Success rarely just happens. I remember as a child singing along with Doris Day as she sang “Que sera, sera”. I bought into that philosophy of life and it dumped me in an ocean full of sharks.
When I let life just happen, it took a downhill turn, to the path of least resistance. Status quo was an intolerable existence for me. The majority of people live their lives in this fashion – passively allowing things to just carry them downstream. I think this is why so many people are unhappy as well. Just my personal philosophy, based on observations.
In this year of change, I have reevaluated where I am and where I want to be. I”m not exactly sure what “success” will look like in the final outcome, but I can tell you that it isn’t where I am now. Where I am now is a little further along the road to success than I was at the beginning of the year. Progress is important to keeping your motivation!
Progress helps increase your confidence. For example progress in an exercise program builds your motivation to keep going. A good measure is to take an assessment test before beginning, then after about a month, and the next month, and so on. When I first started my workout, I could only last 15 minutes on an elliptical. Each week, I’d bump it up just a few minutes and before you knew it, I was doing 45 minutes. That is progress! Each little milestone you pass, creates a feeling that you will achieve success. In this area I have a pretty clear vision of what my success will look like, and I’m not there yet. I”m working on it though, and although I’m currently sidelined due to a knee injury; I haven’t quit. I can do this, it isn’t too difficult. I”m in no shape to run a marathon, but I’m no longer going to eliminate the possibility in my future. Three years ago, my attitude was there’s no way I could ever do that. Now, I’m seeing how it could be possible. That’s progress.
Ultimately, it comes down to choices. You can choose to coast along and let life happen, or you can take control and steer your own destiny.
Creating success starts first in the mind. The first choice is if you are going to let life happen or create success for yourself. I’ve tried the first one and didn’t like it. Now, I”m working on the second choice. I’m liking this one much better already!
The hardest part is changing mind sets. We grow up with a certain mind-set, and learned behavior that we accept. Go to any local factory and observe the workers. The vast majority have settled into the “life happens” philosophy and they are working for their paycheck to enjoy the next weekend, the next family vacation, to pay off their bills, or a variety of other things. Getting our mindsets turned around is a miracle within itself. Creating a vision, allowing yourself to hope once again, and setting your sights higher is a major step in achieving success.
There’s so much more to life than that! I like this new aspect of letting myself dream. The excitement that is inherent in any new project stimulates the motivation, and the motivation keeps me going in a forward direction. The forward direction is moving me to crossing the finish line step by step. One step followed by another and before I know it, I’ve passed the halfway mark. It starts getting exciting!
Whether you are a mom, an attorney, a football coach, a nurse, or a writer you can achieve success. It’s a really simple two-part plan that is easy to tailor to your own needs, and follow.
STEP 1: Make a PLan
Whatever your plan is, write it down. By writing it down it gives a sense of accountability. Hold yourself accountable to achieve your own dreams, and if you’re bold enough post them publicly to have others hold you accountable. Figure out what you have to do to achieve your plan by making it a SMART goal. Break it down into achievable steps that you can implement. Remember, the journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step.
STEP 2: Work the PLan
Yep, it’s just that simple. Start doing the things you need to achieve your goals. Whatever you do, do it well. Give it your best effort! If your goal is to be the best mom to your children then give it everything you’ve got. If your goal is to be the best football coach then give it your best effort. Do the things you need to do to achieve your goals, and by giving your best effort it will give you the sense of accomplishment of a job well done. that gives you momentum for the next time.
My father used to always say “Anything worth having is worth working for” and “If you’re going to do it, do it right!” Whether you are building your marriage, your abs, your business, or a career these two expressions apply. It’s going to take work to get to the top and achieve success.
Without applied effort, the six-pack abs end up looking like a keg.
Here’s a little secret: the majority of the world is content with status quo. If you are one of the 15% that dream of a better life you’re already ahead of 85% of the population. If you write down your goals, you’re in the top 3%, and if you take it to the next level of applying concerted effort in achieving those dreams, you are in the top 1.5% of the world’s population!
While my friends and family are relaxing on their tubes floating down the lazy river of life, I’m paddling my canoe fast and furious upstream against the current. It’s hard work, but worth it in the end. I hope some of you will join me!