What The Humble Baked Bean Tin Teaches Us About Goal Achievement!

A recent series I watched on TV followed a young British engineer as he traveled around the country on a longboat, celebrating Britain’s industrial heritage. One episode featured the humble tin of baked beans, and in this article I want to cover what this teaches us about goal achievement…

Guy Martin is an engineer and well known bike racer. Well known in bike racing circles that is, I confess I had never heard of him before watching his TV series.

In ‘The Boat That Guy Built’ on the BBC, he wanted to remind people of a 150 year period when British inventions and engineering helped to change the world, to drive the industrial revolution.

He traveled around on his barge, fitting it out using traditional techniques, and I was drawn in by the whole series. One episode featured him making baked beans on toast, so he went right back to the basics and history of the can, making it by hand. This is where the goal achievement lesson comes in…

The patent for the tin can was given in the early 1800s in Britain, and it wasn’t long before it had been sold on and developed, as a way of storing provisions for the army and navy. This was state of the art stuff at the time, rather like NASA inventing ideas for the space program.

Within a few years though, maybe a decade or so, the baked bean had moved from being a novelty food for the posh to a common ingredient, and the tin can had gone from being experimental to being part of everyday life.

It was taken for granted.

150 Years Later

This is all over 150 years ago now, but the lesson we can take today is still fresh…

While it’s possible that your goal may be groundbreaking, it’s more likely that it has been achieved before. Someone, somewhere, will take it for granted. Someone, somewhere, will have gone through the trial and error process and got to the end result.

Yes, it will be new for *you*, there will be learning and set backs, but you can make the journey far easier if you seek out the knowledge of others who have gone before.

You will also have an easier ride of it mentally if you imagine yourself in the position of those who take your goal for granted.

Developing an assurance that your goal will happen, helps to motivate you when you come to step that are wary or nervous about – you’ll be much more confident to take it when you know others have been there before.

So to sum up, the humble tin of baked beans can teach us about trial and error, and it can teach us about repositioning goals in our mind as taken for granted rather than experimental.

I loved Guy Martin’s show, and the next time you are struggling with a goal, open a cupboard and stare at a baked bean tin for some inspiration!

Gordon Bryan is a writer from the UK, who loves writing about goal achievement. Grab his free 8 Step Goal Achievement Formula at http://thegreatgordino.com/free-8-step-goal-achievement-formula

Don’t Back Down

This is Part One of a two-part discussion. Before you read my comments, you’ll want to be familiar with “Tough Little Boys”, a country song by Gary Allan that has been bouncing around in my head the past couple weeks. This is an extremely touching song that any parent will relate to, especially dads, but even my ten-year-old daughter gets it.

Here is the video, followed by the lyrics, followed by my comments.

Tough Little Boys – Video

Tough Little Boys – Lyrics

Well I never once
Backed down from a punch
Well I’d take it square on the chin
But I found out fast
That bullies just laugh
And we’ve got to stand up to them

So I didn’t cry when I got a black eye
As bad as it hurt, I just grinned
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again.

Scared me to death
When you took your first steps
And I’d fall every time you fell down
Your first day of school, I cried like a fool
And I followed your school bus to town

Well I didn’t cry, when Old Yeller died
At least not in front of my friends
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

Well I’m a grown man
But as strong as I am
Sometimes its hard to believe
How one little girl, with little blonde curls
Could totally terrify me

If you were to ask, my wife would just laugh
She’d say “I know all about men
How tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again”

Well I know one day, I’ll give you away
But I’m gonna stand there and smile
But when I get home, and I’m all alone
Well, I’ll sit in your room for a while

Well I didn’t cry when Old Yeller died
At least not in front of my friends
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

When tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

Tough Little Boys – Commentary

Today’s post is about the first paragraph, about the importance of standing up to bullies. I don’t think the typical adult is subjected to messages about bullying, and the bullying adults face is more subtle than with kids. Many people face bullying on the job that is harder to recognize as such than “Give me your lunch money or I’ll smash your brains into lizard spit!” More often, there is the underlying risk of losing one’s job or of being passed over for promotion if one doesn’t…

  • Work lots of extra hours
  • Fetch coffee for the boss
  • Sleep with the boss

I would like to think such occurrences are extremely rare, but I suspect they are somewhat more common than I would like.

Adults could learn from the kids’ messages, and sometimes it’s worth risking a job loss or promotion loss rather than a loss of dignity and self-esteem (I know, I know, this is not always an easy call).

I recall just four fights I was in as a kid. Just four because I was a coward. Yes, I would do just about anything to get out of a fight. But there were four times that my inner coward lost the battle.

Once the kid hit me good in the jaw. But I didn’t hit back. Just as in the song – “As bad as it hurt, I just grinned” – and after that first punch, it was over. I guess he didn’t know what to do with someone who doesn’t hit back.

I met the same kid a second time, just off school property after school, just as he challenged me to. He didn’t hit me that time. He said something about respecting me for showing up, and he let it drop.

The third time (I think I have these in chronological order) was a different kid, who also punched me in the jaw and broke his hand. I don’t know if it really broke, but he did go see the school nurse – either way, i like my memory’s version and I have no need to learn whether my jaw really was a fist-breaker or not.

The fourth time, I did run – but I will beg your forgiveness. The other boy did not try to hit me. Son a moved out of the way. He ran after me and tried to kick me. So I moved out of his way. Like this, he chased me around the school yard for about ten minutes before giving up. I actually recall him getting more and more frustrated and angry and I was finding it harder and harder not to laugh.

Kids have to learn to resist bullying, but so do adults. It’s worth watching some kids shows and learning from them. There are a lot of basic life lessons that many adults still need to learn, too.

This post was included in the Saturday Show & Tell – 8th Edition