Checking In On Your Big, Ridiculous Goals: Are You Walking Your Talk?

 

Since I started my big round the world trip a few weeks back, I’ve heard the same exclamation from several people: “Wow, you’re really doing it!”

My initial, unspoken reaction is usually along the lines of, “Well, yeah. I said I was going to. What did you expect?”

What I’ve come to realize though is that not many people actually do follow through and walk their big dream talk. The fact that I’m doing just that doesn’t make me feel especially proud or exceptional. Rather, it makes me feel sad. Because what’s our word worth if most of us don’t even follow through on our biggest dreams? Making them real should be of the utmost importance to us, but it seems we let them slip away much too easily.

Take that post I published a few months ago, where I asked you to share your biggest, most ridiculous goals. The response was great — more than 100 comments — but now I’m left wondering how many of you were serious. How many of you are actively working towards those goals? Or other big goals you once set for yourselves?

I know, it’s easy to let them slip. When we give up on our dreams, we’re not really disappointing anyone but ourselves. Nobody is likely to call us out. But hey, you’re the most important person in your life. You owe it to yourself not to let that dream die.

So, allow me to provide a few wake up calls…

  • Hey Jacqui! How’s the singing career coming along? I fully expect to hear you dominating the airwaves when I get back to Ireland.
  • Hey Andrew! How many consecutive Bethaks and Dands are you up to now? Are you on track?
  • Hey Simon! Have you gotten any closer to racing across Alaska on a dog sled? What’s the next step you need to take to make that happen?
  • Hey Daria! Have you made contact with The Windhorse Project yet? If not, today would be a good time to reach out.
  • Hey Tracy! How are your big travel plans shaping up? Are you ready to get the adventure started?
  • Hey Lucy! What’s your 5k time now? Have you cracked the hour mark for the 10k?
  • Hey David! June ain’t that far away. How’s the website coming? Still writing every day?
  • Hey Kelly! That diner idea wasn’t just wishful thinking, right? What have you been doing the past few months to make it real?
  • Hey Jack! How many skydives are you up to now? When can I see you flying like a bird on YouTube?
  • Hey Jen! Still going diving with a Great White? And how’s your website coming along? It’ll be launched by the end of the year, right?
  • Hey Adrian! Won any tournaments lately? What’s it going to take to make it happen?
  • Hey Sarah! How’s the prep for those hikes coming? What progress have you made in the last few months?
  • Hey Josh! あなたの日本語改善くらいを持っています?
  • Hey Darshan! What’s new with the astronaut dream? Have you been getting some practice piloting different aircraft?
  • Hey De Zien! Are you still on track to visit those remote tribal villages? Where’s your next destination?
  • Hey Raul! I don’t see much change in North Korea. WTF, man?
  • Hey Daren! What’s the latest with that master’s degree? They’re waiting for you on Enceladus.
  • Hey Peggy! Still on track for February 21st? Dime cosas, mi amiga.
  • Hey Nigel! I’m still waiting for that first blog post. What’s the story?
  • Hey Cynthia! Any progress to report on that Alzheimer’s site? And how about those last 50lbs?

Let’s hold each other accountable here. I don’t want Disrupting The Rabblement to be just another blog you check out every now and then, read something inspiring, perhaps live a little vicariously through me, and then go back to living an unfulfilled life yourself.

No, screw that.

I want you to actually change the world for the better, whether your world or the world at large (and I happen to believe you can’t change the former for the better without having a positive impact on the latter).

And I’ll call myself out here, too.

You may remember that my own big ridiculous goal (besides traveling around the world without flying) is to become uber-fluent in four foreign languages before I turn 40. But I’ve been slacking with my Spanish the past few months. If anything, my level of competency has regressed. I plan to get back into it big time next week when I set up shop in Budapest for a month or so (currently I’m in Zurich). My mini-goal will be to practice at least an hour of Spanish each day, at least thirty minutes of which will be speaking practice.

Now, how about you?

Tell me, are you true to your word? Are you doing what you said you were going to do, working hard to make your dream a reality? Or, at the very least, can you say that you’ve given it your best shot?

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38 Comments

  1. Love it, Niall!! I was scared when I saw my name that I had at some point lost my mind and said something about hiking, but no, I would never be *that* crazy. I’m still working on figuring out what my goals are, but congrats on moving towards yours! You should go hang out with Will in Spain. ;-)

  2. Oh god, I like everyone else, don’t like being called out like this, ha! Here is me cringing when you started on the calls out in the video!

    Anyway, unfortunately, I don’t have good news to report. I have crashed out badly at the few tournaments I was it. One occasion was so bad for me, I was letting myself get really pissed off and that isn’t exactly a healthy response to a bad situation now, is it?

    It seems like I hit a bit of a wall recently. Truth be told, I haven’t really being practicing enough. I don’t many other people in the scene have being either for the simple reason the game we play is an unbalanced mess. So much so the developers have had to bring out a new version next month owing to complaints!

    Still, that is not a reason for to next practice, I did spend some time practicing some small things but then wondering why I was still losing. So, was recently able to ask a top player online about this and gave me some blunt advice on me making notes on why I’m losing which I have applied when I watch back on matches I lose.

    Like I said, I hit a bit of a wall recently but its one I wish to overcome and will overcome eventually.

    Thanks for the call out, now you get back to learning Spanish! :P

    • Thanks for checking in, Adrian. Sounds to me like you know what needs doing and now it’s just a matter of doing it. Kudos for reaching out to that other player and applying his advice.

      I’ll be checking in with you again in May to see how you’re doing :-)

  3. I didn’t get called out, but I’m betting that’s because you know I’m working hard on my novel. ;) I am actually taking my allotted twenty minute break right now, and will be getting back into it in about fifteen minutes.

    What a great thing, though, checking on how we’re doing with what we said we’d do. Sometimes that’s just what we need to get going.

    • Yup, there were a few people who commented on the previous post that I was pretty sure didn’t need to be called out. I know you’re working hard on NaNoWriMo, Jillian. Keep it up!

  4. What the hell?! Are you really that awesome that you just called us all out on our big ridiculous goals?!

    You are absolutely AMAZING!

    Never in my life have I had someone call me out on such a thing like my wistful dreams of hiking the Appalachian and CCT!! I showed my husband this post and video, and then we stared at each other for a bit just dumbfounded.

    Seriously, what a motivator! We’ve already been planning some workouts for our own benefits, but why not include some to build up our stamina for a potential seven months of at least 10 mile a day hiking?

    We’ve got a few years until our daughter is old enough to go on a trek like that, so we have some time to work on things, but you have seriously encouraged me to keep working toward that goal!

    You are seriously badass for doing this! Keep kicking ass, and having a fabulous time living your big adventure!

    Thank you!

    <3

  5. LOL! This is fucking awesome. I literally cracked up when you started calling people out and had to pause the video to start writing this.

    Brilliant. Okay back to the video, will return to this comment when I’m done…

    North Korea. WTF! Hilarious.

    This post is crazy powerful. It made me feel like I have to be more accountable for my big, ridiculous goals even though I didn’t get called out.

    Thanks for being brave enough to call people out and call yourself out. :)

  6. Wooow, i was not expecting this. It’s like the fourth wall is suddenly being broke or something…

    It’s very very tempting not to bother replying, it’s extremely uncomfortable being called out like this.

    Anyway, I did actually go skydiving (best experience of my life I think), and now I’m at university, where I cannot reasonly (unfortunately) join the Skydiving soc, due to lack of money.

    Even though Skydives with the society are an absolute snip for skydiving at £30, it’s still genuinely more than I can afford, that’s my food budget for 2 weeks. It’s mainly because i blew all my savings in Australia, doing things like skydiving…although it’s hard to regret it all since it was such a great time. The plan is to work next summer, so I that I have cashish for proper societies next year, uni socs really do own, there’s one for everything..I feel like a complete cop-out now though, I had actually completely forgotten about that particular goal. Even though I really really can’t afford it, there’s absolutely no excuse for not hunting down some other cool stuff to do for free.

    Also what you said about reading something inspiring and going back to unfulfilled reality really rings a bell, i think this is the most motivational thing I’ve ever read.

    Thanks a lot Niall, and congratulations on your ongoing trip

  7. Awesome post, Niall. I think everyone needs this, even if they don’t like it. As we talked about in our webinar, once you get going on the courage challenges, it gets a bit addictive. But until then, you have to push yourself hard. I watched a great video of Darren Hardy, editor of SUCCESS Magazine, and he said, “Do you know what successful and unsuccessful people have in common? Both hate to do what it takes to be successful. The difference is that successful people do it anyway.”

    Keep on with your legendary self! lol

  8. Wow Niall! WTF? You didn’t call me out! Maybe because my lizard brain was in they way when I tried to comment in the original post, but FUCK the lizard brain!

    So here I am, I’ll tell You my plans short, mid and long term, so You can call me out on them every once in a while, and kick me back in the right way, if I need it (Hopefully I won’t)

    First, We’re (My wife and I) planning to take our daughter out of the school and Home-School her. For several reasons that will be explained in my soon-to-be-released blog we don’t like traditional school, so along with the lizard brain, Fuck it. We already advised the school she’s not going anymore, and we have a educational plan to be applied at home. BTW, home will be wherever we are at the moment! How cool is that?

    Second, We’ve been living in Puerto Rico for 4 years now, and hoping since the first that we have the chance to go to DisneyWorld. Fuck hoping, we’re departing THIS Sunday 20th! so check the pics on FB within 2 weeks.

    Third, we want to go to the Grand Canyon, already started research and next year we’ll go there!

    Fourth, To be congruent with our beliefs, this is the 1st year we won’t celebrate christmas, and won’t do it ever again!

    Fifth, We want to set up some business to have a constant cash stream, so that I can quit my job! and dedicate our lives to travel, learn, and develop environmentally friendly products. Wife wants everyday product like soap, cream, food and stuff, and I want to develop end-user products that reduces or eliminates our need for oil, electricity and such. We’ve already started this, the solar-generated electricity is barely beginning, but there’s definitely a lot we can do with what we have today.

    So, how’s that for a long reply and a small list of some of my(ours) plans for the future? I hope You’ll keep us in line!

    Thanks for all the posts, and we would love if can coincide some time, someplace. Cheers

    PS: Why don’t you drink? Its been bugging my mind…

    • Wow, you’re a man on a mission, Jorge. Love it. And that whole bit about not celebrating Christmas really makes me think.

      I’ll do my best to check in occasionally and make sure you’re on track with all those goals. But best depend more on yourself than on me for that ;-)

      As for the not drinking thing, I gave it up this year as an experiment, wrote a couple of articles about it before, will have another one up in a few weeks.

      • Niall!

        I know I’ve been bothering you a lot lately… Just excited about a couple of things I’ve accomplished!

        – Trip to Disney, done! unbelievable, unforgettable and extremely tired, was worth every ounce of effort in planning and executing.

        – Started my blog, with my very first post. Something tiny, but its a start, now I will pour my mind there :D let me know what you think :D

        Cheers!

  9. Hey, Niall.

    I’m keeping up with my goal but certainly not as well as I should be, I think. Since commenting on your post I’ve gotten my 5K time down from 36mins to just over 20, which is an achievement I’m proud of. I do, however, think that seeing as I haven’t ran any further than 5K I should really start concentrating on that rather than just getting my 5K time down further. My plan was to get it down to about half the time before starting to add the distance but I think I’ve been getting too worked up over that and not about my distance.

    Thanks for the kick up the backside. The next big run I do will be a 6K and I’ll try to keep adding from there and come back to halving my initial 5K time after the conquering the distance thing.

    It’s already been said by others but I just wanted to say that this video was awesome! Thank you so much for it! Hopefully we’ll both quit slacking on our goals this time. :-)

  10. You are freaking awesome Niall! Way too keep us all (including you) on track! We all can use a little help being accountable whether we like it or not.

    I just put my house on the market and have been getting the same comment – wow, you’re really doing this! Uh, yeh, I said I was going to. But then I realize how many of us may make these big ridiculous plans and not follow through.

    I’m still on track for February 21st. My main concern right now is the housing market and whether I’ll be able to sell my house in a reasonable amount of time. Assuming it sells in the next month, I’m right on track. I’m continuing to learn everything I can about building a web-based business. Unfortunately, like you, my Spanish has fallen by the wayside while I’m focusing on so many other things. You’re inspiring me to recommit to it.

    You’re doing some amazing stuff here! And helping us to do our amazing stuff! Keep at it! :-)

  11. Hola Niall,

    The calling people out idea is bold and hard to ignore. Looks like the response is positive even from those who were caught off guard! I’m experiencing a period of change and uncertainty in own my life relating to where I am, what I want to be doing, and how to get there, so your posts of late are both inspiring and poignant. It’s fun to follow along with you on your journey, and I refer to your endeavor in conversations not too infrequently.

    I’m enrolled in a 1 weekend/month Yoga teacher training course, though I never imagined myself as a yoga teacher! Option? I spent yesterday substitute teaching at a fancy private school in the California state capitol, though I never imagined myself as a school teacher. Option? I’ve been reading a well-regarded book about getting into professional photography, and although that seems the most up my alley personality and passion-wise, it’s the option I feel a significant amount of fear and apprehension about, maybe because I’m worried I’ll find out I’m not good enough to hack it. (Though earlier this year I sold ten prints for what to me was a nice chunk of change…)

    My main message is that while I don’t always find something in your posts that seems useful or directly applicable to me and my situation, I still get inspiration in hearing of your goal-setting and holding yourself to task, and that gives hope to me while I navigate this sometimes uncertain chapter of life. Worry and fear does us no good, eh? Here’s to you and keeping the flame of exploration and self-knowledge alive. All the best to ya from Sacramento, and keep up the good work. – Ben Lehman

    • Great to hear from you, Ben. And thanks for the kind words.

      Personally, I’d see that fear and apprehension about getting into professional photography as a signpost. That’s likely the thing you should be doing most!

      But those other options sound pretty good, too. I like that you’re trying lots of different things and seeing what resonates.

      More power to ya!

  12. So at first I cringed and tried to hide while reading this post. I have a tendency to get my feet wet, or maybe just my toes actually and then I feel satisfied enough that I don’t go full on ahead. I can taste the dream and feel it ever so close and then I back away. Strange how getting close to what we actually want is a scary thing! Sigh….

    A much needed motivation from you in my inbox and life today. Hopefully I can go deeper and farther in my pursuit of the dream. Even getting in up to my knees would be an improvement!! Not sure what’s up with my water analogy…maybe cos I’m not a strong swimmer? Anyway, thanks again.

    Tali

  13. Niall!!! 私の日本語はいいです! Been studying the Anki flashcards with Kanji on a daily basis. It’s been awesome. I’m starting to use Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide to get more advanced grammar principles down, as well! Things are progressing steady. Not that fast, but steady. I will pick up the pace, though. This goal will be reached. :)

    It took me a while to get back to you because I’ve been in the hospital twice this November. Crohn’s Disease can be quite frustrating. I think the stress of college got to me, so I’ll be switching to online school again next semester. The good news? More time throughout the day to work on my projects, like 日本語!

    Thanks,

    Josh Lipovetsky