How to Be a Winner: 5 Keys to Achieving Big Goals

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Train to Failure

In order to achieve extraordinary goals, you need to grow. And the best way to grow is to borrow a concept from weightlifting: "train to failure" — push yourself until you have nothing left to give. You can't grow your capacity if you don't use up all that you have. And if you never test yourself, you'll never improve. Winners live by the words of Airstream founder Wally Byam: "It was impossible, so it took a little longer to accomplish." And they know that pressure is their friend: it's what changes coal into diamonds. If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of becoming great, you need to put yourself in situations that seem impossible. Eventually, you'll grow through them. By training to failure, you'll set yourself on the path to build the strength and endurance you'll need in the long term.

Everyone wants to do great things, but few actually do. Why? Most people are either afraid to think big, believe they don't have what it takes, or don't want to commit to putting in the kind of effort required to accomplish anything truly great.

The truth is that nothing great happens without intense effort. Plans are a good starting point, but it's the energy you put behind them that make them fail or succeed. And anybody willing to put in the energy and effort can accomplish great things. But people who feel like life is giving them a dirty hand usually resent everything they have to do. They look for ways to cut corners and end up leading a small and limited life.

According to Larry Weidel, author of "Serial Winner: 5 Actions To Create Your Cycle of Success," if you want to achieve big things, you have to be willing to lay it all on the line, and drive yourself to exhaustion over a goal. When you push yourself, you grow faster. You learn how to get more done. You learn how to make yourself more valuable. You pick up ideas and experience you can use the rest of your life.

So what's the strategy for actually pulling off big goals? Weidel has refined what he's learned from various winners in all fields to five tactics.

Larry Weidel is the author of Serial Winner: 5 Actions to Create Your Cycle of Success (Greenleaf; October 2015). He has spent the past 40 years building a national financial services organization and helping the people on his team achieve the success they want. He helped grow A.L. Williams into the financial services giant Primerica. Today, Larry holds weekly coaching calls for leaders across the United States and Canada. His videos, articles, and other resources on career success, leadership, and sales are widely popular. You can learn more at


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