What’s Your BHAG?

live your dreams


What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

That’s a question I’ve heard a lot lately: at church, at work, and in my endless internets readings. It’s caused me to think about my BHAG a little. If you don’t know what a BHAG is, it’s a term coined by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary CompaniesIt stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Isn’t that awesome? Just the name implies that this sucker has got to be intense. In the book, they define it as, “Clear and compelling, [it] serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.”

My BHAG is three-fold:

  1. Start my own company and make it flexible enough to free my time up for living (see The 4-Hour Workweek)
  2. Travel the world because traveling is probs my favorite thing to do
  3. Start a non-profit organization

Granted, the quote above is in terms of discussing growth in a company, but let’s re-read that and apply it in terms of your life:

  • Clear and compelling – this means you get EXCITED about it! It’s something you’re passionate about. But it’s also clear. For example, starting a non-profit organization. To me, that’s exciting as all get out, but it’s not super clear yet. I haven’t decided yet on what exactly I want to do with it. I’m leaning toward international and helping people become self-reliant, but that’s pretty broad. So I need to work on that.
  • Serves a unifying focal point of effort – These are the reasons I budget; the reasons I spend more time thinking about personal finance than the average bear. In fact, yesterday Mrs. Wealth Gospel and I did our budget for September and I got annoyed that we won’t be saving more money this month. When I thought about it this morning, though, I realized that this is really the first month in, oh forever, that we’ve actually been able to save money. College will do that to ya. So the fact that we’re saving over a $1,000 this month makes my annoyance yesterday…annoying. lol. And a little ridiculous. Patience is one of those things I’m still trying to learn. But anyway, that’s why I do all this. I want these efforts to one day turn into a freaking awesome life where I can live how I want to and make as much of a difference as I can.
  • Acts as a clear catalyst – You might get excited thinking about it, but does it motivate you? After my experiences doing humanitarian work in Mexico and Fiji, helping other people in that way really motivates me. So does the idea of spending as much time with my family as possible, and traveling and becoming acquainted with new and exciting cultures.
  • It has a clear finish line – This is another thing I’m still working on. There seems to be a lot of uncertain variables in this thing called life, but baby steps help. Starting this blog was the first step for me, and so far I’m loving it! But you’ve got to set goals for yourself, otherwise you’ll end up with a lot of what if’s. Which is lame.

So what’s your BHAG(s)? What would you do if you could not fail?  Granted, not everyone can or wants to do the things I want to do. Some people really are better employees than business owners and they’re okay with everything that goes with it. Some people hate traveling, which I find weird. But that’s fine. I don’t think everyone should want to live the way I want to, even if I think it would be awesome.

To give you some other ideas, some other things I want to do are: run a marathon, do an Olympic triathlon, do family history in Switzerland, write a book, have front-row seats at a Utah Jazz game, and go to Maine (you never hear anything about Maine, it just seems so mysterious).

But I want you to write some comments for me and tell me about what gets you excited! It could help you turn your focus to how you want to prioritize your savings and change your behaviors. And no matter what, it’s always fun to take some time and daydream a little. Good thing we’ve got a holiday today to do it 🙂



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