The Magic Number

When I was 9 years old I had a very specific dream: I wanted to save $100 in my bank account.

I don’t really know why, but that triple-digit number seemed to call to me. If I could reach $100, I told myself, then I’d have really accomplished something significant with my life.

It took me almost 2 years, and through saving most of my allowance and doing extra odd jobs here and there, I managed to reach the magic number of $100. To me, this made me feel like a rich young man. I used to brag to my friends and family that I was now a “hundredaire” and that I could buy anything I wanted.

Needless to say, nobody was impressed.

Still, that experience of saving $100 taught me something valuable. The path to the goal is almost as exciting as having achieved it. The focus it took to grow my bank account a few dollars at a time made me feel energized, powerful and in control of my life, even as a 9-year-old.

Since that age, I have always been a driven person and someone who has a clear plan to get where I want to go.

However, just like the best of us, I often get demotivated and disinterested. I tell myself I should be doing something, and then I end up doing something else. I eventually get most things accomplished, but it can be a struggle to stay motivated on the journey.

A few weeks back, I was given a $100 gift voucher as a thank you for speaking to a group. For some reason, it made me recall my childhood goal of $100. In one hour I had the same amount of money it took almost two years to achieve 30 years earlier.

But more than this, it made me think back to how motivated I had been to reach $100 in savings. 

It made me realize what is missing from most of my current life goals: the magic number of 100.

For me – for whatever reason – I am extremely motivated by the number 100. There is something about doing something 100 times that seems to have a little more commitment or seriousness to it. It requires an extra level of commitment and focus that smaller numbers don’t have.

For years, I have struggled to stay consistent with my exercise routines. I’d try to go the gym three times a week and end up going once. But in late January I set a goal to go to the gym 100 times this year, and that solved the issue. Instantly I was back to being my 9-year-old self saving my money. I had this inner drive to reach the magic number of 100. I started trying to add more gym sessions to my week to try to reach the number faster.

I realized that I have done the same thing in the past with my business and speaking. I set a goal to reach 100 clients, 100 blog postings, or 100 speaking gigs. There was almost no struggle or worry because I was so focussed on adding to the number. I knew if I kept at it, the magic number 100 was getting closer on the horizon.

Ironically, by focussing on the number 100, the real results I wanted began to take care of themselves. I became a stronger speaker, a better business person, etc as a by-product of aiming for the number 100.

I wanted to share this idea to encourage you to try it for yourself. Instead of struggling to stay motivated or create a new routine, try setting a clear number as a horizon. It might be 100, or it might another number. Whatever number feels ‘magic’ for you is the correct one.

Once you have your magic number, keep it clearly in your mind, you will start to move towards it easier than you ever imagined. Best of all, you will have a smile on your face as get closer and closer to your magic number.

4 thoughts on “The Magic Number

  1. It is a good concept focusing on the rungs of the ladder and reaching your goal. Instead of looking at how high you must climb to reach the goal.

  2. Great post! I’m finding myself doing something similar, in a way. I’ve gotten back into the American Girl doll world over the last year or so, and I’ve decided that I will give myself a $100 allowance per month for any purchases related to AG. Once I hit that limit, I’m done until the next month. I feel like a kid again, but in a way, it’s a good way to manage my money and help me to not overspend.

Leave a Reply to Daniel Midson-ShortCancel reply