The most powerful message on goals you’ll ever read

[2 minute read] (ESL learners – click on the bolded words to see explanations and notes. Try the exercise at the bottom after! 🙂 )

First, let me start by saying that the message is not by me — I’m not writing this just to toot my own horn. It’s something I read on Instagram, by @spoonofconsciousness. Sachin, the man behind this account, is a personal development coach, and he posted this message in particular on July 19th, 2021. You’re probably curious by now about what it is, so here you are:

“Before you say you want something I want to ask you something: Are you sure you want that? Do you know what you’re asking for?

What you’re really asking for when you say: “I want to make more money” is a whole new way of life. The same applies for if you want to get in better shape, have better relationships, or eat better. You’re asking for a new way of life and I don’t know if you know that or if you’re ready for that.

I talk to people every day who say they want things and want me to help them make that happen. Very few of them actually follow through on what they say they want.

And this only happens because when we realize what’s actually required of us to create what we want, we have a decision to make. Do you want it or not?

This isn’t about motivation or trying to pump you up but really understanding what you need to pay in order to have what you want. Do you know what you’re really asking for or does it just sound nice?”

This message struck me like a lightning bolt. Of course, there’s an enormous chasm between the goals people have and the hard work that’s required to actually fulfil them. We sit on the couch and think to ourselves, “Man, I wanna be rich!” “…famous!” “…super fit!” “…energized!” and we imagine ourselves with the same way of life — all our bad habits, our lifestyle, our daily routine, our laziness — just with the single addition of the completed goal in our vision. But if the things you have been doing until now have not helped you to achieve that goal, then how can continuing to do those same things possibly suddenly yield you different results?

What people — we — often don’t realize, is that any given goal we have has strings attached… a lot of them. They’re the hard work, commitment, and sacrifices you have to make in order to get anything in life. It’s extremely rare, dare I say impossible even, to find someone who has achieved something without the strings attached.

The way I see it, if you want something, you’ve also got to learn to love doing the actions that will make it happen. You want a super buff body? You’ve got to start loving eating and exercising in the right way. You want to be successful in your job? You’ve got to start loving working hard, learning from others, trying new things and failing. That’s the only way you can commit to and sustain having a goal in your life long-term.

Those are just my two cents — if you’ve got any more thoughts on the topic, leave a comment below!

ESL Notes (11 words / expressions)

Definitions written with reference to Cambridge Dictionary

to toot your own horn: to brag; to talk about yourself or your achievements in a way that shows too much pride. (Back to the text)

to get in better shape: to become more fit. (Back to the text)

to follow through on something: to continue something until it is completed. (Back to the text)

to pump someone up: to make someone more confident, excited, or enthusiastic. (Back to the text)

struck: past simple conjugation of “to strike”, meaning “to hit”. For example “The tree was struck by lightning”. “Struck” can also be used to say that something makes a big impression on you and you really notice it and remember it. (Back to the text)

a chasm: a deep, narrow opening in rock, ice, or the ground. Here, it’s used metaphorically to say there’s a huge “gap” or difference between the way we think about goals, and the reality behind them. (Back to the text)

to yield results: to produce something (positive). For example, an investigation can yield unexpected results, a project can yield great profits, or great weather can yield good crops (vegetables and fruits). (Back to the text)

dare I say: used to say that you think or agree that something is true, especially when others may not like your opinion. This is a little bit more formal. It can also be seen as “dare I say it” or “I dare say”. (Back to the text)

buff: a body (usually a man’s body) that is in great shape and very muscly. (Back to the text)

sustain: to cause or allow something to continue for a period of time. (Back to the text)

your two cents: your opinion on something. (Back to the text)


Want to start using these words and make sure you don’t forget them? Try this exercise! Think about these questions (discuss them with someone) or write down your answers, using the word or expression in your discussion or answer.

  • If someone has achieved some great success, do you think they should feel the right to toot their own horn? Do you ever toot your own horn if you succeed at something?
  • What’s the number one thing that will help someone get in better shape in your opinion? Do you think working on eating habits or exercise routine will be a bigger help in getting someone into better shape?
  • When you say you will improve something in your life or start a good habit, how often do you follow through and actually make that happen? Do you know anybody who always follows through on what they say they will do?
  • What pumps you up the most in the morning? (Listening to good music, doing some exercise, watching the sunrise, thinking about your goals for the day, etc.)
  • Think about a painting or piece of art you really like — what struck you the most about it?
  • In your country, is there a large economic chasm between the rich and the poor?
  • Think about a book or movie you recently saw which is very popular, but that you didn’t enjoy. Describe your opinion of the book/movie and use “dare I say“.
  • Do you think if someone looks buff, that means they are healthy?
  • What do you think can help sustain the interest of children when they learn things that are important but boring to them, like math, geography, or history?
  • What changes do you think will happen in your company or field of work in the future? Finish with “those are just my two cents“.

Feel free to try writing some more sentences, or a text, of your own to practice some more.

Thank you for reading! These ESL notes, links and exercises each take several hours to make, so if you found this useful, the kindest thing you can do is to like the post, leave a comment, or share with anyone who needs it. Have questions about any other words? Leave a comment and I’ll be happy to reply!

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