The 10 “burning” wishes (How to REALLY achieve your biggest goals)

With 2015 upon us, here is a great technique for goal setting and achievement:

The 10 “burning” wishes



Step one: write down your 10 most important goals, or things you want to have or achieve in 2015 on individual, identical pieces of paper

Step two: fold or roll each piece of paper so you can no longer see which a goal is on which piece of paper, ideally tape them shut

Step three: each day for the next nine days select one of the pieces of paper at random, and burn it (without reading it!)

On the 10th day, you are left with one piece of paper. Open it up, and there is THE ONE GOAL you are going to focus all your energy on until it is achieved!

Now, on the surface this process looks very simplistic, and maybe a little ritualistic, but when you look a little bit deeper, you’ll see that there is quite a bit of deeper psychology at work:

Imagine you arrive at day 10, then open your piece of paper and… You are looking at a goal that wasn’t really THAT important to you after all

Well, that suggests you didn’t really list 10 goals that were that important to you in the first place!

So you better make sure you actually put some elbow grease into this and identify 10 goals that all equally important to you!

If you’re struggling to identify 10 goals that are all equally important, may I suggest you start looking at different aspects of your life!

Sure, if you’re only looking at “stuff to have”, it’s hard to say if the Bentley is more important than the Porsche, or the condo in the Caribbean…

… which is why we also look at aspects of your life like health, relationships, spirituality, education,…


Now, to help you with this process here is the first of three questions you absolutely need to answer before you can even set any meaningful goals:

Question 1 of 3: Why? (A.k.a.: why the last day of your holidays is the worst day of your life)

My buddy Hanno put it very nicely the other day:

“Man, about a year ago we were on Majorca on holidays, and on the last day of our vacation I thought: this sucks, I absolutely hate holidays coming to an end, and I really don’t want to have that feeling any more

And that is Hanno’s “WHY”:

The reason why he gets up in the morning and does the things he does!

He has set himself the one and only goal of:

“within five years I never ever want to have that feeling of a holiday coming to an end because I HAVE to go back to work”

If you don’t have a WHY, the odds of you achieving your goals are pretty much zero!

All those New Year’s resolutions?

99.9% “would be nice to haves”, not real goals!

Turns out, the REAL goal is actually the WHY!

The “thing” you’re lusting after (Bentley, Porsche, Bentley, Porsche, Bentley…) is only a vehicle (pun intended) for getting you there

(And yeah, sometimes you just gotta have a two seater sports car…)

Now, turns out, there is a second dimension to the “why” question:

The first one was all about “why do you STRIVE to do the things you do”, whereas the second one is all about “why do you ACTUALLY DO the things you do”.

As in: WHY do you spend hours fiddling with your blog, or doing SEO, or spamming search engines or not building a list or…

… when in most cases they are NOT actually getting you any closer to the thing you STRIVE to do.

But this second question is best answered in the context of question 2 of 3: WHAT? Which we will cover tomorrow😉

Question  1 of 3 in Action:

remember the  £150.000.000 net worth/7000 employees entrepreneur from our last blog post?

It’s of course none other than Jamie Oliver, who according to this article  only slept  3 1/2 hours  every night for the last 10 years.

Now, he finally recognises  that he’s got a BIT;-) of a problem which he needs to address, but it also  highlights the importance of the “why”:

without that burning desire  that almost rips you out of your bed in the morning (in Jamie’s case after only 3 1/2 hours of sleep consistently every night…), There is NO WAY you to keep that punishing routine going!

And that’s exactly what this ” entrepreneurial” dream DEFINITELY is: a  punishing routine!

It may be rewarding (in Jamie’s case to the tune of  £150 million), but that rewarding part is definitely optional.

The punishing part is  never optional!

As an entrepreneur you are constantly facing setbacks, obstacles, failures and if you’re not willing or able to consistently expand the boundaries of your comfort zone, the rewarding part will forever remain a distant dream!

And the best (if not the only) way to face those setbacks, obstacles, failures and scary boundaries of comfort zone  with a broad beaming smile on your face is to have a WHY so powerful that you have to be forced to  sleep more than 3 1/2 hours per night!

Do this now!:

look at the different aspects of your life,  and list your “wishes”.

Now ask yourself the question “why” do I want to achieve that?

And then ask  again, and again, and again until you find your true “why”.

Do this for your top 10 wishes, and create your “10 burning wishes”

and then prepare for an amazing ride when in 10 days  you open that last, un-burnt  GOAL  (not just wishy-washy wish), knowing that you can and will achieve it simply because you already have the necessary fire inside you to overcome all obstacles that stand in your way!



PS: The whole Jamie Oliver story also highlights a very different reality of the entrepreneurial dream:

Despite what the snake oil salesmen tell you, there is a very STRONG correlation between hard/smart work and outcome, something we will cover in part 3 of 3: HOW! Out in a couple of days





  1. You are so right!
    Your idea to cretae 10 burning wishes is very good.
    I will do it and it will be interesting to see what kind of wish willbe my goal for 2015.
    Thank You


  1. […] see, a couple of days ago we first looked at the WHY? – which is basically the fire in your engine, the fuel that gets you going even when the […]

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