Updated: Dec 7, 2018
This is PART 1 of a six part series looking at the path to personal success. Be sure to subscribe to receive updates.
The path to personal success is as unique as each person walking it. Your journey likely takes different twists and turns than those around you. Similarly their ups and downs are probably quite different than yours. This rings true in personal success, business achievement, career advancement, relationships - or better yet, let's just say... in life. While each journey is specific to the person walking that path, there are universally applicable principles that can help you move further down the path of success, faster. Being mindful and disciplined with these six principles can truly unlock your ability to achieve any long-term goal. Today, we discuss step one on the path (BE PREPARED).
1. BE PREPARED
An obvious first choice, right? Without question, it is universally understood that preparation, in all things, is vital to success. In fact, I was raised with the Six-P's drilled into my head - Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. I've known dozens of others raised with some version of this mantra, carved into their character by a parent, coach, teacher or mentor. They're right, of course. Being able to understand what needs to be done to be the best at something, then setting up a plan, schedule and system to get there is foundational. We all do this to some varying degree, and candidly, most of us have become very good at this step... until something unexpected comes up that we weren't prepared for.
The true measure of mastery in this step is not in your ability to prepare for what you expect, but to prepare for the twists, turns, ups and downs that inevitably will come your way. The two questions you're likely asking yourself right now are, "How am I supposed to prepare for what I can't expect?" or "Even if I can, how am I supposed to prepare for every potential obstacle? There could be dozens of them." The short answers are, "It's actually more simple than you think." and "You don't have to. I'll show you."
The key in being prepared is not in trying to forecast every possible obstacle, or decision you'll face on your journey, then preplan your response. No, that is simply beyond the natural capability of most of us. If you're one of the few on this earth, able to perform that type of wizardry, please contact me; I'd love to learn. For the rest of us mere mortals, the key is to know that you'll experience unforeseen events, and plan the process in which you'll handle them. The details of what they are is insignificant. Simply knowing that you'll experience them, and need a system to evaluate, adapt and execute is completely appropriate, at this point. In preparing to do these three things well, it's important to have a very clear understanding of your authentic intent, your purpose. Clarity here simplifies your process by ensuring you're always headed your true north.
The true measure of mastery in this step is not in your ability to prepare for what you expect, but to prepare for the twists, turns, ups and downs that inevitably will come your way.
Here's a method for planning your system to ensure you're prepared to handle virtually any situation.
MISSION: Objectively consider all new information and circumstances, assign significance and determine priority.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:
Does this change my overall objective?
Is this actually important, or is it just a distraction?
Do I have what I need to address it?
Lastly, know that you cannot change the circumstance, only your response to it.
MISSION: Adjust timeline, actions, expectations or goals, as appropriate.
ACTION TO TAKE:
Consider at least two possible responses that help achieve your goal
Select response that most directly addresses long-term goal, but satisfies the obstacle
Communicate change in strategy, or need for action, as appropriate
MISSION: Take action to address unforeseen issue and quickly advance on your path to success.
ACTION TO TAKE:
Implement selected response swiftly and judiciously
Collaborate with others, as needed
Measure effectiveness of your execution in addressing the challenge
There's no wizardry involved in effective preparation. Being prepared to address what you know is coming, and developing a system to deploy when the unforeseen happens is your first step down the path to personal success.
Step 2 on the path to personal success (BE PRESENT), is up next. Be sure to subscribe for updates and the best experience.
In our work with leaders, we share resources, tools and deep insights that bring this and the other five steps to tangible reality. As this series continues, and the topics pique your interest, don't hesitate to reach out to us to discuss how we can bring this to life for you or your team.