What direction are you moving? A rocking chair moves, but fails to make forward progress.
In our businesses, personal lives and even our government, we may be in motion, but it is forward progress? Motion does not always mean forward progress
Improve the System
An elderly Indian chief was sitting in his teepee on the reservation. The government officials had come to interview him.
“Chief Two Eagles, you have observed the white man for many years. You have seen his material wealth, his progress and his battles.”
The chief quietly nodded agreement.
“Chief Two Eagles, what do you think is the white man’s biggest mistake? Where do you think the white man went wrong?”
Chef Two Eagles sat back, stared at the government officials and calmly replied, “When the white man arrived, the Indians were running this country. We had no taxes, no debt, plenty of buffalo, plenty of fish, plenty of beaver, and the women did all of the work; the men hunted and fished all day and had sex all night.”
“Why would the white man be dumb enough to think he could improve on that system?”
(story of unknown origin)
We are in motion. Motion does not always mean forward progress. The chief has a point. Our government is now hopelessly in debt, our taxes are increasing and far too many Americans are out of work. What direction is America moving?
As a single individual, we cannot change the course of the American government, but we can change the course of our career and our personal life.
Determine the direction you are moving. A GPS needs a starting location and a destination in order to chart a travel path, so do you. Did you create a strategic success plan at some prior point in life? Hunt for it, dust it off and put it in action. Yes, you may need to revise it if you have seriously veered off course.
1. Decide on your top three to five goals for 2013. Write them down in detail. What three events would have to happen for you to say that you had the best year of your life? Let me guess, did you write down a relationship goal, a health goal and a financial goal?
2. Write your goals out in detail; only when you have recorded the specific details will you know when you achieve them. Set up check points along the journey. There are ten months remaining in 2013. Where will you be on your goal by April 1, July 1, October 1, December 31? Design a strategic success plan to outline the precise steps you will need to implement in order to achieve each goal checkpoint.
3. Check in with your plan every month to determine how closely you are adhering to the schedule. Readjust if necessary and intensify efforts if you are falling behind.
In order to guarantee that you are making forward progress rather than just being in motion, it requires specific written goals and a strategic success plan to achieve those goals.
Chief Two Eagles statements are amusing but they also have a significant ring of truth. 2013 can be a stellar year for you despite economic conditions or governmental situations. Your personal and professional strategic success plan focuses on your goals, not the government. Focus on the three to five most important goals. Spreading your attention too thin with too many goals, results in not focusing attention at all.