Reaching for the Stars or Grasping at Straws?

Reach for starsI think very few people set out to achieve mediocre results, but without a clear path the majority of people fall short of what they initially imagined.  For example, every January the gym where I work out is absolutely inundated with people who made a New Year’s resolution to “get in shape” without realistically assessing all factors involved, especially the effort.  Those results take commitment and effort.  Usually I see these people show up at the gym, obviously out of shape, not familiar with how to work out and for various reasons they gone within 3 weeks.  I applaud their effort and desire, but getting serious about fitness requires a serious commitment and resolve.  Not being critical, but there is lessons that can be learned from this.

True successes will appear “lucky” or “effortless” on the surface.  If you talk to entrepreneurs they will tell you that there is way more below the surface than the average person sees.  Some businesses don’t see profitability for years.  The owners are the last ones to be paid.  Personal sacrifices were made and these people with vision didn’t quit where others gave up.

So when you feel like you want to commit to a venture or idea in business development, my advice is to study those who have forged ahead with their dream.  Ask questions, get a sense for how they made their idea work.  Then truly weigh the investment on your part as well as those around you.  Don’t just be a dreamer and approach your vision half heatedly.

So the question is, are you reaching for the start or grasping at straws?

  1. Big vision, big results – The vision you have for yourself, your job, and the things you are involved in will have an effect on results. If you think small, you’ll have small results.  Stretch goals are a way to keep us out of being complacent.  When contemplating your goals, always consider what is reasonable, attainable and then add to it.  If you commit to getting in shape, it’s not something you are going to “try out” and see if it works for you.  Fitness is something done for a lifetime.  See it that way.
  2. Don’t accept limitations other put on you, EVER! – Truth be told, its poison. There are going to be those who look down on you and will push their own doubt, disbelief on you.  The fact is, something that is done today was once never done before.  I detest when someone says I cannot do something when it is in my power to do so.  Negativity will NEVER produce a positive result.  Make sure anything you listen to will be positive but also constructive.
  3. Emulate great role models – First you must find them but once you do, study them and identify how they think, how they approach a problem, and how they overcome obstacles. Understand, not just what they did, but the underlying belief, conviction, resolve, commitment.
  4. Cause & Effect – The aim of all education is action. We can have all the positive, brilliant ideas and intentions in the world, but if we fail to back it up with action, nothing will happen.  If you intend to accomplish something like when I learned how to play guitar, I studied great guitarists, I practiced tirelessly, and I was continually trying to push my abilities to be the very best I could be.   At times there were setbacks, but I remained consistent in improving to the point where I became proficient.  It took many, many years too.   If you set out to do something, have the corresponding action.
  5. Consider the cost – This is an area where many fail in their attempt to reach for the stars. Yes, it’s great to reach for the stars figuratively when we have a goal in mind.  However if we fail to plan for success by weighing the cost in its entirety, there will be countless reasons to give up and most will do so.  The old adage that before going into battle, a King must thoroughly weigh the cost of doing so, holds true here.  Take the time to think through everything you can, not just success, but obstacles as well.  Trust me, there will be obstacles you didn’t even consider that will arise.

If we do these things, then we will do a much better job setting ourselves up for success no matter what the endeavor.

Respect the Torch!

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