Recently I was listening to a talk by Bill Harris, one of the featured teachers from the hit movie, “The Secret.”
Bill was discussing a variety of issues relating to accomplishing (or “manifesting”) one’s goals. It was an interesting discussion, but one particular area caught my attention, and has been on my mind for some time.
It strikes me that, although there are myriad ways to become successful, and even more tips and techniques to help along the way, there really are just three simple steps that will lead you to success in any endeavor, if you actually follow them.
I’ve broken down the steps in more detail below, but here is the gist of it:
Step 1. Assess Where You Are
Step 2. Decide Where You Want to Go
Step 3. Take Action (or: Just Do It)
(Told you they were simple!)
Okay, so Step One: Assess Where You Are:
In order to accomplish your goal, you must know your starting point. Seems rather simplistic, but it is amazing how few people actually do this first step before jumping into something new.
If you want to, for example, double your income this year, you need to know what your current income is right now, right? This is a simple example, but this step is an important one, and can involve such serious considerations as: What obstacles stand in your way, right now? Are there underlying issues that need to be dealt with first? (For example, issues of self-worth that make you sabotage your own efforts?) Are there subconscious reasons why at some level you may want to stay where you are?
This step can involve much introspection and soul-searching, but jumping into your new endeavor without first addressing this step can at worst be disastrous, and at best, leave you right back where you started. (For a number of tools to help you work through these issues faster in a pleasant, productive way, feel free to visit our website at: http://www.newholisticliving.com/brainwaveentrainment.html )
In a way, this first step is also a kind of pre-planning step, as this is a good place to assess what you have and what you don’t have, as well as what tools and resources you may need to accomplish your goal.
Which leads us to Step Two: Decide Where You Want to Go:
This is another hugely important step — if you don’t know where you want to go, you’re not all that likely to get there!
This step is perhaps the most discussed by success coaches and “gurus”. and it relates to the specificity of goals. If your goal is simply to increase your income, that’s not really a good map of where you want to go. I.e., you could earn $1.00 more this year than last year, and technically, you would have achieved your goal, but this probably is not what you had in mind!
Sometimes people skip right over this step and go straight to Step 3, and still find success — you may have heard of someone like this. Certainly this is possible, but your results will generally be much better, and the process smoother, if you don’t leave this one out. Another plus is that you will feel more in control of your life and the direction you are heading, and will probably experience less stress and uncertainty throughout the process, which is always a nice side effect!
Some people call this step “finding your purpose,” and indeed, a lot has been made about this phrase, which I find kind of funny, and also self-defeating. For one thing, most people don’t have just ONE purpose throughout their entire lives. Of course, you can have one big, long-term, overall life goal (such as to be a parent, or to have a successful marriage, or to help find a cure for cancer, etc.), but you will also have innumerable other purposes throughout your lifetime, from medium-term or moderately important purposes (such as getting a certain job, or getting married within the next 5 years), to very small even daily purposes, like getting a good cup of coffee before breakfast, or getting the bills paid.
Sometimes I think such a big deal is made about “finding your purpose” that it can cause people unnecessary stress and self-doubt, especially if they feel like they don’t know what their ONE life purpose is. Which leads me to my second point, which is…..
Your purpose is not something you FIND!
Wow, think about that for a moment….
Your purpose in life (or this year, this month, or this morning) is not some mystical thing — a light that shines from heaven, accompanied by dramatic music or the world standing still (at least, not usually!)
Your purpose is, quite simply, whatever you decide it is.
That’s right — you don’t “find your purpose” — you make a decision.
I can decide my purpose in life is to have children and be a great wife and mother. Or I can decide my purpose is to help people with AIDs in Africa. I can decide my purpose this year is to make an extra $10,000. Or that next month, I will sell 20 more products than this month. And I can have different purposes for each area of my life for any given time-frame.
That’s why Step 2 isn’t “find your purpose” — it’s decide where you want to go.
Your purpose = your choice.
Pretty awesome, huh?
And of course, we have Step Three: Take Action, or as I like to think of it, “Just Do It!”
Huh? Wait — do what? What do I do? What if I don’t know what to do?
Okay, this is another simple one — which again, seems maybe too simple, but, just do SOMETHING. That’s right, I said “something.”
There are two reasons why I’m not being more specific. One is that I can’t — I don’t know what the action is that you should take — that is up to you, once you’ve decided your goals and purpose. Secondly, I don’t want you to get stuck, which is a common problem for many people at this point.
You’ve assessed where you are, and where you want to go, but what now? What is the first action you should perform to get there? What if you don’t know how to start your own business, get a raise, or meet the love of your life?
At this point, a lot of people start to worry, doubt themselves, and even give up before they really start. They think, what if it doesn’t work? What if I lose? What if I fail?
Bill Harris says you never really fail — “you just get more information.” Wow… pretty powerful concept, and also very true. You try something, and it doesn’t work — now you know that doesn’t work, so you try something else.
I think if I had to pinpoint one thing that separates successful people from those who aren’t, that would be it, right there. Many people have such a fear of failing, they either never start, and get caught up in an endless cycle of information gathering and assessing all the various angles and things that could go wrong, or they do make a start, it doesn’t work, and they see it as “failure,” and don’t try another approach.
All of the successful people I know (including myself) have faced tremendous challenges, setbacks, and “failures.” But they tried something else, and kept going. Over. And over. And over.
So do SOMETHING. Anything. Take any action you can think of to get started towards your goal, even if it seems at first small and insignificant. Then, take another. And if that doesn’t work, take another. And every so often, stop, assess where you are, decide where you want to go, and then take another. It works — trust me, I know.
Where I am in life now is so different from anywhere I would have ever imagined 10 years ago, 5 years ago, even 9 months ago. And most of the events that occurred to get me here were just a small action, which I took because I didn’t know what to do, but had to try SOMETHING.
6 years ago, I was broke, depressed, living in a crappy apartment behind a drive-through liquor store, drowning in debt and struggling for every dime, and unhappy at my job. I won’t bore you with the whole story, but eventually I got so tired of being where I was, that I decided I had to do something to make a change.
Strangely enough, the action I ended up taking was to schedule an appointment with a financial planner, which really makes no sense, as I didn’t have any money, but silly as it seems, that’s all I could think of (plus the opportunity presented itself when I was most desperate).
And that small action changed my life forever. Along with his (and God’s) help, and the will to make a change, within a year, my life had turned around 180-degrees.
5 years later, my income has more than quadrupled, I am virtually debt-free, I work at a job I love, own the best car I’ve ever had (free and clear), and operate two thriving online businesses.
Looking back, there were many of these little actions I took, just like that one, without knowing how they would turn out, to get me where I am today. And many times I have “failed,” but as Bill would say, I just got more information about what didn’t work. And I tried something else.
Step 1 and Step 2 are important, but once you’ve got those in hand, don’t get stuck — remember the famous words of Nike, and Just Do It!
Good luck! And if you would like more ideas on how to enhance your personal growth and become the best you can be, just visit http://www.newholisticliving.com/brainwaveentrainment.html for some great tools.