“If you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will take you there,” said the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. That is so true! Some people just wander aimlessly through life, living one day at a time. Then they wonder how they ended up where they are – stuck in a rut. These people lack purpose, direction and vision.
True success is following and achieving your dreams in life. It starts with a dream. Having a clear vision of what you want out of life is the first step towards success. You need to know what is important, what motivates you, and what you want to achieve. Every successful person starts with a vision. They visualize their desired end result in every venture. This applies to all facets of life, from a completed project to a successful business or a happy family. Stephen Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” calls this Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind.
What do you want to accomplish? Visualize yourself getting your book published. Visualize yourself getting a patent for your invention. Visualize yourself taking a trip to Europe. Your vision gives you a sense of purpose and direction. It provides focus and acts as a motivating force to help you succeed.
Our minds are very powerful. Oftentimes, what we focus on is what we get. So focus on success. Visualize yourself achieving your goals. Do so in great detail. For example, visualize yourself earning the recognition of your peers at an awards banquet when you receive the Top Employee of the Year award. The Master of Ceremonies has called your name, everyone is applauding and you walk up to receive your plaque. How do you feel? Probably pretty proud of yourself! Not only see yourself being successful, but feel it too.
When you stay focused on a positive outcome, opportunities oftentimes come your way. Jim Carey, comedian and actor, took this a step further. He wrote himself a check for ten million dollars for “Services Rendered”, dated it, and kept it in his pocket. When times were tough he would sit on a hillside overlooking Hollywood and imagine himself as a famous movie star. Then he’d reread his check as a reminder of his goal. A few years later he signed a deal for more than ten million dollars to star in The Mask. The date? Almost identical to the one written on the check that he kept in his pocket. This shows the power of visualization combined with an intense focus on your goal.
Visualization can be very powerful indeed. What do you want out of life? Visualize yourself living the kind of life you want. Having a crystal-clear vision is the first step towards success. Visualize your desired end result, stay focused on your goal, and you will achieve it. And you’ll experience the satisfaction that comes with achievement.
For more information on goal achievement, listen to the CD “Beyond New Year’s Resolutions: How to Set and Attain Your Goals“
We all have so much to do, that we can’t possibly get it all done. Sometimes we get so busy with the day-to-day activities – work, chores, carpools, school, homework, etc. – that we neglect the most important things. We oftentimes feel pulled in a lot of different directions. So it’s important we focus on the right things that will help us achieve our goals and purpose.
Therefore, we need to focus on the important. Lee Iacoca has been quoted as saying, “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” So how do you focus on the important? You need to carve out time for your priorities. Rather than prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities. Actually schedule time on your calendar for the important things.
For example, you may have an important project at work, but you can’t seem to get to it, because you’re spending time answering the phone, responding to e-mails, and helping your co-workers who come to you for assistance. Then block out time on your calendar for your project. Make an appointment with yourself; treat it like a meeting. Forward your phone to voicemail, so you can focus on your important project.
If you say your spouse is important, but you’re more like two ships passing through the night, then schedule a date night once a week. This helps assure you’ll spend quality time together at least once a week.
Spending time together as a family may be important to you, but elusive. Your afternoons and evenings may be spent driving your kids to soccer practice, dance, youth group, and so on. You can’t even remember the last time the whole family had dinner together. If spending time together as a family is important, then schedule family time each week. We do this in my family. Sunday night is family night in our home. We plan a fun activity each week – such as playing a game, watching a movie, going out to dinner, or going out for ice cream.
By planning and scheduling time on your calendar for your important priorities, you’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. What important priorities are you neglecting? Identify one priority you’ll spend time on this week, and share with other readers what you’ll do to focus on your important priority.