful if I didn't have that blind faith that somehow I would find a way to pull this off. I would not have been successful if I didn't ignore the obstacles standing in my way and take action.

So what obstacles do you envisage will stand in the way of you achieving your goals in 2008? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to overcome these challenges? What goals are you willing to set if you know you cannot fail to achieve them?

Ask Nickolove Lovemore
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