Summary of Hard Goals

The Secret to Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

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Hard Goals book summary
You may think you can’t reach your goals because they’re too hard. Not so. They may be too easy.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

6 Style


Are the goals you are struggling to achieve just too difficult? Probably not. Most likely, they’re too easy. Most people set mediocre, unimportant goals and don’t even pay attention to them, take them seriously or remember them. Leadership consultant Mark Murphy suggests a much different approach: Make your goals as difficult as possible, and set objectives that are absolutely essential to your continued well-being. Such ambitious goals actively engage you and focus your mind. getAbstract recommends Murphy’s well-researched, scientifically documented explanation of his strategy. He includes numerous real-life examples of how “HARD Goals” force people to focus their efforts. As James Boswell, the famous biographer, once said, “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” Murphy’s solution to the problem of focusing on your goals appears at the end of his four main chapters: “Get more examples and tools at”

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why most people do not achieve their goals,
  • What the “HARD Goals” approach entails,
  • Why goals should be “heartfelt, animated, required and difficult," and
  • How you can you use this method to attain your objectives.


Promises You Can Keep
People routinely make resolutions about changing their behavior and accomplishing major goals – quitting smoking, losing weight, getting a big raise – and then fail to fulfill them. However, some people do keep their promises to themselves and achieve their goals...
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About the Author

Mark Murphy is founder and CEO of Leadership IQ, a leadership-training firm. He also wrote Hundred Percenters.

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