Many people start off the new year with goals and objectives. After a few months, the goals are forgotten and the year quietly passes just like many others.
What is the missing ingredient? How do you get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ both personally and professionally?
There are a number of books on this subject. There are motivational speakers, there are audio files you can listen to in your car and there college courses on the subject. But what does it really take? Fact is, it all starts with you. The only way to move forward is to realize that you are both the problem and the solution. You are both the accelerator and the brake. It all starts, and ends with you. Scary? Yes, but also empowering.
Here are a few areas that you must embrace to improve your chances of evolving into the person you have always wanted to become.
- Approach life as a student. Learning cannot occur unless you admit that you don’t know it all. You don’t learn by talking. You learn by listening and by asking questions. Never be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’. We can all improve in this area – myself included. The most successful people I know are all great at asking questions.
- Find people who will be honest with you. Sounds easy but in reality this is very hard. Most folks will not provide honest feedback on areas for improvement. They are afraid to hurt your feelings or to lose your friendship. When you find a person who will be honest in a thoughtful way, treasure them.
- Be willing to try new ideas with the understanding that many of your ideas will not succeed. It is though error that we improve. It is by making mistakes that we learn. Nobody has ever achieved anything great on their first attempt. It is the result of consistent error, adaptation and improvement.
- Hold yourself accountable. There is a tendency to blame others for our misfortunes. As soon as you blame others, you disempowered yourself and all progress stops. Whatever happens, you must hold yourself responsible. You must believe that you are the master of your destiny. By doing this, you empower yourself to do what must be done to move the ball forward.
- Have a degree of urgency in your approach to life. You have to have a little motor inside that says – ‘Time is passing. I need to make this happen now’. Remember, every day that passes is a day you will never see again. What you achieve each day is up to you. You need to make each day count.
- Understand that this is a hard process – both mentally and emotionally. We all like to think of ourselves as ‘perfect’. We like to hear good things and be involved in ‘successful’ projects. Evolving means that you will hear things that you won’t like. It means that you will have setbacks. It means that you will have to manage your ego and, on top of that, it is work.
Life is a journey. The great equalizer is that we all have a limited amount of time. What you do with that time is up to you. Make it count.