MANY motivational speakers and self-help books will tell you that you must have goals. I have even advocated goal-setting myself in the past. Write down your goals and detail them for family life, friends, finances, career, recreation, health, learning, education and your spiritual life.

However, I have now come to the conclusion that successful people with strong self-beliefs do not set their goals in this way. Why? Because they are too busy doing what they need to do to get what they want.

Successful people don't spend time writing down what they want out of life - they just get on with it.

To be successful at meeting your goals, you need to ask yourself: "What do I really want to achieve? What are my dreams and desires? What do I want to build or create? What sort of person do I want to be?"

You need to identify clearly what you want out of life, what you hunger and thirst for, and what you really want to achieve.

If someone held your head under water, you would quickly realise what you want - oxygen. You need to feel like this to be successful. Most of us experience this feeling when we fall in love. We do almost anything to impress and be with the person of our dreams.

This is how people create success. It is how new places were discovered, products were invented, Everest was conquered and man walked on the moon.

You may not want to achieve something so dramatic: you may just want to have a successful plumbing business, be an excellent accountant, or even run a marathon.

Whatever it is, once you identify and focus on it, you will find the motivation to make it happen.

The success story of swimmer Florence Chadwick is frequently cited. On her first attempt to swim the English Channel, she encountered huge waves and chilling temperatures.

Her trainers were alongside her in a boat. They had greased her body to provide protection from the cold and had given her hot soup from a vacuum flask. She had everything going for her to ensure her success.

However, a heavy fog set in and as the fog descended, her vision was limited to only a few feet. The water seemed to get colder, the waves higher and she started suffering from cramp in her arms and legs. She eventually gave up and asked her trainers to take her on board the boat.

What she didn't realise was that she was only a short distance from the shore. When the reporters asked her why she had given up when she was so close to the finish, her answer was simple: "I lost sight of what I wanted to achieve. I'm not sure that I had it firmly in my mind."

You need to have a clear mental picture of where you want to go. You need to visualise yourself being successful and work towards it. You then have better chance of achieving your target.

And in case you are wondering about Florence Chadwick, she did become the first woman to swim the English Channel on August 8, 1950 in 13 hours 25 minutes.