1. Plan a Preferred Future
As Lewis Carroll said: “If you don’t know where you are going, then any road will get you there.” In 2013 take time to examine and discuss the details of every aspect of your lives, personal and professional, to achieve integrated success and happiness.
2. Be Pragmatic
In most of our near future, few of us will be playing for the NBA. The future has to reflect what is physically possible with available resources and limitations. We all need to create filters to keep us from wasting time and energy on what’s unachievable or irrelevant. See S.M.A.R.T. goals.
3. Decide the Who, Not the What
If you are already looking ahead 20 years then your defining WHO we want to be at 60, not WHAT we want to be doing. The WHO centers on passion, core competencies, and core satisfaction, such as material requirements. If I know WHO I truly want to be, I can detail what to do, own, resources I need, etc. I can also determine what not to do, own, etc., focusing time and resources where required. See “What not to do”
4. Consider the Tools Around You, Old and New
Every resource is important. On my old list is Napoleon Hill, who nearly 100 years ago connected creative visualization to success. If you are reading this article on my website than you already know and are comfortable using the internet and some of the “newer” tools that are available to us. In today’s information age, information is everywhere and more prevelant than ever. It is not a question of where do I find the answer, but how do I apply the information that I have available.
5. Ignore the Naysayers
I live for constructive criticism. But outside perspective that is baseless conjecture or stems from emotional baggage (think dissatisfied family or friends) is destructive for achievers. Put these people in a box where they can’t distract you from your ambitions. Find people who get it, and put them in your corner. Engage them in your preferred future, and help them achieve theirs.
6. Don’t Settle for Mediocrity
People who take a reactive approach to growth and development will suffer the same fate as companies, managers, and employees who let the markets, technology, and competitors determine their destiny. The game of life rewards aggressive players who leverage their energy, smarts (note that I didn’t say intelligence), and creativity to determine and obtain the life that truly makes them happy. As Jim Collins points out in Great by Choice, “good and bad luck comes to all; it’s how you plan and execute that determines your return on luck.”
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