There is no doubt in my mind — if you want the best chance of achieving a specific goal in your life, what you need to do is make that goal the sole purpose of your living.

By making everything else secondary and focusing almost exclusively on your top goal, you give yourself a 99.9% chance of achieving it.

This is the program for fanatics — people who don’t want to miss.

I discussed it with you in Message #413 (“How to Absolutely, Positively Achieve the Most Important of Your Four Life Goals” www.earlytorise.com/weekly/010402.htm). And I’ve given you plenty of ideas about how to make sure this priority gets your full attention:

1. Figure out how much time you need to be sure of success (usually, this ranges from 500 hours to 5,000 hours).

2. Schedule that time into your yearly planning schedules.

3. Devote the majority of your working hours to the accomplishment of your goal.

4. Devote all your early morning hours to it.

If your goal is to become a virtuoso pianist, this is the surest way to accomplish that goal. If mastering the art of copywriting is your top priority, you’ll raise your chances to 90% plus by taking the fanatic’s path.

Far be it for me to deter you from taking the single-minded path to success. It was the chosen way for many of the world’s greatest men and women — think Mozart or Freud or Einstein.

But before you make the ultimate commitment, remember that there is a price to pay for single-minded fanaticism: the narrowing effect it has on your life.

If you make your top goal wealth building, for example, and you pursue it fanatically, you will probably one day find yourself beset with one or more of the following problems:

* a less-than-perfect marriage

* a less-than-serene temperament

* a number of people who don’t like you

* a body that has been neglected

* children who need more of your attention

Just to name a few.

So why am I bringing this up? Why am I raining on your parade?

It’s not to discourage you, but to give you a nudge in the right direction. You see, I believe it is possible to “have it all” — to have wealth and health and happiness.

I believe it is possible to have a net worth of many millions of dollars; a youthful, pain-free, and athletic body; and a rich and stimulating intellectual life. All that plus good friends and a loving family.

I know it’s possible because I know people who have those things.

That doesn’t contradict what I said earlier about fanatics. Fanatic wealth builders do not usually — at least in my experience — have it all.

So, yes ? you can become wealthy and healthy and wise too. The only sacrifice you’ll have to make is limiting your wealth-building goals.

Let me explain.

First, you need to have at least three — and preferably four — main goals. I’ve talked about this before. (See Message #102, “How to Accomplish All Your Most Important Goals.” www.earlytorise.com/weekly/060600.htm) Have one wealth-building goal, one health goal, one intellectual goal, and (even though Ben Franklin didn’t include it in his early-to-rise maxim) one social goal.

Second, limit those four goals.

Instead of setting your financial goal at “disgustingly rich,” consider “having enough money to live luxuriously without working.”

Instead of setting your health goal at “the body of an Olympic athlete,” settle for “healthy, flexible, and strong.”

Instead of setting your social goal at “making Mother Theresa look stingy and mean,” be happy with “helping in some small way everyone I touch.”

And instead of setting your personal goal at “writing the great American novel,” be content with “writing a novel that tells my best story.”

Be somewhat specific about these four goals — more specific than I have been above. For your wealth-building goal, for example, consider setting an actual number (preferably a personal-net-worth number). This kind of specificity will do two things for you: (1) It will make the goal easier to break down into smaller objectives and therefore easier, ultimately, to accomplish; (2) It will allow you to mentally prepare yourself, ahead of time, to stop working on the goal after you’ve accomplished it. (This is no small problem. I’ll be talking to you about it in an upcoming message.)

You are here on earth for a limited number of years. In each day, there are just so many hours. In every hour, just so many heartbeats. By balancing and limiting your main goals now, you will give yourself a much better chance of having it all — and it will come to you much sooner than you probably would guess.

Note: Something interesting (and wonderful) about limiting and/or reducing your goals to what is “enough” for you: Almost the moment you do so, you feel better about them and about yourself.