Dreams, ambitions and goals; everyone has them (at least, I'd hope). Maybe it's something that they've always wanted, something that they've worked hard towards. Great, you've got the idea, now what? Most individuals follow the next step in the process; they write their goals down, create a "master plan," stress and worry about the little things, and before they know it a years gone by and they're still pondering this big, masterful, plan.
The sad reality? All of this planning, talking, and thinking is getting them nowhere. A harsh reality? Sort of, but a reality none the less. Today, this post is going to touch upon exactly that; why planning and thinking get you no where, and how preparation and action get you results. I'm going to break down how and why you need to engineer your life around your goals and ambitions, and why you need to start to prepare for success instead of planning how you're going to try (a very dangerous word, by the way) to achieve what you want. It's as simple as this: the glass is neither half empty nor half full - there's either something in it, or not. Simple. Or even more simply put: if you really want something as bad as you say you do, engineer your life around it - make it the reason you wake up, start your day, and get going. You rest when you know you gave it your everything, but until then you work at it tirelessly. Some of the topics are a bit controversial, but it's real and honest, and to me that's something that deserves a read.
Often when I listen to some clients speak to me about how they want to be the best at what they do, or how they want to achieve success in their craft, they often start it off as, "next week, I plan on...," or "tomorrow, I plan to..." Stop. Stop right there; next week? Why next week? Why tomorrow? Why not right now, right this very moment? See, the first major aspect that many people lack when they're trying to achieve their goals, dreams, or ambitions is the idea that they need to put a delayed start time on things - they lack urgency. They lack the mindset of, "if I don't get this done now, someone else will, and that someone won't be me." Often you hear someone say, "I'm not ready yet to start." That's fine take your time, but know this - while you're sitting there thinking, planning, and worrying about how you want to do something, someone else has already done it, and I say this from experience.
Earlier in the year I was working with a business owner who loved to plan and envision everything he did, and there's nothing wrong with that. But the major aspect he lacked was an immediate plan of action. And as I'm sure you can guess, as he was sitting there planning for weeks instead of executing, someone else put his idea into action, got his place at a trades show, and even got an hour feature to talk during the show. The take away from this point? If you really do want something stop thinking and pondering about it and instead prepare for it (like Nike says, just do it). Sitting there talking with others about what you want to do and seeing what their opinion isn't always the best idea; when you let an outside view have so much influence on your idea it could be dangerous. You're planning too much around what someone else thinks of your idea. Preparing personally though is something completely different; instead of thinking, asking, and listening to what OTHERS think you should do, you listen to YOUR instincts and just do it. You give it a brief thought, briefly weigh it out, then trust your gut and your instincts to go ahead with it. For example - trying to make it as a professional athlete; it's as simple as saying, "here are my strengths, here are my weaknesses; I need to make sure my strengths are always in top form so no one can beat them, and I need to make sure that my weaknesses are at least at a level where I can compete with others. Done. Time to get to work." That's preparation - brief, honest (if you're lying to yourself you won't achieve anything), thought followed by immediate action. You plan your days around how you work on your strengths and weaknesses. Simple.
Another problem I constantly see is when an individual looses sight of their end goal(s) when the work gets tough. Let's be honest, when the work gets harder than you can imagine and the challenges seem unachievable, most people throw in the towel and say, "That's enough. I can revisit this another time." And that's totally fine, I get that some people only "kind of" want something and don't fully want to exert themselves. But, know that it comes with only "kind of" achieving your end goals and only kind of getting what you want. You don't become the best from kind of working hard at something or kind of giving it your all; you become the best at your craft by giving every last ounce of effort that you have. Late nights and early mornings? That's usually the case. Hard work and dedication towards something that isn't certain or guaranteed? Sure, if you see it that way. To me I see it like this, "Here's the end goal; for others it's not certain, but for me it is. Why? Because I know that my work ethic will get me wherever I want, I know that if I really give everything I have to this I can get it. I know if I engineer my life around my long term goal, I'll get it." Yes, it's a very confident way of thinking, but when you commit to something that you want to be in your life for a good chunk of time, you damn well better be able to say, "I can do this no matter what; it might take me years, but I'll get it." What I'm saying is, know and expect that there will be hard work in your path when you're working towards your end goal(s), but know that the reward is so great that the hard work is worth it. I'm not even saying that you have to love the hard work, I'm just saying that you need to have the right mindset to say, "I'm going to make it no matter what," and to realize the end results are worth it. And yes, sometimes you'll stumble along the way, but you can decide if you've "failed," or not. Personally I don't recognize failure, but that's something that will be touched upon another time.
You need to engineer your day around achieving your end goal; maybe you need to put in extra hours at the office and sacrifice time with friends or that special someone, or maybe it means giving up a Friday or Saturday night when everyone else is partying so that you can bust it in the gym and then recover for another early session. So what it's hard work? So what there's sacrifice? Do you want the end goal, or not? Do you want to be the best at your craft, or just average in it? And hey, who's to say that this long term goal can't be family related? I'm not asking you to put a monetary or power value on something; instead I'm saying find an end goal that speaks to you, honestly and truly. Engineer your life around the end goal you want - make sure you can say at the end of the day you left no stone unturned.
In the simplest terms, it starts with your mindset; how you think, feel, talk, and act is dictated by you, no one else. If you tailor your life around your goal(s), if you take the immediate actions, hold the vision, trust the process, and make the sacrifices, you can do whatever it is that you want. It's like Kobe Bryant said, "We all can be masters at our craft, but you have to make a choice. What I mean by that is, there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that. Family time, hanging out with friends, being a great friend, being a great son, nephew, whatever the case may be. There are sacrifices that come along with making that decision." You make the decision, no one else will for you; it's your life, you determine how successful you want to be or not. Engineer your life around your definition of greatness. It's all about the mindset.
It's like my cousin always preached to me when I was younger, "Oh, you want something? Well, go on and be gettin' it. What's stopping you?" It's just that simple.
Wishing you the most success.