Ronnie Corbett – A Short Tale About Goal Achievement!

Goal achievement - Ronnie CorbettWhether you’ve heard of Ronnie Corbett or not, his early career story is full of goal achievement nuggets, which are well worth taking on board. It’s only a short tale – I’d say about 5’1”…


That was a joke about Corbett’s height, which he would enjoy and must have used himself many times over the years. Mostly known in Britain for the long running sketch show ‘The Two Ronnies’ with Ronnie Barker, it’s his career before and up to that point that I want to concentrate on.


Ronnie Corbett decided he wanted to be an actor after leaving school, and following a compulsory stint in the army, he set about the adventures of a struggling actor. It was in a recent documentary about him that I discovered the goal achievement lessons in practice, and the first one that stood out was that he gave himself a deadline.


He said he gave himself until the age of 37/38 to see if he could carve a successful career. Using a timeframe to refine your goal is a great idea, because it gives it definition. If you have a deadline you can work out what you need to have done by when in order to achieve it.


The second lesson is another one I have written about over the years – simple hard work! Corbett slogged away, doing a little role here, a little role there. Some were on TV, but most were on stage.


It was while performing in a cabaret show that he was spotted by David Frost, who asked him to appear on his TV show ‘The Frost Report’. This was when Corbett was approaching his deadline of being 37/38, so that was a really lucky break, right?


Well, Corbett could not have planned for that to happen, no, but the work to refine his talent, to be in the position to be seen and to take up the offer, that was all down to him.


On The Frost Report, Corbett worked with Ronnie Barker, and a friendship quickly developed, and they were used increasingly as a pair. I’ve already covered one ‘lucky break’ in his story, but here’s another…


Corbett and Barker were presenting an awards show on TV from the London Palladium, when the power failed. There was a 14 minute hold up, during which time the duo ad libbed their way to fill the time. The audience loved it, and that audience included both the controller and head of light entertainment at the BBC!


They were offered a show together, and ‘The Two Ronnies’ ran for over 15 years. Hopefully you can see that this is another lucky break that had classic goal achievement foundations behind it – neither of them could have planned for the power failure, but it was their efforts up to then which prepared them to take advantage.


Set a goal, work at it, accept there are no guarantees. Keep going, and if an opportunity presents itself, you will be ready to grab it. Some goals are much easier to achieve than success in show business, but that’s not the point. The point is that whatever your goal is, the ground work is the same as that put in by Corbett.


You cannot expect the results you want to magically appear, you need to put in the same effort. Taking action and hard work combined can unleash amazing things, and if you need a short demonstration of it, just ask Ronnie Corbett!


Great story eh? I’d love to hear what you think!

‘Til Next Time,

Health & Happiness,


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