When we miss a goal we have been working towards the easy thing to do is blame external circumstances. There are those times when events overcome us and we have to try again. Yet, these are the same circumstances that are common to other people in everyday life. So, what is the magic formula that lets other people succeed regardless of the obstacles? I have a shortlist of things to consider.
- People that succeed begin with the end in mind. This is a statement stolen from Steven Covey’s immensely popular book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People“. Most people that are successful do not sit around thinking of the reasons something cannot be done. Time spent on a project should be used thinking of ways to be successful. There is so much that goes into this thought one blog post will not suffice. Just remember when you want to learn a language, you must see yourself having conversations with others before it will ever happen.
- People that succeed realize it is a marathon, not a sprint. I used to enjoy 10k runs when I was in the Marine Corps. The excitement of the race, the people are some of the nicest you could want to meet. There is always that first time runner at these events. They woke up one day and decided they wanted to run a 10k. No problem with that but for many of them their inexperience shows up quickly. They take off like they are running one hundred meters, only to realize they are running 10,000 meters. Many of them quickly fade and you find them walking. They did not realize the rigors of running 6.2 miles. When you start a project, i.e. “I want to eat healthily”, this is a lifelong commitment. There isn’t a finish line for this type of goal, the daily grind of eating healthy is the finish line. Remember most things in life, when it comes to goals move at a glacial pace. Patience and perseverance are two of your most important qualities to grasp.
- You must have a passion for the goal. If your only goal is to make more money, you will be happy for a while but true joy comes from doing something that has deep meaning to you. Why did several of the billionaires in the world today make a pact to give their money away before they die? When you give to someone you love or care for, there is a deep satisfaction that cannot come from money or things purchased. Don’t misunderstand what I am trying to say. The money will make your life easier and you will be fairly content, but it will not bring you that deep joy that most are looking for. I quote often lyrics from a song I heard years ago “Boy can you make folks feel what you feel inside”. I believe this describes passion in the things we do.
- Finally, you must not get distracted by things that do not support your goal. I will give you an example. While writing this post many things are bidding for my attention. My watch gives me alerts, my phone is calling me to check social media, email, play music, watch a youtube video I have in the cue. I think you get the point. People will try to convince you the direction you should take in reaching your goal. There is plenty of great advice and sound wisdom to be found in many places. Take caution that you stay focused. If you let a child loose in a toy store, it is a fitting picture of how adults look when they are unfocused on a project.
There are many steps that apply to this concept. My goal in this blog is to get you to think about things, not answer all your questions. If you take a vacation you have a general game plan, then you deviated based on many inputs that you discover. I hope your projects and plans for the future will include some of the things listed in this blog. Your success will be driven by what you are most passionate about and a good plan.