August 19th, 2020
I had a solidifying moment today regarding my understanding of the 10x* mindset.
I set one of my August goals to be for me to reach French 15,000 XP in Duolingo. For reference, I started the month with 10,189. That 15k number is arbitrary for the most part. I had 2 thoughts in mind when I chose it. First, I needed to set a measurable goal, and, second, I needed to 10x that goal.
Let's have a moment of truth. I confess that I didn't set my original goal at gaining 500 more xp by the end of the month and then 10x it like Grant Cardone's book instructs you to do. What I did instead is I picked a number that made me uncomfortable. One that seemed ridiculous but still reachable, but, more importantly, was above the level I probably saw myself reaching in a "normal" month.
For me, setting 10x goals for the year is easy. Whatever the goal I'm setting, whether it be financial, personal or professional, I can imagine what I want to have done by the end of the year and multiply that number by 10. Done. But when it comes to short term goals (monthly or daily), I shrivel up in light of setting something that's too unachievable. This feeling comes from fearing that I'm going to overcommit myself and burnout before the end of the week if not the end of today.
Back to this morning, as I was reviewing my monthly Duolingo goal I noticed I was already up to around 10,950 xp. In that moment I realized I wasn't that far from 11k, which feels like a milestone as a naturally distinctive marker, and I thought to myself, "What if I had just set an 'achievable' goal for the month of 11,000 xp? Would I be at the same level as I am now? Would I stop motivating myself to keep up regular practice?" These questions were the key to unlocking my understanding of the 10x mindset.
When we set our goals to 'realistic' expectations we limit our productivity. By setting a high goal (even though it wasn't a 10x goal) for this month, I set myself up to question my motivations every day. Though that sentiment sounds stressful, I chose it on purpose. By creating a situation where I question, "Am I on track?" or "Do I even care to reach that goal? (aka, I know that the goal is a 10x or exaggerated number)", I've created an opportunity for me to revisit and focus on my goals on a daily basis. If you've read The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone, then you know that the key to the rule is that 10x goals require 10x effort. You set 10x goals to push your limits and achieve more. You need to work harder than you would normally in order for you to achieve more than you thought possible. In order to work harder, you need to motivate to levels beyond the status quo. And finally, how can you motivate without focusing on the goal?
I'm ok with the small anxiety of questioning my goals every day because I accept the consequence that it forces me to focus on my goals. In fact, with this new insight in mind, I will be setting all of my goals, short and long, by 10x standards. I'll let you know the next time the results surprise me; I expect it won't be too long.
* I'm referencing the 10x rule from the similarly titled book, The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone.