Price of the Goal

January 18th, 2009 by Kevin Ngo

Do you know the price of the goal you want to accomplish? More importantly, are you willing to pay it? Are you willing to do what is necessary, day in and day out whether you feel like it or not, in order to make your goal a reality? Having dreams and goals are great, but without knowing what it’ll cost you, might cost you. I’ll be discussing the price of the goal, the challenges, and some suggestions on overcoming those challenges.

To get from where you are to where you want to be, you must do something different than what you’ve been doing in order to get there. For example, if you want to get into shape, you have to invest time to go workout and give up certain foods and perhaps eat certain foods you normally wouldn’t eat.

Often times, we set a goal and set plans for it without knowing what we’re getting ourselves into. When the inevitable but unexpected challenges show up, we’re often caught off guard and get discouraged and quit without realizing those challenges were all part of the price of the goal. Such as having to stick with your diet even when you’re at a party and everyone is pigging out or knowing that sooner or later your results will slow down or even go in reverse for a bit.

What’s the Price

So, what’s the price of your goals? What are you willing to give up for those goals? What sacrifices are you willing to make? Will going for your goal mean no more eating at your favorite fast food joint? Will it mean spending less time surfing the web or watching TV? Will it mean spending less time with your kids? How about cutting some toxic friends out of your life? Less sleep maybe? Working 80 hour work weeks? You got to know what the price is.

If you just have a vague idea of what it takes, then you may be setting yourself up for some major surprises down the line that you might not like.

Educate Yourself

In educating yourself, what I mean is find out what obstacles will come up before they appear. What you want to do is to limit the surprise factor when these things show up. How do you do this? By asking people who already have what you want what challenges they went through. Another way is just by doing some research online. Each goal has its own variety of challenges that you will have to face and deal with. You have to educate yourself on them.

When you know what common obstacles show up for your particular goal, you’ll be better prepared to deal with them. Think of it like a salesperson trained on handling objections. They know what the most common customer objections are to buying their product or service and have an answer to each one of those objections. Since they know the obstacles that lie ahead and know how to handle them, their success rate goes way up compared to someone who didn’t expect the customer to say things like “it costs too much”.


An objection you may be thinking about to this is that finding out the price of the goal might discourage you to even want to start. That may be true. Discovering what it really takes might make you think twice about pursuing your goals. There are many examples of people accomplishing great things because they didn’t know they weren’t supposed to be able to accomplish it. But unless you’re trying to be the first person in history to accomplish whatever your goal is, just knowing that despite tremendous challenges, others have still achieved the goal you want should be a validation that it’s possible for you as well.

Two Choices

Discovering the price of the goal will do one of two things. Either it’ll inspire and motivate you even more to take on the challenges or it’ll make you scared or discouraged and not even want to try. If the latter happens, you need to re-look at why you want to achieve this goal. If you want the goal bad enough, you will go for it despite the challenges. It’s not about figuring out whether or not you could overcome the challenges, it’s about knowing what challenges lie ahead of you and asking yourself will you do it anyway.

If they answer is no, then pick an easier goal because the price for the goal is more than you are willing to pay for. If knowing what these challenges are make you want your goal even more then you’ll have a good chance of overcoming the unexpected ones that will show up.

You can never be prepared for everything but if you can mentally commit to yourself that no matter what shows up, you won’t run and will stand and fight, you’ll be able to handle anything that comes your way. If you’re already running from challenges you know will show up, how are you going to handle the ones you have no idea would show up?

Once you know what obstacles you’re going to have to face and the price of the goal you’ll have to pay, the question is, do you still want it? Do you still think you’ve got what it takes to accomplish the goal? Is the goal or dream even worth it anymore? Are you willing to pay the price and continue to pay the price for the next year, 3 years, 5 years, or even 10 years or more until the goal is accomplished?

Price of the Goal Was Too Much

My first job out of college was working as an insurance salesman. In the insurance industry in case you didn’t know, once you get a customer, every month that they pay their premium, you get a cut. At the company I worked for, if you work there for 10 years, you could basically retire and still get checks every month from all the customers you’ve accumulated as they pay their premiums.

office phone
So what was the goal for me at the time? To retire. What was the price? Doing something I hated for 10 years. Needless to say, I hated that job. One of my daily tasks was to cold calling. Some people like it, some don’t mind, and some hate it with a passion. I was in the third group. After about 5 months of dragging myself to a job that mentally drained me and even made me depressed at times, I decided I wasn’t willing to continue to pay the price of the goal, so I quit.

Does this make me a quitter? Maybe to some, or most, but to me, as long as I’m still going for my dreams and goals, choosing a different vehicle doesn’t mean quitting. My reason for retiring was to have enough money where I didn’t have to worry about my bills so I could have more time to do the things I love.

Am I still going for that dream? Yes. I’m still a work in progress. I still have bills to worry about but I am doing one of the things I love to do, which is why this website exists, to help people stay inspired and motivated long enough to reach their goals.

Although I don’t have as much time as I would like to work on this website, it’s a start. This is what I spend my spare time doing, and I’m loving every second of it. If I was to retire tomorrow, this site would not only continue to exist, it would expand a lot faster.

My desire for building a website that will help countless people from around the world pursue and achieve their goals is at the level that no challenge or obstacle can ever stop. I know the challenges that I will face and also know that there will be challenges I’m not even aware of right now and it’s making more committed and determined.

Going Back

Once you’ve decided whether or not to continue to pursue your goal despite the price of the goal, then it’s time to make a plan and execute it. The general methods of setting goals are the same. What you need to add to it now is how you’re going to deal with these challenges when they appear. Once you have that down, you’ll be much better prepared to overcome them and therefore will have a better chance of obtaining your goals.

Knowing the price of the goal, being willing to pay for it, and having a plan on what to do when challenges come up will put you ahead of the crowd but there are more things to consider.

Usually the excitement level during the goal setting stage is very high. However, once the execution of the plans start, the excitement will sometimes start to decline.

We see Olympic athletes stand on the podium for their medal acceptance but what we don’t see are all the times they were alone, feeling defeated after a loss, feeling their dream slip away and still somehow managing to keep on going, and all the sweat and tears that went into obtaining that medal. The excitement won’t always be there. You won’t always feel like doing what you need to do. That’s when things get tough.

Forgetting the Price of the Goal

What often happens is that we sometimes forget the price of the goal. We’ll know the challenge, it’ll be right there staring at us, but sometimes we forget it is all part of the price we said we were willing to pay in the beginning. As this decline continues and more and more challenges start to appear, our desire of the goal may start to deteriorate.

It’s one thing to know what the price of the goal is, but it’s another to actually keep going while you’re actually in the middle of paying for it. By knowing what challenges may appear and how to handle them when they do, your odds of obtaining your goal greatly increases but even with that knowledge, as your desire starts to decrease, you may find yourself asking if your goal is even worth pursuing anymore.

This is when having relentless hunger and drive comes into play. When the challenges become bigger than you were expecting them to be, to the point where you start to second guess yourself, only the strength of your desire for the goal can pull you through. When motivation is high, challenges seem small. When it’s low, even small challenges seem daunting.


So the plan is to discover the challenge, know how to overcome them and when times get rough, use your dive and hunger to keep going. So how do you bring up that source of power during those tough times? You do that by reminding yourself of your commitment to paying the price. Here are some suggestions.

  • While the energy is still high, write a letter to yourself. Imagine yourself during the point of great despair, when you’ve been knocked down and are finding it more comfortable to stay down, what do you want to tell yourself?
  • You can do the same thing as writing the letter but instead record yourself saying a message of encouragement.
  • If you’re more visual, film yourself giving the message.
  • Have daily reminders such as pictures of your goals.
  • Visualize your goals.

I have pictures of my goals and use visualization to see myself as already having those goals but from my experience, when times are rough, the last thing I want to do is sit there and visualize. During those times, pictures don’t do much for me.

What works best for me is having that letter I wrote to myself and reading it while playing a motivational song. By doing this, I am able to bring myself back to when I set my goals, when my excitement was off the charts, when I was ready to pay the price and take on anything that stood on my way. Since it’s in my own words, it easily stirs me up emotionally. Once I get into that state again, the pictures, visualizations, and other tools are a lot more effective. That’s just what works for me, use what you think will work best for you.

So whether your goal is to achieve financial freedom, get into shape, stop an addiction, run a marathon, find your soul mate, etc., by knowing the price of the goal, what challenges will show and preparing yourself to take on those challenges that have defeated so many well-intentioned people in the past, and having tools to help you keep going during the tough times, you’ll stand a much greater chance of making your dreams and goals a reality.

Final Word:

If after assessing the challenges, you find yourself discouraged and thinking whether or not you have what it takes, please stop. The point of knowing the price of the goal you have to pay is merely to test your desire for the goal. Don’t mix up your desire and your ability. Your ability to achieve something is greater than you can possibly imagine. Even if you have no idea how you’re going to accomplish a huge goal you’ve set for yourself it doesn’t mean that you can’t.

This is why having a strong desire is so important. When your desire is unmovable, when your drive is unstoppable, lack of know-how doesn’t matter because you’ll eventually figure that out. If you have the knowledge but your desire is weak, quitting will always be a tempting option. We all know working out is good for us yet not everyone has the desire to do it.

The price of the goal: Are you willing to pay for it?

Until next time…

Love Life. Do Good. Live Well.

Return to Self Improvement page.

  1. YOGENDRA AGARWAL December 19, 2011
    • Kevin Ngo December 19, 2011
  2. iPGo December 20, 2011

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.