When I was in high school, I wanted to get a computer. Computers weren’t nearly as inexpensive as they are now days. The one I wanted represented about 15% of my fathers yearly salary at the time. It was much more expensive than what I could reasonably expect to save during the summer–even with taking on some extra odd jobs and saving every penny possible. I really wanted to have a computer when I started the next school year, so I decided to make that my primary goal for the summer.
To help me focus on my goal, I set aside a savings account specifically for the purchase. Using my parents’ typewriter, I created a thermometer style graph showing how much money I had saved and taped it to the back of the savings book. I also taped a picture of the computer I wanted. Every time I made a deposit I updated the graph. I kept the deposit book on my desk where I could see my progress every time I sat down.
I still remember picking up a blue ballpoint pen, filling in the rest of the thermometer and drawing the top of it exploding. A few weeks later, I had my computer. That savings account has been closed for years, but I still keep the account book to help remind me of the power of making goals visible. Some day, when my kids wants to achieve something that they think are nearly impossible, I’m going to pull out an old First Kansas Federal Savings and Loan savings book and tell her how I bought my first computer.
Steve at cpastories.com says
This is an inspiring story, especially from a creative point of view. I suspect you were in your early teens in high school… Many people are not that motivated/driven/determine to make moves that impact their destiny as you did. A little late, but I guess I can say, “Good work!” [Just wondering how proud your parents were.]
Harry @ GoalsOnTrack says
Vision tends to work with our subconscious mind. We actually do a lot of things via subconscious mind, such as driving home without you noticing it consciously, etc.
Having a picture or some kind of cue in sight for your goal is a great way to engage our subconscious mind to find ways to reach that goal.
Jamie Martin says
Yes, I want to know what your parents thought of that whole deal too!
I wasn’t quite as creative as a child but did something similar in 6th grade. I wanted several things I knew my parents wouldn’t buy for me so I set up an envelope for each item. I wrote the name and the price of each item on the envelope and then put babysitting money in each envelope until I was able to purchase each of them. I recall one was a pair of clog shoes (yes, it was the 70’s and that was cool!) and another was my very own stereo, which cost about $100 at a Venture store! I don’t know why I remember that!
Having the goal written on the envelope kept my thoughts clear and on track. I even did something similar while in my late 20s where I kept a spreadsheet that tallied the savings for several large home projects as we deposited money in the savings account.
Having a chart or writing it on your savings book is akin to saying it out loud and making yourself accountable! This thought process seems to have gone by the wayside for most Americans and their credit cards.
Very good story. It can be so simply at times that you just cannot think of it. Thanks for sharing!
I really like to make things visible and I do it at work where I have implemented a big board with targets and actuals. Never thought about doing something similiar at home …. Happy Friday!