I drew on two recent events/experiences to write this post: The first was the meteor shower that cascaded down on Russia earlier in the month; fortunately and miraculously without causing any fatalities. The second was listening to David Bowie’s latest single, the hauntingly beautiful, overtly melancholic, almost mournful and reflective “Where Are We Now?”
Both got me thinking. Sometimes in life it is possible to create a link between two totally disparate events, and on this occasion -Â in my head at least -Â that link was so compelling, and I joined the dots … maybe you will too.
Imagine you are walking along the street/boulevard/avenue/walkway tomorrow, you look up, and you spot a very large piece of space debrisÂ heading your way – coming straight down on you.Â Your whole life flashes in front of you. What was that life like? How has it been for you? How will you be remembered? Were you someone who made things happen? Or did you watch what happened? Or did it all pass you by and you wondered what the heck happened?
If you fell into that last category, you are not alone; Pareto’s Principle (yes, he is never too far from my thinking) would suggest that around 80% of us believe that we have no control over our destiny, and are prepared to accept whatever life dishes up for us. At this point, I always find considerable relevance in this quote – which I admitÂ to using often – from the genius that was Lewis Carroll …..
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?â€
â€œThat depends a good deal on where you want to get to,â€ said the Cheshire Cat
â€œI donâ€™t much care whereâ€ said Alice
â€œThen it doesnâ€™t matter which way you go,â€ said the Cat
â€œâ€“ So long as I get somewhere,â€ Alice added as an explanation
â€œOh, youâ€™re sure to do that,â€ said the Cat â€œIf you only walk long enough.â€
From Aliceâ€™s Adventures In Wonderland
Sound familiar? Well it doesn’t have to be like that: Every successful person you know has a game plan and maybe you should think about having one too, but first you need to decide exactly what it is you want to achieve.
Most people go through life like a small boat bobbing up and down on the ocean: They are totally at the mercy of the currents, and they hope – usually vainly – that eventually they will be swept into a “harbor of opportunity” Sadly, for every welcoming harbor, there are miles and miles of treacherous coastline and rocks just waiting to trip them up.
These people – most people – look back in old age and say things like: “If only I had” or “I wish I had” or “I could have” but by then, it is usually far too late.
Imagine how different it would be if they fixed a sail on their boat, and were able to steer in any direction they chose – completely in control.
Here is how I plan: I always begin with long-term goals and work backwards. My long-term goals are probably the most difficult to set anyway, so if I set those first, I accomplish the tough stuff right up-front.
Long-term goals should be five-year projections and three areas you may want to consider when you set them are personal accomplishments, status symbols and net worth. Sounds materialistic? Well remember that these are commercial goals, and there has to something in it all for us – and our families, otherwise, what is the point?
Medium-term goals are usually three year projections and the same criteria can be used – but again think productivity not production and consider the activity that will be necessary to achieve success.
Short-term goals will demand most of your attention and these are typically a twelve-month projection although you can set â€˜immediate goalsâ€™ which have a 90-day projection.
One very important tip; you must believe you can achieve all of your goals – otherwise you will probably not achieve them, and they will simply be wishes.
Do also ensure that along with your commercial goals you set personal ones as well – to keep your life well balanced. Work smarter not harder and setting personal goals gives you a life after business.
I also suggest that you put your goals in writing, because when you do this, you are creating a contract with yourself – one that you will not want to break.Â This is undoubtedly the single most important step in goal setting because until they are inscribed somewhere, they are, as I suggested earlier, merely wishes and dreams.
I can assure you that after you have written them down, your mind will start seeking out whatever it will take to make them a reality.
It is also true that the moment you start moving forward towards a goal, is the moment you start to succeed.
So much better to look back -Â just before that unexpected encounter with the space debris -Â and say “I did” and “I have”
As David Bowie says “Where are we now? Where are now?Â The moment you know, you know, you know”
Having spent most of the day editing March’s Top Sales magazine, I can confirm that it is a cracker, and you should look forward to reading your copy next Tuesday. Not subscribed? Why not? It’s FREE! – Do register here
This w/e, I am back working on the Top Sales Academy, so no rest for some of us poorÂ souls, but you have a good one, wherever you are, and I hope to see you again on Monday.
Bon w/e a tous, from a decidedly chilly Paris!