Remembering Lewis Timberlake

April 6, 2023

Lewis Timberlake was a renowned speaker and author who developed a comprehensive goal-setting framework that helps individuals consider what’s truly important to them. Lewis believed that setting goals is essential for success and overcoming challenges in life. However, he pointed out that many people fail to set goals due to various reasons, including not knowing what they want, not believing in goal setting, doing the urgent instead of the important, or and being afraid to fail.

Timberlake’s framework comprises elements of a goal, including being written, personal, compatible, and specific. He believed that writing goals down is essential as it helps individuals commit, while personal goals should satisfy a deep need within oneself. Goals should encompass all areas of one’s life, and compatibility is essential to avoid conflict with other goals. Additionally, people must set workable goals by finding out everything required to reach them and develop a plan to overcome potential obstacles.

In my early 20s, I was working hard but felt somewhat aimless. I had some bad habits and wasn’t doing myself many favours. Despite being promoted frequently at my job, I hadn’t finished school, mainly because I was good at avoiding things outside my comfort zone. That’s when Lewis Timberlake came to speak to a group of us at the office, sharing stories from his book, “Born to Win.”

During his talk, Lewis spoke about the importance of setting goals and creating a plan to achieve them. He spoke at length about resilience and shared stories about people like athlete Roger Crawford and pilot Chuck Yager. He provided us with a goal-setting template and encouraged us to take the time to think deeply about what we wanted to do with our lives. Only after Lewis’s second visit to us did I decide to give his template a shot and so I spent a few hours completing it at home one evening.

Once I finished, I put it aside and moved on to other things. It wasn’t until more than a year later that I came across the goals I had set for myself and realized how many of them I had actually accomplished. It was a revelation and one that changed my life for the better. Since that first time completing Lewis’s template, I’ve repeated the exercise a few times, about once per decade. Every time I do it, I am astonished by the outcomes.

Lewis passed away in 2012, but in his final months I was lucky enough to correspond with him and let him know the impact he had on me. As always, he was gracious and curious to hear more about my experiences. Lewis once said, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” He truly lived those words and his impact on me, even after all these years, is a testament to living positively and to one’s fullest potential. I am grateful for the lessons he taught me and feel fortunate that he entered my life at a time when I was receptive to what he was saying.

If you’re interested in receiving a copy of Lewis Timberlake’s goal setting template, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to share this powerful tool with you.