Answer these 4 Questions to Reach Your Goals: Interview with Noah Blumenthal Part 3

Be Consistent to Become Your Ideal Self

This article will cover the 4 questions you need to answer to reach your goals. At the end of this article, I am going to give you a link to a tech solution that will make you happier, healthier and more successful. It’s specially designed for readers of Your MBA Purpose, and it’s FREE! If you really want to attain those goals, then this is the perfect offer for you.

Waiting tables was my first "real" job. Anyone who has worked in a restaurant knows there is "side work."

These are the tasks you must do but don't really get paid directly for. Most servers make their money from tips, yet in order for a customer to have a nice experience the side work needs to be completed. Examples include:

  • Filling salt and pepper shakers 
  • Cleaning tables 
  • Sweeping the floor 

The list of side work duties is extensive but I want to mention something about sweeping. When I waited tables, sweeping gave me a sense of peace. Each day I had to sweep and I felt a connection to the past. I imagine one of the first chores going back millenniums was sweeping.

Similar to the side work of sweeping is answering recurring questions about our lives. There is a peace involved with coming back to the same questions. You cannot set goals once in your life and move on. Deep questions require weekly reflection if only for a few minutes. Doing so will put you on a path to success which few ever experience. Most people never ask themselves difficult questions, yet the ones who do and answer honestly are the ones who reach their goals. 

Asking questions and reflecting became the central theme of my interview with Noah. To re-cap, Noah is a best-selling author, executive coach, and co-founder of SavvyRoo, a tech startup that allows companies to have digital brainstorming sessions in less than five minutes (play the demo). Part one and two of our interview explored how reflective thinking is the key to success. He also explained the three things executives would say to their younger selves.

The last thing he wanted to share were the 4 recurring questions everyone should ask themselves on a weekly basis. They cannot be answered once as our lives become cluttered. Just as I swept every day while waiting tables, we all need to constantly challenge ourselves.

What Are Your Goals? 

"Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives." ~ Viktor E. Frankl

Goals are interesting. Many people either don't set goals or don't follow through with them. Having goals is key to pulling us forward. There is an adventurous spirit of just blindly going in life, yet the problem occurs when people look back and realize they have spent years or decades doing things they don't enjoy.

As Noah said, "I hope I wouldn't have to tell you why goal setting is important." Whether a fitness, professional, or personal goal, we must have a clear direction. Knowing where you want to go will align you to your proper destination.

Ask yourself weekly: what are my goals?

What Are you Grateful For?

Noah was excited to discuss gratitude. Over the past decade, researchers have focused on the science of gratitude and have discovered remarkable findings. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. is a professor at the University of California, Davis and considered the leading expert in gratitude. Through his research he has found being grateful has the following benefits.

• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated."

Just look at all of the positive attributes of being grateful. Our world has become such a cynical and negative place (looking at you "news" media). Taking time to be grateful is one of the most important things you can do for a more fulfilled life.

Earlier this year, I took this idea to heart and every morning I list three things I am grateful for. Many times it is people, sometimes it is coffee, and other times it is just the freedom to be an entrepreneur. As Noah and I spoke, I could hear the gratitude in his voice and knew it was something he thought about frequently.

Ask yourself weekly: what am I grateful for?

What Have People Done Well Around You?

Similar to a life of gratitude is recognizing others. Noah explained recognizing and praising others is incredibly beneficial for your own career. It is constantly one of the best things you can do as a leader.

We should desire to be part of a culture of acknowledgment. Have you ever been part of a team or company that is always critical? Did you want to work extra hours for the company? Were you willing to do whatever it took to get the job done? Probably not because you knew there would be no acknowledgment for what you and your team accomplished.

Yet, we have the ability to change work, family, and school cultures around us by telling others they have done well. You will become the person everyone wants to be around and will improve your overall standing. This does not mean you should praise everything someone does, we all make mistakes and need to constantly improve. However, you can show appreciation daily and encourage others for what they have done well.

Many of us, especially those with an MBA, are taught to find flaws within a company in order to improve production, revenue, and cut costs of goods. But noticing what is being done well will allow you to stand out as the person who can see the good in others.

Ask yourself weekly: what have people done well around me?

What Can I do This Week to go Above and Beyond? 

We spoke about this at length in the last article. Going above and beyond is what the highest-achievers do every week. Don't fall into the comfort of what feels normal. When we consistently remind ourselves to go above and beyond we push the limits of our capabilities.

Many people fall into a complacency trap. They do the same thing every day and within a year they have not really moved forward. As Stephen Covey says regarding experience,

"Some people say they have twenty years, when in reality, they only have one year’s experience, repeated twenty times."

When you go beyond what is asked you will grow faster than you can imagine. What can you do this next week which would be better than last week? What can you learn? What book can you read? What project can you help on that you see a colleague struggling with? How can you give a little more effort to a school project?

You won't regret going above and beyond but you will regret not trying hard enough.

Ask yourself weekly: what can I do this week to go above and beyond?

Get Better Results Effortlessly   

If you are a consistent reader of Your MBA Purpose you are likely a high-achiever who goes 100mph each week. Taking the time to honestly reflect is not easy. You could be in an MBA program, have one or more jobs, a family, a long commute, or all of the above.

However, by not answering the above questions you are doing yourself and your loved ones a disservice. If you really want to reach your goals you must look inward and ask important questions. As Noah and I spoke we had an idea.

What if SavvyRoo set up an easy way for people to answer the above questions on a weekly basis? Noah liked the idea and his team put together a special giveaway for Your MBA Purpose readers.

SavvyRoo has set up a way for you to receive the following questions weekly.

  • What are your goals for the next 7 days?
  • From the past week what are you grateful for?
  • In the past week what have people around you done well?
  • What can you do this week to go above and beyond?

Noah's team created recurring Sparks. What this does is send you the 4 questions above once per week, each question comes on a different day. Answering takes less than 2 minutes and your answers are stored digitally.

The recurring Sparks are the beginning of your journey to your goals. Continually answering these questions will allow you to realign yourself weekly and position you toward your desired life. Instead of trying to remember the questions every week, let SavvyRoo send you the questions digitally to efficiently use your time.

A special thank you to Noah and his team! The interview was insightful and impacted me greatly. Before the interview, I was going so fast I forgot where I wanted to go and what I wanted my life to be. Now I am deliberately taking the time to think reflectively and answer difficult questions to reach my goals.

Noah Blumenthal

Heroes: Gandhi, Pema Chodren, Victor Frankl

Noah Blumenthal, a bestselling and award-winning author, brings 20 years of business and consulting experience to SavvyRoo. He has supported the strategic planning and leadership development of senior executives around the globe in financial services, pharmaceuticals, high tech, professional services, manufacturing and more.

Noah was named by Leadership Excellence Magazine as one of the, “Top 100 Minds in Personal Development.” As a keynote speaker Noah has presented at TEDxUNLV, Brandeis University Business Commencement, the Clinton Presidential Library, and numerous conferences and corporate events.

Noah’s most recent book, Be The Hero, reached the top 20 in all books on Amazon, ranked #1 in Business, Self-help, Careers, and Success, appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s list of business bestsellers, and won a Silver Axiom Award for Best Business Fable.

Noah’s goal for SavvyRoo and for life is to contribute to moving our society and world toward more equitable and sustainable ends. When he isn’t dreaming of saving the world, he enjoys playing ukulele, juggling and cheering on the New York City Football Club (COYBIB!).