Who Are On Your Top 5 Goal Achievers List?

By Ellesse

Let’s play a little game, shall we?

Take out a piece of paper and write down 5 names of people whom you think are outstanding goal achievers. People whom you believe can achieve any goal, whether or not if their life depended on it. Yes, any goal. Just write them down. They can be people you know personally, characters from the “Chicken Soup for The Soul” like inspirational book or movies you’ve just gone through. Or a famous personality you’ve always admired. And don’t be too worried if you think those you’ve named aren’t outstanding in other people’s eyes. It’s your opinion that matters.


Cool. Now, go through those 5 names and write down the reasons why you think they’re outstanding goal achievers. Is it because they never fail to accomplish what they’ve set their sights on? Or because they’re currently very happy, wealthy and successful – whatever your definition of success is? Go on, just keep writing.

top 5 goal achievers
When I first worked on this list – pretty much the same time as I wrote this article – I was kind of surprised at my own answers, realizing how intricately they were linked to my current values in life. I value true supportive friends, love my family, treasure my faith, and am beginning to develop a growing interest in humanity. All those seem to reflect in my answers. What about yours? What does your list reveal about your current outlook in life?

Let me share a little more about these 5 people in my list :

  1. My High Flying Financial Planner Friend

    This friend of mine has been a great inspiration. Although we do have conflicting opinions about certain aspects of life in general, I’ve always admired her tenacity to achieve the things she pan out in her life. A plump and unattractive teenager in high school, she silenced all critics – usually the nasty jeering boys in her class – after losing almost 44 pounds through regular exercise and a strict diet. She changed so much physically that all her ex high school classmates couldn’t recognize her.

    When I met up with her again in my University days, I was also shocked for words. The ugly duckling turned in a beautiful swan! With her new image, she grew very confident and accomplished her second major goal in her life. She found – and later married – her soul mate. Years later, she quit her high paying government job to work in the financial planning industry, doing so well in the first year that she became one of the top 3 rookies in her agency!

  2. My Very Own Sister

    I grew up in a large family and being the youngest child, I’ve always had utmost respect for my elder siblings. Especially my 4th sister. She’s the one who taught me about valuing the opportunities in life because of the missed chances I see in hers. My parents were about to send her overseas for studies when they eventually aborted it due to financial considerations.

    But she didn’t let it sabotaged her right to the goal. She worked full-time and took night classes. After her diploma, she went on to get her masters in Marketing and became the first in our family to graduate with one! However, that wasn’t the main thing she impressed me. At the age when most people would’ve given up, she persisted in her search for a life partner and finally got married last year. Yes, she’s that determined! And I’m truly happy for her.

  3. My Spiritual Mentor In Life

    A critical family event happened last year made me ponder seriously about the deeper issues of life. Spirituality, mortality and stuff. It was during that time that I got acquainted with my spiritual mentor in life.

    Even though I’ve never met him in person, through his books and guidances, he taught me to view life in a totally different way, deflecting from my own self-centred angle towards a higher cause. After finding out how he challenged the odds to propagate the faith and respond to his mentor’s call for world peace, I began to understand what Napoleon Hill meant when he wrote that “desire is the starting point of all achievement… “. Because I certainly see it in him. Very passionate. Very powerful.

  4. Helen Adams Keller

    If you’re from the States, I’m sure you’ll be very familiar with Helen Keller. When I first featured her story on Goal Setting College, I knew nothing about her. But it was that same ignorance that really made me appreciate her indomitable spirit. Especially since one of my own sisters was partially deaf, I could understand to a certain extent, the difficulties she went through. So much so, that I actually cried when I wrote down my thoughts. She was not just an outstanding goal achiever in most people’s eyes, she was truly an epitome of (wo)mankind!

  5. Mahatma Gandhi

    One commenter wrote in my featured inspirational story about Gandhi that he hated him for spoiling India. I admit my lack of knowledge about South Asian history got the better of me. I was bewildered and asked the commenter for the reason. He never replied.

    But months later, another gracious reader tuned in and clarified the air. His comment affirmed my impression that as an outstanding goal achiever, there will be times when your pursuit of certain goals get challenged. It may not even be popular. But as long as you truly believe in its benefits for others (and yourself), do it with zest and conviction. Just like what Gandhi did for the best of humanity and India. He believed and he went for it. He might not have won the hearts of all people. But he certainly won mine.

That’s it! These are my choices. What about yours? Let me know in the comments!


17 Responses to “Who Are On Your Top 5 Goal Achievers List?”

  1. Al at 7P at 11:43 am

    Hi Ellesse – this was a good exercise. It got me thinking who my top 5 are.

    While I think about it, I gotta say that I like your list, because it has a good mix of work/life/spirituality, as well as a mix of friends, family, and icons.

    I also like how you specified your spiritual mentor as a mentor, rather than someone that you simply admire from a distance. It means that you are actively trying to learn and grow from this person and not just be a passive observer.

    OK – I’m off to figure out mine!

  2. Ellesse at 3:41 pm

    @Al, I’m glad you found value in this exercise! I personally derive a lot of inspiration from knowing who my Top 5 Goal Achievers are not only because it is a subtle indication of my values and purpose in life, it also provides a strong source of motivation knowing that these people have done great things which I used to think is difficult. From people renown in history to the ones who’re just around my neighbourhood! Well, you know I’ve always have a soft spot for inspirational quotes, stories and success stories!

    As for my spiritual mentor, you’re totally right! I personally regard him as a teacher of life and philosophy and he certainly makes it very practical through his own exemplary actions. It’s just like learning Science. You don’t just learn the theory. You put it into practice through experiments and action. I’m very grateful to him…

    Go ahead and figure out yours, and share with us!

  3. Just me at 4:42 pm

    This was hard. I realized I don’t really have anybody in my life that is goal-oriented. Boy, what a wakeup call!

    I eventually found a few (LOTS of thinking required) and realized what they have in common is FOCUS. (other than my employer, who has greed and ruthlessness… but that’s a different story) And I, too, had a person on my list who I’ve never met, but who has made a huge difference to my marriage (Mort Fertel). I’m assuming he could reach any goal he sets his mind to.

    What I took from this is that I’m not going to achieve ANY goals if I don’t HAVE them… I need to FOCUS on something and get off my duff.


  4. Tim Brownson at 9:43 pm

    I’m not saying Helen Keller is a heroine of mine but I named my company after her quote! She is or should be, an inspiration to all of humanity.

    Good article.

  5. Akemi - Yes to Me at 11:17 pm

    Hi Ellesse,

    Helen Keller is very famous in Japan — I think her story is a kind of required reading there.

    Do you know Stephen Hopson at Adversity University blog? He is born deaf and now he is a pro motivational speaker. I was so impressed with his story I interviewed him on my blog!

    I’m a new subscriber, and I like this blog a lot. Keep up the good work!

  6. Ellesse at 5:47 am

    @Just Me Boy, am I glad you found value in this exercise too! In fact, when you’re figuring who should be in your top 5 list, you’re also highlighting the virtues, traits and characteristics of those people who are able to achieve their goals – which you did – and through analyzing and cultivating these traits into your own life, you’re equipping yourself with the same prerequisites.

    Focus is a very important trait. Another characteristic I noticed in my choices is Courage. Everyone of them has the courage of a lion… pursuing what they want. What they believe is for the good. Be it themselves or people around them.

    @Tim Ahh… I know which quote! Good one, pal!

    @Akemi Thanks for popping by my blog! I’ve been hearing so much about you too, especially your insightful comments on Todd’s and Andrea’s blogs!

    I certainly wished Helen Keller’s story can be mandatory reading here. It’s not. But then again, there’s so much the educational system can enforce on people. At the end of the day, it’s still back to the individual to take accountability for their self education and personal growth…

    Stephen Hopson! Yes, I’ve read his inspirational story on about the 3 words that changed his life. I will definitely forward his story to my own sister, to encourage her that she too, can pursue the dream that she wanted to.

    And thank you so much for the kind words on my blog! Very very much appreciated…

  7. Wajid Unar at 11:06 am

    Hello Ellesse, thanks for the wonderful exercise/article, it made me think thoroughly and I somehow managed to point out the lacks in myself that are obstacles for me becoming a goal achiever.
    “Vision, Dedication, Interest, Time Management, Thorough Understanding (Reading/Writing) and Hard Work” these makes a success story I guess.

  8. Ellesse at 3:04 pm

    @Wajid What you’ve indicated are indeed great prequisites! I strongly attest to Vision being an especially important one. With strong vision, you’ll be able to gain clarity (Thorough Understanding) and set your desire ablaze & reaffirm your faith (Dedication & Interest) to propel you to manage your time (Time Management) to achieve your goal.

    Vision indeed kickoff the cycle…. :)

  9. Wajid Unar at 2:41 pm

    Ellesse, what if one cannot really determine his targets hence cant form a vision?
    (feels really weird to write it down, but its a fact, I cant form a vision)
    I have seen people achieving for which they had a vision, they formed one vision during their college studies (they had all resources, therefore they were able to plan out ), on the other I wasn’t able to form one due to certain society factors and dependencies, but after graduation and a experience of 2 years I did managed to stand with those in practical/professional life, but every time I see them it feels I am ‘empty’ soul, feels like my ships direction is dependent on the wind and the waves…
    beside, I am not sure you do ‘career counseling’ do you :P

  10. Ellesse at 2:05 am

    @Wajid I believe the reason why you can’t form a vision is because you’re bogged down by your existing circumstances. It’s easy to react to your current situation but it takes real power to think of the “truth” regardless of them.

    What’s the truth? The fact that all of us are born with unlimited potential and abundance to achieve what we want! Provided that it’s what you want. Not what your parents or friends had in mind for you. Whether you had the resources to do it now doesn’t really matter. I know it sounds cliche – and perhaps you’ve heard it all over the web – but all the targets/goals are within you, you just need a trigger to get it out.

    I’m not into career counselling, well, at least I don’t think I “certified” to be a coach. But I can definitely share with you my experience. Let’s take this offline, shall we?

  11. Wajid Unar at 11:05 pm

    Thats so true, thing is, I am seeking someone or something to pull that trigger and here I go :D
    Thing is, in start of ones career everyone has just lots of potential and enthusiasm for whatever (s)he does, now if (s)he is good, then so many opportunities are in front of them, and that puts them in a tough position, this is the right time to make a right decision, I believe ones life depends on ‘proper take of’ for our career flight of 3 to 5 years.
    Yes, sure, lets take it offline. Thanks! :)

  12. AB at 2:05 pm

    I am not sure how I came to this page, but as soon as I read: “Take out a piece of paper and write down 5 names of people whom you think are outstanding goal achievers.” Guess what, who came to my mind first? Mahatma Gandhi! Now, I may be biased because I am from India, but my surprise was that he made to your list! While I never saw him (I was born in mid ’60s), I have utmost respect for his tenacity. It is very difficult in this internet age to even imagine what he must have gone through. I am sure you have the film “Gandhi”, and I highly recommend those who do not have seen him (and especially to those who do not have respect for him). To those critics, just try a little change in your own world – whether you in college, or office. Try to change your OWN government, and then think of how can we change (in fact throw out) the whole foreign government!!!

    I have the same respect for M L King and Nelsen Mandela (who incidentally got inspired from Gandhi). Think of the history of the world without Gandhi! The computer age has made so many things easy for the younger generation that they are losing the value of the fight for the rights.

  13. Ellesse at 7:54 am

    @Wajid So true! Sometimes, you just need a sharing of viewpoints to get yourself to see things in a different perspective. Let’s continue to connect…

    @AB Gandhi was such an inspirational person that he had literally transcend racial barriers and nationality. I’m a Singaporean Chinese but like yourself, I’ve almost respect for Gandhi for the deeds he had done for humanity, when looked from a broader perspective!

    What he had done is to inspire people that those seemingly impossible things CAN be done.

  14. Letty Martin at 1:20 am

    Dear Ellesse,

    I’m a teacher in the Philippines and your topics are good sources for enrichment. You’re on top of my list of Goal Achievers; You’re a ‘GREAT MOTIVATOR.” Thank
    you very much for sharing all these awesome and inspiring sites!

    Letty Martin

  15. Ellesse at 5:05 am

    @Letty Thank you for your kind words! I’m very flattered to have made it to your list… I’ve still got so much to learn – from all my readers, my mentor and even my little niece and nephew – and contribute! Please continue to support Goal Setting College!

  16. Krishna at 12:26 pm

    I would like to just compare two great personalities history has produced.
    Mahatma Gandhi and Hitler. Both were famous and have changed the world in one way or other.
    Gandhi – He motivated people and made angry people go calm to achieve something
    Hitler – He too motivated people and made calm men angry and wage war.

    Which one do you believe is easy?

  17. Ellesse at 5:56 am

    @Krishna That’s food for thought. I’m not sure if I agree with you that Hilter is a great personality though. No doubt he’s a shrewd and clever man. But it’s tough for me to acknowledge anyone who disregard the sanctity of life as “great”.

    As for your comparison, ahh… interesting :)


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