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Someday Never Comes

written by John Chow on January 29, 2007

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Giving Yourself An Out

Do you know how to tell a successful person from a unsuccessful one? The easiest way is by the language they use. When you talk to a successful person about his goals, he’ll tell you what he plans to do and when it will be done. When an unsuccessful person talks about his goals (assuming he even has one), you’ll hear something along the lines of, “I hope to do this someday.” Here’s a clue for all you losers out there; someday never comes.

You know why a person with a loser’s mentality always use words like someday, I hope or I wish? He does it because it gives him an out and not be accountable to his word. If he was to place a time limit on the goal and doesn’t do it, he fails, and a loser hates failing. Winners have no fear of failing because they know success is made from a string of failures.

Everyone have dreams and goals. The only difference between a goal and a dream is a goal is a dream with action. We all have dreams; becoming financially independent, having a family, helping charities, etc. However, how many of you have made a goal to achieve your dreams? And if you have, did you place a time limit on it, or did you just say you’ll do it someday or I hope it will happen?

A Goal Without a Time Limit Is No Goal

Can you imagine buying a presale condominium and not knowing when it will be completed – the only answer the developer would tell you is, “It’ll be finished someday.” Would you buy it? Well, imagine trying to sell your dream this way, “Someday, my dream will come true.” If you wouldn’t buy the condo, why would you buy the dream?

If you wish to achieve anything in life, you have to place a time limit on it. A time limit forces you to take action instead of sitting on the couch saying someday I’ll get there. Don’t be afraid to fail. Know that failure is required in order to succeed. You will not find a successful person who doesn’t have a few stories to tell about their failures. Hmm, I think a posting of some of my failures would make for a good future post.

Making a living off the Internet is something many people wants to do. It’s something many of my friends dream of doing. However, after all these years, only two have actually done it. You know why? They actually listen to me when I said, “Go build a site.” Others whom I gave the same advice to were all positive, “Ya! Sounds great, I need to do this. Working at a job sucks!”

I’m still waiting to see the sites. I’m sure they’ll get to it someday.

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{ 50 comments }

Ed Lau January 29, 2007 at 6:04 pm

It’s rather true. Fear, or rather fear of failure is what keeps normal men seperate from the great ones.

Andrew Chen February 1, 2007 at 3:05 am

Well that makes me feel I am a loser. I hope, I wish, someday are the words I like to use usually when converse with my boss on project timeline =).

I set up my blog web site inspired by John Chow. I even set up an empty forum even though John tell me forum is not a better money making tools than blog. I want to set my goal to grow the forum to have 300 register users by the end of this year but it seems hard for me to achieve…. I wanted to say 500 but already make it lower…. Anyway it is a good post. Unfortunately I can’t digg it.

Gary January 29, 2007 at 6:05 pm

I agree that most people don’t make there dreams come true because they believe there dream is attainable.

I have had the same talk with friends and business people and the people that are successful are always saying they are going to do it, not try to do it.

Carl January 29, 2007 at 6:12 pm

I hope to do this on Sunday

Nate W. January 29, 2007 at 6:24 pm

Great post, John. I have always believed people do not accomplish their goals because for two reasons: fear and laziness.

One must be not be afraid to fail and be proactive about their “goals” in order to ever succeed.

Nomar February 1, 2007 at 1:25 am

I also did this with my goals, but not anymore, john opened my eyes again

Alex Becker January 29, 2007 at 6:26 pm

I’m guessing this excludes politicians.

Michael Kwan January 29, 2007 at 6:28 pm

Good post John. I’m living the “someday” right now. I went out, built my freelance writing site and am slowly building my business. “Someday” I may be a mogul like you.

Aaron Davis January 29, 2007 at 6:28 pm

Very sage advice. I’m currently working on getting my consulting business to the next level, and I’ve given myself until the end of 2007 to do it. No success without goals, planning, risks, and the ever present chance of failure. Great post.

Jane January 29, 2007 at 6:32 pm

I like the motivational/ directional post. I guess that’s part of why we decided to change our site to something more brandable. We have a breakdown of what we want to do each month for the next year. Goals may be ambitious, but achieving 80-90% of these goals will be a huge success for us.

p.s. We like your site so much John, that we gave you a link on our new “Link Showcase” sidebar widget on our site.

Ryan January 29, 2007 at 6:36 pm

Love the motivation here.

The points you make in this post are a good thing to stick in your back pocket when you a) fail or b) aren’t sure what to do.

Always having a goal with some sort of timeline is good. You will fail, of course, but you’re also going to make something happen, too.

Stephen January 29, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Someday I hope to get a Job :lol:

Alex Becker January 29, 2007 at 8:21 pm

Someday I hope to quit my job

Juan Francisco Diez January 29, 2007 at 8:42 pm

LOL!

Qwerty_ January 29, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Very Very good post yet again John, great things here that I will keep in mind for now and into the future. That you must be optomistic and say ill have this done by then, and not ill get it done at some point in time.

Gareth January 29, 2007 at 7:12 pm

I think you’ve missed a key point here. You need to not only set a time, but you need to define a measurable quantity and WRITE IT DOWN!

Simply telling yourself you are going to lose weight by June 1st 2007 is not enough. You need to tell yourself that you are going to lose 5kg’s by June 1st 2007. And even that is not enough, you need to write it down in a place that you can see every day to remind yourself of it. Otherwise you will modify the due date, change the measurable quantity, or end up declaring yourself successful even though your weight loss was only 100 grams.

Michael Kwan January 29, 2007 at 7:38 pm

I’m sure most of you have heard about this before, but when you set goals (and write them down, as mentioned by Gareth) is to make sure they are SMART.

Specific (no generalities)
Measurable (quantitative is best)
Attainable (“realistic”)
Relevant (in line with larger goals)
Timely (deadline)

Jane January 30, 2007 at 1:01 am

Haha..I actually took a Counseling class where they went over that in designing a treatment plan for patients…although the R stood for Reasonable, which I guess is similar to Relevant.

Michael Kwan January 30, 2007 at 12:20 pm

I’ve heard/read a few versions of the SMART goal idea, and some of them have different interpretations of “R”. I’ve also seen “Realistic” but I feel that’s too similar to “Attainable”

Aris January 29, 2007 at 7:43 pm

John,

This is the reason why I keep coming back to check your site. :-)

Gamepoor January 29, 2007 at 8:17 pm

I think I am addicted to Propel and this blog.

Ben Isikoff January 29, 2007 at 8:23 pm

Can you imagine buying a presale condominium and not knowing when it will be completed – the only answer the developer would tell you is, “It’ll be finished someday.” Would you buy it?

Four years ago my Dad did this with a condo in Rocky Point, Mexico. Sense then he has done it again and has over tripled his investment, which is constantly growing every day. So yes, I can imagine!

Nonetheless a great and inspiring article!
btw, im in love with your blog, you are truly an aspiring person! Keep updating it daily to give me something to read!

goddoll January 29, 2007 at 8:31 pm

I feel like this comment has been directed towards me in some way or another.
lol
Btw, I should be able to have my own blogging site by the end of the night.

Rocky Balboa January 29, 2007 at 8:34 pm

I’m a big fan of John Chow. always smart, always insightful, always inspirational.

for more inspiration watch Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA

Azeem January 29, 2007 at 9:02 pm

John Rocks !

This particular blog is Steve Pavlina Style.

Sometimes I feel many people are itching to work hard but are not clear about their goals so the excitement fizzles out after some time.

I wonder if there is a strategy to see goals clearly so that we have a clear and definite target to hit at.

Renée January 29, 2007 at 9:29 pm

“I HOPE to comment on John’s blog SOMEDAY” after reading your feed for months now.

Is my goal attainable? Has that day arrived, John? :)

John Chow January 29, 2007 at 10:10 pm

Looks like you pulled it off!

Mike January 29, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Great post. I read a bit of personal development stuff and no-one has been able to explain why goal setting is important so clearly.

Judith in Umbria January 30, 2007 at 2:11 am

I did that with moving to Italy. One day after 27 years of someday, I just said to myself “self, when?” I made a date I thought was reasonable, not at that time knowing Italian bureaucracy, and created for myself a period of crisis that almost killed me. But I was on the plane the day I said I would be.
All just to say no matter how bizarre or difficult the project, if you are a manager, you will manage it. Unfortunately, Italian bureaucracy doesn’t have the same standard. But I am here, anyway, and here legally.

ian January 30, 2007 at 3:13 am

I have my fair share of being a bit lazy at times, so I can empathise with people who procrastinate. I have well over a hundred undeveloped projects that I never get around to doing, and dont have the time to do.
The most common comment that I get from people when you explain to them how to make money on the internet is, that sounds like too much hard work, or that sounds too complicated. Well it is not hard, and not that complicated, but it does take a certain amount of work and intellect.

WMA January 30, 2007 at 3:50 am

Very motivating post.
And there is even more too goals than timeline; they must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely-bond… in a word SMART.
This is actually the first step to a successful marketing plan that every entrepreneur must have in mind, no matter if he wants to build a blog that will bring him revenue or anything else.

Once again, great post!
Regards,
WMA

P.S.I have written a more detailed article on setting objectives, on my blog, if you are interested in reading.

Scott Howard January 30, 2007 at 3:50 am

I totally agree, I like the analogy that Dave Ramsey(the financial guru)uses. He says that in order to achieve success in finances by getting out of debt and becoming wealthy you should get very intense and focus so much like a gazelle would when he is getting chased by a cheetah. He calls this GAZELLE INTENSITY.

Marc January 30, 2007 at 5:59 am

Great words John. I come here for inspiration since what you’re doing with your blog is what I’m trying to accomplish with mine. That alone is great for inspiration, but a post like this is a real shot in the arm. Well appreciated.

Andrew January 30, 2007 at 6:03 am

Very motivational article, I used to find myself saying someday all the time and would never get anything accomplished… Really worked on changing that over the last year or two and couldn’t feel better :)

Ben Cruikshank January 30, 2007 at 6:48 am

John, I think a post about some of your failures would is a great idea! If you can show people that it’s OK to fail as long as you get back up and keep trying, I think it would be a great inspiration to many.

Keep up the good work!

Marc January 30, 2007 at 9:51 am

I would love to read a post like this. There’s nothing that I appreciate more than people sharing their hard-learned lessons so that some of us might avoid them.

What do you think John? Willing to share?

Leanne January 30, 2007 at 7:25 am

Interesting post.

But I would put “passion” as a key ingredient to achieving your dreams. Without passion, there would be no motivation to act on it immediately.

By the way, I still can’t figure out how I ended up on your site. One minute I was at the sitemeter site, the next I was redirected to your website.

Now, if only I could do that to my site. Hahaha …

David Lithman January 30, 2007 at 8:13 am

Very good article John. Unfortunately, I fall into the “someday” category every once in awhile. You just get so much on your plate it’s hard to place time limits on things, especially when you’re working a 40+ hour/wk job on top of trying to build websites in whatever spare time you have.

I think I’ll take your advice though and start placing time limits on myself. If I fail then I fail. Like you said, winners don’t fear failure.

Leftblank January 30, 2007 at 8:14 am

Interesting article, I must say you’ve got a strong point, without deadlines most people wont put up good performance..

Vinay January 30, 2007 at 8:40 am

Goal setting, time management, assertive behavior, ambition, drive, smartness, pro-activity are all words close to my heart as well. It’s nice to implement these. However John, what’s your take on the “Luck Factor” in your success? Luck or Destiny is that inscrutable thing that operates in every man’s life. A thousand efforts can come to a nought. A single effort can yield gold for some people. I don’t think it is just smartness & ambition. Often times I see the non-deserving, not-competent, ordinary guy making it big in life. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. I am talking about general success not just Internet success. “Be Lucky” is the by-word here.
- Vinay

Marc January 30, 2007 at 9:56 am

While I agree that being lucky can certainly make everything a whole lot easier, my life experience has taught me that working hard increases your luck significantly.

When I consider the instances where I’ve felt lucky, there’s usually been some hard work hiding not so far beneath the surface.

Granted there are flukes, and undeserving people will get all kinds of riches no matter what. That’s fine so long as you don’t let it stop you.

In my experience. Your mileage may vary :)

Chris January 30, 2007 at 10:48 pm

Certainly luck is important. But, I think we all have our lucky moments. In my opinion it’s a matter of recognizing them for what they are or could be and acting on them. Of course, I am not saying this is easy, otherwise we’d all be gangster rich.

John C (not John Chow) January 30, 2007 at 9:59 am

John, thank you very much for the good advice. I agree completely with what you said, and have for some time now, but I still fall into someday often. I have lots of ideas, the will to complete them, and then few things ever get done.

The good news is, I have started a site recently, and plan to stick with it, and take it somewhere worthwhile in a timely manner.

Thanks for the motivation.

Paul January 30, 2007 at 11:00 am

indeed.. Someday I too will post on my blog!!

Mubin January 30, 2007 at 11:13 am

Hell, Its because of John that I have started to do so many things I had on the Backburner. I finally signed up with azoogle, and finally started my personal blog(http://www.mubinahmed.com), I moved away from my proxies which were making me nice money but were too easy and were forcing me to keep reinvesting in them.

Chris January 30, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Nice post John.

Thanks for keeping us wannabes focused. :)

Seriously, I’ve really began to believe that I need to act with urgency, I’m not getting any younger and my son wont stop growing up.

Miriguy January 31, 2007 at 1:51 am

Interesting post. I used to say to myself, someday, I will comment on ur blog, and after reading this post, the answer is obvious.

p/s:thanks for the advice. :D

Rex Dixon January 31, 2007 at 10:44 pm

John – You are so right. That has to be the best blog post I’ve read in days. Probably hours. Everything you say is so true. This big shot VP of a company who’s holiday part I was at asked me what I where I wanted to be in 5 years. I use to have problems with that question. I’m getting there, as I said to him without even thinking too hard — “In 5 years, I want to walk through that door, and everyone will turn and go “Wow, there is Rex Dixon.” ” — and that is how far I have progressed in the last year. I am getting there in 2007 – that is working for myself, and I know will. The wheels are in motion, and the only thing that will stop me from reaching my goal this year – is if I happen to die. :) – Rex

Kalle February 21, 2007 at 11:43 am

Soo true, I have never thought about it like that. Nice post! :D

David February 21, 2007 at 11:52 am

I have learned this the hard way, and now realize and recognize the value of putting dates on your goals. If you have no time line, there is no incentive to actually get it done.