Goal Setting the Conan O’Brien Way

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Sunday night I was watching Conan O’Brien on Inside the Actor’s Studio. During the interview Conan talked about how as a university student he plastered the campus with caricatures of himself. When people asked him why, he told them it was advanced advertising for the Conan O’Brien Show he planned to have some day.

The story was an amusing anecdote but it illustrated an important point about goal setting. Here was a college kid who had no way of knowing he was ever going to be on television but he had a clear goal, told people about it and acted as if it would come true.

It also reminded me of something I had long ago forgotten. About 15 years ago when my parents moved houses I went through some boxes of childhood memorabilia. In one box was a cassette tape labeled “The Andrea Stenberg Show”.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) at some point I’d taped over it with music. However, I do remember the show. I was about nine. I was the host and interviewed guests. Now as it happens, my sister played the part of all the guests. I created different identities for her and she adlibbed.

I find it interesting that as an adult I’ve managed to recreate my childhood fantasy into “Andrea’s More Effective Marketing Podcast“.  I still interview guests, although in this case they are real guests, not my sister.

So what can we learn from Conan and my long lost tape? When you have a goal, don’t worry about how you’ll make it happen. Focus on the goal and do what you can to make it real. Make the goal concrete by writing it down or better yet share it publicly. Then take actions to move you forward, however small those actions may be.

By putting posters about around campus, Conan was telling the universe (and his subconscious) that he was serious. Show yourself you’re serious about your own goals too by taking action today.

Andrea J. Stenberg

Do you have any childhood or youthful goals that have come true in recent years (even though you’d forgotten about the goal)? Please leave a comment and share your story.

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