A creative goal setting technique

… that will bring your dreams to life

This lesson is life-changing.

I invite you to witness my own journey … and to start your own.


Virtually every single management and training course anywhere will tell you one thing …

XXX“Set achievable and realistic goals”XXX

Today we ignore this advice … Today our goals have no limit.

My own personal example:

  • I’ve NEVER written a book before;
  • I’m virtually unknown in this world;
  • The publishing industry is in a mess with the advent of self-publishing;
  • The marketplace is flooded with too many books about everything;
  • It’s never been harder to find prominence;

Two “expert” editors (from the UK and US) in the publishing industry actually told me:

“… your goal is unachievable”

“… delusionally unrealistic”

(Ha, ha, ha, I’m delusional? I’ve been called worse)

One of Australia’s top literary agents laughed when I told her my goal. She told me:

“5,000 book sales is a more realistic measure of success”

But, as we learned in LESSON ONE, the so-called experts have a“blinkered perspective”. They can’t see the solution as their expertise clouds their ability to see alternate pathways.

“I have absolutely no doubt that I will succeed”

Come for the journey … explore your own goals along the way.

Let’s jump in . . .

Step 1 – Identify what are you truly passionate about?

My own personal example:

My passion is “the disruptive creativity of lateral thinking”.

I use it in every facet of my daily life; personal and business. It never lets me down.

Somehow, eventually, creativity will break down the obstacles and find a way through.

Your turn:

Is there something “special” in your life you are or would like to be, passionate about?

Whether you already have that “something” that you’re passionate about, or, you are still looking around for something to grab you and make you excited, the primary goals that you must ALWAYS prioritize before all others are those that involve your passions.


Step 2 – Engage your imagination!!

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”

– Albert Einstein

Imagine the ultimate place your passion could take you!

My own personal example:

I dream of being a successful lateral thinking author and protagonist.

I dream about fame and fortune.

I imagine appearing on talk shows, huge audiences following my social media posts, and I imagine myself surrounded with like-minded creativity unafraid to tackle anything.

(LOL It’s not easy to admit stuff like that out in the open.)

Your turn:

Take a moment to engage your imagination. Relax, take as long as you need.


Step 3 – Write down your goal clearly!

My own personal example:

(I’ve already stated it above, but I will repeat it)

“My goal is to achieve sales of over 5 million copies of my first book”

Your turn:

Don’t be afraid, and don’t worry about stuff like it being impractical or unlikely.

That dream that you just had?

That thing you just imagined?

Write it down in clear and unmistakable language. Right now.

If you’re not sure about what your passions are exactly at this time that’s ok.

Don’t write down frivolous goals for the sake of writing something. Come back at a later time when you have discovered/realized your passion and repeat this lesson.


Step 4 – Tell everyone about your goal

My own personal example:

“I’ve clearly stated my goal here, and I’ve also discussed them at length with friends and family”

Your turn:

“Oh no,” you think.

Today is the day that you start your journey to real success. Success is the realization of your dreams, the dreams of your passions. Today, you make a leap of faith:

  • Post it on your social media;
  • Tell the family at dinner;
  • Post it in my comments section below;
  • Stand up at work and tell everyone.

At this point, do not be too concerned with the seemingly “impossibility” of your task. Remember, lateral thinking will smash through the “blinkered” thinking that has shackled you in the past.


Step 5 – “Backwards” plan your goal

Lesson 8 covers this pretty well.

My own personal example:

What happens just before I sell 5,000,000 books?

  • I get offered a major publishing deal for Random House.

What happens just before I get picked up on a publishing deal?

  • A leading international literary agent recognizes me as an emerging authority on the subject of lateral thinking;
  • They consider my manuscript to be “brilliant” and “polished” enough to achieve my goal;
  • They take into account the massive online impact of my websites and social media strategies in the fields of lateral thinking and alien conspiracies.

What happens just before that?

  • An editor of exceptionally high caliber reviews and edits my manuscript and recommends it for consideration of traditional publishing;
  • My name is like a rash over everything “lateral thinking” and “alien conspiracy” on the internet achieving over 100,000 hits per month across all media;
  • I have a marketing strategy and presence ready to smash the marketplace to help make sure the book really does sell.

What happens just before that?

Ha, ha, I won’t completely bore you with over 4,000 words of backwards planning. I think you get the idea.

Your turn:

The backwards plan you eventually decide upon may take days, weeks, or even months to formulate.

All I want you to do is start at the end, set the goal, and imagine what happens just before you reach your goal.

This final step that follows can only happen once your backwards plan is in place.


Step 6 – Start moving forward

The road I’m traveling could never have been conceived before I departed.

My own personal example:

(As of the 1st of December, 2020)

  • I’ve just completed my 1st professional edit, and I’ve been told that I still have a long way to go;
  • A rewrite of the manuscript with major improvements is about 80% complete;
  • 10 beta readers are waiting for the rewrite to be complete;
  • Branding professionals are reviewing my online efforts and coming back to me;
  • I’m doing free talks about lateral thinking creativity at schools and colleges locally to build my reputation;
  • This website achieves about 6,000 hits per month (and is growing exponentially);
  • YouTube animations, art, and imagery brief has gone out to commercial artists;
  • Two alien conspiracy-related websites are also under construction.

I will sell 5,000,000 books

Now, as we all know …

. . . even the best plans can come unstuck.

You should anticipate unexpected barriers … things like a pandemic etc.

“Don’t worry about unexpected roadblocks”



It’s late at night and you’re about to embark on a drive from Roswell, New Mexico to “The Big Apple”, New York City.

As you start your journey, you’re clear in your mind where you have to get to. You know this because you’ve “backwards” planned your journey so that you will arrive at a time that is ideal for your needs. You’ve created various stages of your journey . . . benchmarks of progress/achievement . . .

Roswell – Dallas – Oklahoma City – St. Louis – Indianapolis – Columbus – New York

As you start your journey, what have you done? You’ve entrusted faith, or confidence, into your plan to arrive in New York.

As you’re driving along, your headlights only illuminate up to a maximum of 100 yards ahead. Does this bother you? No, you know that there are roads (pathways) that will eventually arrive at your destination. You may never have traveled this road before, but that’s ok, you can reasonably assume that if others can do similar “leaps of faith” and succeed, so can you.

The Columbus to New York leg is closed to flooding. What do you do? Do you give up? No, you take a small detour to Pittsburg that allows you to avoid the flooding, and you arrive at your destination pretty much on schedule.

It’s impossible to foresee every problem. There will be unforeseen obstacles.

Unlike the journey from Roswell to New York though, there are likely no roadmaps to your goal.

This is why creativity is so important.

To travel the well-traveled path, the proven path, is easy. However, the results are usually pretty flat. If your goal is a business venture, the potential success of buying an existing franchise is far less than if you create an entirely new brand and franchise system from your own creativity. Your goals of passion will often require that you travel the untested/unproven path.

We’re on our way from Roswell to New York again, only this time, it is at a time that no one has ever made that trip directly before. There are no maps, no bridges, no rest stations and you have only your own resources to rely upon. What do you do?

  • You pioneer a new path between the two locations;
  • You map that path so that you can create a freight and passenger service between the two;
  • You use your creativity to improve and shorten the journey as you regularly traverse the countryside;
  • Occasionally you try a different route to see if there are possible benefits;
  • You creatively combine your tasks, passengers, and freight needs to create innovations in your service.

The point is that even though there was no known pathway, many possibilities existed.

It’s time to start the engine and begin your journey. And don’t be afraid to plant your foot down hard . . . there are no speed limits for success.

That’s it for today, we’ll be talking more about achieving your goals and removing obstacles to your goals in subsequent lessons.


Exceptional goals should have no limit other than your imagination.



*** *** ***


Here is a more “traditional” technique for setting goals that you might classify as … “less than life-changing”.

For those of you not familiar with the “norm” of goal-setting wisdom, it can be summarized as the following.

Your goals should:

  1. be specific, and clearly stated;
  2. give a definite timeframe;
  3. be measurable, and you should be able to gauge your success along the way;
  4. be achievable;
  5. be relevant to your circumstances, needs, and demands.

There are a thousand ways these same principles are taught by different practitioners You can substantially improve your prospects by engaging these simple rules. They work for goals at work or at home. However, if you master the power of creative thinking, my method is far superior for goals that are of life-changing importance.

*** *** ***

Go to lesson 10

… and never be afraid to speak in public again!

 – – – – –

Check out the concise definition: What is lateral thinking?


These free lateral thinking lessons are brought to you by Michael John Muxworthy

3 thoughts on “Lesson 9 – Setting Exceptional Goals

  1. Hey Michael
    I surprised myself today and actually wrote down 3 goals. It took a while to even know what it was that I wanted, or was passionate about, or wanted to be passionate about for that matter. That step alone has given me confidence to take the next.

    It felt good to put it on paper, made it real. Now I just need to tell everyone…

    Liked by 1 person

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