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Reach for the Stars with Realism

Updated: Dec 25, 2019

One of the best ways to gain experience and improve performance of doing something, is to do it. By doing, we learn from our mistakes, we learn from our errors of judgement and very importantly, we learn what works and what does not. So, as long as we take action and do, then everything will be fine and we will unlock the doors to success? Not exactly.

The content and the variety of the action also holds great significance in creating a pathway and environment for success. If I was to say, "moving abroad will increase your chances of employment in a better role", just by simply moving abroad, you are not entitled or guaranteed that my words would ring true. So I lied? Not exactly.

The action alone of 'moving abroad' may lead to a better job position or role and it may not. What is important to keep at the front of your mind is, whether the action leads to immediate success or not, just by taking the action you have significantly increased your chances of my words being accurate, more likely unconsciously. Let's take it in a football coaching sense and if I listened to my own advice and moved abroad (a made up example), in search of better coaching roles and opportunity - Once I land in country, I would spend a month networking and checking out the 'lay of the land'. Unfortunately, the few opportunities I came across were all looking for a Coach who also had a B Licence in Goal Keeper Coaching. Oh well, never mind, was worth a try.

So now, not wanting to hang around without a job ready to walk into, coming back home empty handed would be perceived as a waste of time. That can't be right, surely my own advice wasn't useless - I took action, I went there and still nothing. But hang on a second, let's go back to the start of this article where I wrote,

The content and the variety of the action also holds great significance in creating a pathway and environment for success.

Luckily for me, while I was there finding out I didn't have the required qualifications for the sought after positions, I did in fact have content in my actions;

I was able to meet up with three clubs about other future roles

I volunteered for an academy for two weeks who offered me a coaching role in the Summer

I met a local businessman in a coffee shop who was interested in opening up an academy in a different country

And let's not forget, my action gave me the experience and knowledge of what I need to do next, in order to make my profile and application stronger...... get booked into my GK Coaching B Licence!

What could have served me better in this instance, would perhaps have been an addition of some kind of POA (plan of action), strategy or some goal setting to follow. It was great that I was brave enough to take action, however, if I had set my goals out, I would of needed a strategy to tackle my goals and it would of then, led me to researching that maybe, a GK Coaching Licence would have come in handy before I headed for another country. But still, taking action with no plan, served me better than someone who has pages of goals and plans written out, only to sit on their ass every day and do nothing about it. On the flip side, setting out my goals could have saved me some time, money and most likely, made my trip abroad more efficient and productive.

Goal setting is key but the most VITAL thing is, to set intentions.

Goals are nothing without intention, drive and motivation to reach them. While goals are what we aspire to reach and have a simple outcome of 'achieved/not achieved' , the intentions to reach the goals are accumulated actions, habits and rituals that come from YOU.

An example of this, would be having a goal of becoming a Head Coach abroad in the next two years, but all you are doing each day, is sitting behind your laptop and posting on Linkedin, 'Hi i'm a coach looking for a Head Coach role in any country. I have A B and C. If you would be interested in my services, please drop me a message'. Well yeah, that is taking some action but the content is poor and the intention to reach your goal is realistically shocking. After 10 months of writing the same message each day and getting no feedback, there are many who would claim they 'tried everything' they could and nothing worked, and the world is against them, and only friends of friends get jobs'.

Let's look at another common example of action being taken, but content being shockingly misused;

Treasure F.C in the Dutch Super League are looking for a Head Coach.

Candidates MUST have at least an A Licence coaching qualification and MUST have 1 year experience in the Dutch Super League.

How many people would still apply for this, without meeting the minimum criteria? And I'm not just talking about highly qualified or experienced coaches, but some who are nowhere near to meeting the minimum criteria. There was a recent example where a Head Coach was looking for a Physio for his club and he asked me to help find some candidates for him. He came back to me two weeks later and said. 'thanks a lot Matt, got high amounts of interest but unfortunately, they were all from coaches looking for a job and not Physios....

There is nothing wrong with reaching for the stars, dreaming big and believing in yourself, but for your own good and to ensure your intentions can act on the right track... be realistic.

It is still possible to dream big whilst being realistic. We can think of our 'big dream' as our 'big goal' and then place our intentions and actions towards that BIG GOAL. This may be aiming to become a National Team Manager in 5 years, but first, you need to break down that goal, into a few smaller ones which need achieving before;

2024 - National Team Manager of Nigeria

2022 - Head Coach in Nigeria top tier

2020 - Head Coach in Nigerian football leagues

Goal setting and acting on intent to achieve them, is something we must do. If not, don't be surprised when others are snapping up the opportunities you think you deserve... the only people who deserve them are the ones who have planned for them and built their daily actions towards them.

Setting goals is something our teachers encouraged us to do at school. It was tedious then and many of us still find it painfully tedious to do now. If you think this, then also think about while you aren't setting your goals and working towards them, there are 100s and 1000s of people who are.


There is a whole topic of Goal Setting in one of my courses 'Zero to Pro in 4 Years' and this can be received FREE within my latest mentoring course, where I will be going into greater detail about goal setting.

To get you started, you can use the simple principle of setting SMART goals (Actionable can also be Achievable which links in with Realistic);

I've followed the SMART principle, I wrote an outline of my goals on the back of a family photograph and carried it to every place I lived. Having set out my goals and strategy to achieve them, it has so far seen me;

- as Head Coach in Taiwan top tier

- as Assistant Coach in the Philippines top tier

- as Assistant Coach in China League One

- as Head Coach in Ghana Division One

and now I want to help others to achieve their goals and their dreams, the right way!

Here's a short video showing three special goals scored between 2013-2016, at three different times in my coaching career and shows the progression of my own personal goals

For those who haven't already read my first published book 'Zero to Pro in 4 Years', it highlights some big actions I took, which eventually saw me reach towards achieving my goals and dreams. I've made a Free PDF version in hope to inspire, motivate and help as many people as possible. You can download your copy here

Set your goals, take action and never ever stop.

All the best


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